Just when you think you’ve heard it all, the NFL announced that it is replacing the Star-Spangled Banner with a rendition of “God Save the Queen” at select NFL games throughout the upcoming and future football seasons.
Moreover, all players will be required to bow or kneel during the British anthem out of respect for the Queen of England, who’s smiling image and royal wave will be prominently displayed on the stadium’s jumbotron in front of a Union Jack.
The move comes as more and more former British soccer and rugby players have moved on from their home pitches in the UK to ones in the NFL in the United States, where player salaries are considerably higher, thus making the NFL a more attractive proposition. Some of the many examples include Bobby Charlton of Manchester United, now a kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, George Best, also of Manchester United, who is now a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, and Gordon Banks of Leicester City, who joined the New England Patriots as backup quarterback.
The person who made it all happen is none other than beloved British movie icon Sean Connery of James Bond fame, himself an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and also part-owner of the team. Reached at his residence in Nassau, Bahamas, Mr. Connery explained the decision in his distinct Scottish brogue so adored by his fans:
“NHL games have always played the anthem of both team’s countries. Sho I thought to myshelf it would only be fair to play “God Shave the Queen” at NFL games, at least for those games where there are British nationals on a team. Besides, in these troubled times it’s shelf evident that God needs to shave us all, not just the Queen.”
It is certainly true that NHL games have long featured both the Canadian and US national anthems at games, but to replace the US national anthem entirely with the British one, even if only at select games? Time will tell if this move will go over well with patriotic football fans.