In the people-who-sing-the-national-anthem canon, no one sings the national anthem like Jim Cornelison. NO. ONE. Who the hell is Jim Cornelison, you ask? Well, he’s a Chicago-based tenor who sings the Anthem during the pregame ceremonies at every Chicago Blackhawks home game, and it’s made him a local legend in that town. Beefy and square-jawed with pipes that rival the roar of a jet engine’s, I’m convinced that a Jim Cornelison national anthem could make even John Walker Lindh want to drape himself in the American flag and run through a Goddamn wall of fire. Hell, Francis Scott Key has been dead since 1843 and his corpse sprouts an erection each time Cornelison belts out his Star Spangled Banner. Dude is that good.
So when the Chicago Bulls announced today that Cornelison would sing the anthem prior to tonight’s playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks, Twitter exploded in anticipation. CNBC’s Darren Rovell has been virtually counting down the minutes, in fact.
Earlier today, Cornelison told Rovell that “from an emotional standpoint, this might be the hardest anthem” he’s ever had to perform.
No surprise, really. After all, it’s been less than 24 hours since news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by U.S. special forces, and President Obama just so happens to be a huge Bulls fan — so you have to imagine him out there tonight watching Jim Cornelison sing the anthem, and then kicking back with a fat cigar and a cold beer, with his feet propped up on an ottoman in the White House to watch his team play.
Here’s Chicago’s finest doing the damn thang, as Jason Whitlock would say…