The NFL recently announced that country music “star” Carrie Underwood will perform the national anthem at Super Bowl XLIV. If recent history is any indicator, Underwood will pre-tape her performance, and go with a safe, mostly-traditional rendition of the anthem.
I’m not a fan of Underwood, and I truly doubt her performance will crack the list of my favorite national anthem performances of all-time.
No. 5 - Maurice Cheeks and Natalie Gilbert
I think the former Blazers coach should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame just for this. By the way, the Blazers were down 3-0 in this 2003 playoff series against the Mavs (this video was the anthem just before Game 3), but came back to force a Game 7, one of the only times that’s happened in NBA history.
No. 4 - Kelly Clarkson
Kelly gets extra credit for rocking a throwback jersey during her performance. As if I didn’t already love her enough.
No. 3 - Wayne Messmer
This is more for the crowd than anything else. Messmer performed the anthem at the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, held in Chicago just days after the start of the Gulf War. I’m pretty sure everyone in that crowd was ready to run through a brick wall as Messmer finished his rendition.
No. 2 - Whitney Houston
The standard bearer for all Super Bowl anthems. I have no idea if it was pre-recorded or not, but I don’t care.
No. 1 - Marvin Gaye
This should be the official version of the national anthem. Only Marvin Gaye could make that song sound sexual. When the crowd starts clapping along in rhythm, it’s amazing.