Have you ever heard of chicken? Well, the MLB has an unknown tradition – to me at least – of playing chicken but with a twist. Rather than the risky game of our past, MLB players strive to be the last in place to prove their loyalty to our country. As a result, two players from opposing teams stand like concrete pillars in front of their dugouts with their hands over their hearts long after the anthem is over.
The most recent instance of the game came yesterday in a heart-warming moment before the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds game. This time the players, of what some call a pre-game “pledge off” or “anthem standoff,” were Alex Blandino, utility man for the Reds, and Luis Oviedo, Pirates relief pitcher.
Before their game yesterday at PNC Park, the two men stood in front of the dugout after the anthem finished playing. The video, tweeted by a journalist for Barstool Sports Jared Carrabis, opens to the announcer explaining that he hasn’t seen Blandino move in “five minutes.”
🚨WE’VE GOT A NATIONAL ANTHEM STAND-OFF🚨 pic.twitter.com/Xd5qgAJt6R
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 10, 2021
The game’s announcer, seemingly baffled by the spectacle, said, “It doesn’t look like either guy is giving in as the Pirates are taking the field and the Reds are about to hit.”
The MLB has been under fire for siding with the crowd of woke. Millions of fed-up Americans vowed to tune out, but just when the darkness feels overwhelming, these small glimmers of American humor serve to bring the sun out.
The two stood as players joked and smiled in the background as they stood still. Nothing was going to move them, not even the umpire. Their simple game brought happiness back. Americans forgot about all the negative media and the doom and gloom our country has become faced with, even if only for a moment.
We got a much-needed break. Yesterday two men proud to be playing baseball in America played an innocent game that made me want to watch baseball again.