It's an odd thing to pick out of a World Series, but there's something I've noticed so far which is actually a nice surprise.
The Star-Spangled Banner.
Yes, it's the anthem of our neighbours to the south. Yes, the melody is an old hymn/drinking song, and the lyrics glorify war. And yes, it's challenging to sing (so I'm told; I can always nail it pretty well). But, how many times have you been watching a major sports event, and they trot out some lame R&B singer who takes seven minutes to embellish every note past the point of ridiculousness, making everyone in the place, and at home, cringe while they wait it out? (Or, if you're like me, you flip the channel and end up forgetting about the game and missing the first two batters in the top of the first.)
Game 1, which ended up as a Red Sox blowout win, featured a novel arrangement by legendary film composer John Williams, played by the Boston Pops. I didn't really like the arrangement — it seemed needlessly goofy in places — but it was solidly played (and, most importantly, it was short). Tonight's Game 2 was a solo effort, with James Taylor and an acoustic guitar; again, the arrangement was a little unconventional, but he sure didn't butcher the thing like Mariah Carey very likely would have.
On a different note (har, har) — I've been watching Rogers Sportsnet instead of Fox, because Sportsnet is carrying an alternate feed, with different announcers. When I've flipped back to Fox, it's driven me crazy: the ridiculous amount of graphics cluttering up the works, the sound effects, the needless slo-mo replays, the schmaltzy special features... I could go on. Sportsnet is showing the feed from MLB International, an in-house production which pares down the graphics and has a much more straightforward broadcast team. Good choice, Uncle Ted.
Also, I'm baking cornbread tonight for the first time. It smells pretty good, and is currently cooling. I'll keep you posted.