A lot of eyes were on the National Anthem last night when Demi Lovato took the stage to honor America before Super Bowl LIV. Depending on which sports book you use, the over-under on the length of the song was hovering around 1:50. The actual time was 1:50 on the dot. More on this later.
Lovato wasn’t the only star out there. In fact, I would argue the show was stolen by Christine Sun Kim, the American artist and performer tasked with signing (not singing) the Star Spangled Banner alongside Lovato.
As soon as they announced Kim, you could tell she was bringing high energy to The Super Bowl the likes of which we’ve never seen before. I’m not sure what that hand posture means — with her hands up, palms facing inward, but I’d wager to guess it means “Get ready, this shit is about to get serious”.
“I wanted to my express my patriotism and honor the country that I am proud to be from — a country that, at its core, believes in equal rights for all citizens, including those with disabilities,” Kim wrote for the New York Times Monday morning.
The performance wasn’t without controversy however, as FOX cut away from the bonus broadcast that was set up specifically for deaf people to watch Kim. Hey FOX, how the fuck are deaf people supposed to honor the country if you’re cutting away from American hero Christine Sun Kim?!
Aside from botching the bonus feed of Sun Kim, the audio on the FOX broadcast made me think I was going deaf myself all night. Every time they tried meshing in audio from the field, microphones would abruptly cut in and out. Thank God the Steelers play their games on CBS because everything about the FOX broadcast was awful Sunday night.
Sun Kim, on the other hand, was on fire. I think I have a solution to make sure the sign-language performance gets the air time it deserves.
Sports books should add another prop bet on the National Anthem, but instead of basing it on the vocal rendition of the song, they can just base it on the signed interpretation. Will there be much difference in the time? Maybe not. But if we get more high-energy Sun Kim out there, then what’s the problem?