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published Tuesday, February 22nd - 9:46am

Sunday marked the National Hockey League's latest attempt at manufactured publicity with what hopes to be an annual tradition on NBC simply known as Hockey Day in America.

The Minnesota Wild started the festivities with a late morning start and put up a noble effort in a 2-1 shootout loss to the second place Detroit Red Wings.

The afternoon contest featured the Pittsburg Penguins vs the Chicago Blackhawks from the United Center in Chicago.

There was a great moment in the Windy city that won't be mentioned on talk shows, it won't be featured on a rolling scrawl like Brett Favre throwing passes to High School students or seven thousand meaningless trade possibilities involving Carmelo Anthony.

No, that moment involved Jim Cornelison giving one of the most powerful, bone chilling renditions of the national anthem that you will ever see.

Standing along side with four active members of the armed forces, Cornelison and his deep, rich voice gave such an emotional and draining performance that upon the completion it appeared as if he would pass out from exhaustion.

I certainly hope that the decision makers who coordinate the festivities surrounding the Super Bowl were paying attention.

The embarrassment in Dallas a few weeks ago was an atrocity of biblical proportions and apparently the best that the National Football League had to offer to the world was Christina Aguilera.

Then not to be outdone they decided to roll out the Black Eyed Peas to continue the misery at halftime.

If you missed out on the chance to see Smith's performance I think you may want to find it online at some point.

It was great for several reasons including the tear it brought to the eye of one solider on the ice, the reaction by the commentators, and the roaring applause that the crowd gave to signify their approval.


Yes the scene in Chicago before the game was not only refreshing, but it was also somewhat encouraging.

It was great to see that people who relish the opportunity to showcase a game on a national stage actually take things serious like this nations anthem.

It was also great to see that there are people who still take pride in not only what they do but also how they present themselves.

The irony of course is that this all took place in a sport in which a significant number of players and coaches involved are not even from this country.