... at every game?
The ritual has taken on such solemnity that it is carried live on Yankees' television broadcasts, and the YES network passes up several hundred thousand dollars' worth of commercials to beam it into living-rooms...
Turns out the Yankees have a rule restricting patrons from moving in the stands during God Bless America, and stadium ushers, security personnel and NYPD detail cops have been instructed to enforce it...
A bespectacled, thirtysomething resident of Queens, [Brad] Campeau-Laurion was present, along with 55,057 others, for a game against the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx last week. In the middle of the seventh inning he decided to heed the call of nature and headed off for the jacks, only to find his way barred by a New York policeman, who ordered him to remain standing in place until God Bless America had concluded.
When Campeau-Laurion replied "I don't care about God Bless America, I just need to use the bathroom", he says, two cops pinned his arms behind his back and hustled him toward the nearest exit.
The policemen, according to Campeau-Laurion, "shoved me out the front gate and told me to get out of their country if I didn't like it".
We can all sympathize with a guy who's got to piss, but knowing NYC cops, he shouldn't have said "I don't care about God Bless America", because a lot of cops (especially the NYPD) will find any excuse they can to hassle people and enforce their self-righteous authority. (Oh, do I have stories.) Anyway, should fans be allowed to walk around during the song? Should it even be played anymore?