Someone tell me, because I always get this mixed up: are you supposed to stand during George Gershwin songs too, or only Irving Berlin songs? And what if a ballpark starts playing Neil Diamond’s “America” during the stretch? Does that require standing? So confusing . . .
In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Newark, three Millburn High School students contend Newark Bears president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar berated them, cursed at them and then booted them from the ballpark after they failed to stand for the song during the seventh-inning stretch.
“Nobody sits during the singing of ‘God Bless America’ in my stadium,'” Cetnar bellowed during the June 29 incident, according to the suit. “Now the get the (expletive) out of here.”
The problem, bunk, is that it’s not your stadium. It was built and is owned by Newark and Essex County, New Jersey. I can kick people out of my house if they don’t stand during “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers, because that’s the kind of thing that pisses me off. However, when governmental entities are involved, well, that’s a big problem, what with that First Amendment and all. Just ask the Yankees.
How about this: Let’s play “Take me out to the ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, thereby avoiding all of these arguments.