Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem on sports’ largest stage at Super Bowl LIII.
“I’m coming home,’ she declared on Twitter after the NFL announcement.
Is that “Midnight Train to Georgia’ we hear playing?
Considering the backlash on social media since the announcement, Knight might want to consider getting a ticket on a 6:20 p.m. train out of Mercedes Benz Stadium. Woo-woo.
There’s been considerable negative comments about her taking the gig in light of the longtime controversy regarding former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee as a way of protesting social injustice and police brutality during the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner.’
“Gladys Knight is now against Colin Kaepernick,’ posted one Tweeter.
“You’re too old not to know better! Why would you perform at the NFL? I’m disappointed in you period,’ said another.
Knight has since issued a statement regarding the reaction to her choice to participate in Super Bowl.
“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,’ she wrote. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.
“I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words … I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us.’
The NFL’s biggest thorn the last two years also has prompted multiple prop bets at BetOnline and MyBookie.
One bet on both sites is:
How long it will take Knight to sing the anthem?
- Over 1 Minute 50 seconds +100
- Under 1 Minute 50 seconds -140
- Over 1 Minute 43 seconds -110
- Under 1 Minute 43 seconds -110
For wagering research purposes, the average recorded length of
“The Star Spangled Banner’ is 1 minute, 40 seconds. Of course, the length varies depending on the performer.
The longest version was performed at Super Bowl XLIII by Alicia Keys, a soulful version sung while she played the piano. It clocked in at 2 minutes 35 seconds. The previous longest version was sung by Natalie Cole at Super Bowl XXVIII coming in at 2 minutes, 32 seconds.
The gold-standard anthem, sung by Whitney Houston backed by the Florida Orchestra, was performed at Tampa Stadium just 10 days after the United States entered the first Gulf War. It was 2 minutes and 15 seconds long.
The anthem has prompted several other bets at MyBookie, including:
Length of time from music start to first not sung?
- Over 5.5 seconds -120
- Under 5.5 seconds -120
Will Gladys forget a word?
- Yes +400
- No -700
What will Gladys use to sing?
- Microphone -100
- Headset +600
Will Gladys be joined by a pianist?
- Yes -200
- No +160
Will any scoring drive take less time than the anthem?
- Yes +115
- No -145