Fay Vincent: A National Anthem Answer for Jon Stewart

From a Wall Street Journal commentary by Fay Vincent headlined “A National Anthem Answer for Jon Stewart”:

The other day Jon Stewart questioned why fans at sports events stand for the national anthem. “Does anyone know when that started?” he asked. “It’s such a weird ritual.“

The custom has its roots in the 1918 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. There was reduced interest in baseball, so the Cubs were interested in tying the opening game to wartime patriotism. Accordingly, during the seventh-inning stretch, a band began to play the national anthem.