Does patriotism cost too much?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Bob Kellogg (

A pro-family leader in Pennsylvania is not buying a state hockey league's claim that it wants to stop singing the National Anthem before games to save money.

According to Ed Sam of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL), eliminating the National Anthem "has nothing to do with patriotism" and everything to do with economics. Officials claim that at $300 an hour, ice is too expensive to allow time for the song. But Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania thinks the move is political.

"Gramley, Diane (AFA of Pennsylvania)It's disgraceful that they would even consider not playing the National Anthem," she contends. "I don't care what the cost of ice is. Hopefully they will reconsider, but if this continues … I can see it having a ripple effect into other sports."

The decision affects the 183 high schools that play in the league, and it has been met with fierce opposition from parents and fans.

"We need to have patriotism encouraged rather than discouraged," Gramley insists. "And for the students to see their hockey league doing this, to me it's not a good idea."

If the ice rinks rent for about $300 an hour and the National Anthem takes two to three minutes to play, that would save about $10 to $15 dollars a game. But the AFA of Pennsylvania reports that the PIHL posted a "special statement" on its website November 14.

"The PIHL has not banned the National Anthem," it reads. "A badly worded statement went out to teams about the subject, and it has since been clarified and corrected. We apologize for the misunderstanding, but the National Anthem has not and will not be banned."

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details
Retraction missing from apology

Two and a Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones has been in the media spotlight the past few days for his negative comments about the TV program. Though he has apologized for his comments, an analyst points out that he did not recant his proclamation about the show's crude content.