The following article, Watch: NFL Legend Roasted Online for Rendition of National Anthem, was first published on Flag And Cross.
At long last, the national nightmare for NFL fans is over … kind of.
The 2023-2024 NFL season officially kicked off on Thursday with the annual preseason Hall of Fame game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.
It was the quintessential return for the league. The Hall of Fame game featured two tortured fan bases brimming with hope, legendary players of yore were honored for their past contributions, and the backup players for both the Jets and the Browns played a perfectly fine game (sans the power outage issue).
But no NFL game would be complete without some sort of national anthem controversy, and the Hall of Fame game was no different in that regard — albeit there was nothing intentionally controversial about this rendition.
Before the Browns beat the Jets 21-16 at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, both teams lined up for the traditional singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game.
As is often the case, someone of repute was chosen to sing the anthem: Soon-to-be minted Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware.
Take a look at Ware’s version of the song below:
Hall of Famer @DeMarcusWare sings the Star Spangled Banner
— NFL (@NFL) August 4, 2023
It was … okay? Yes, the man was off-key and yes, he seemed a bit out of tempo. But Ware made the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for a reason.
That didn’t stop critical X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) users from roasting the former Dallas Cowboy and Denver Bronco standout.
bro, he so out of key the doors locked
— Fame (@youFamousEnough) August 4, 2023
— DFreshmaker (@TheDFreshmaker) August 4, 2023
I love Demarcus but he is not a great singer at all. Terrible anthem.
— Twister (@Twister32733092) August 4, 2023
Did he win a raffle or something??
— Sean Murphy (@seanhalfcourt) August 4, 2023
Though that last X user asked if Ware won “a raffle or something” to be able to sing the iconic song, the standout outside linebacker actually offered a touching reason for volunteering for this role despite not being a singer at all.
DeMarcus Ware sang the National Anthem for Demaryius Thomas. pic.twitter.com/2AeTVpCMKT
— NFL (@NFL) August 4, 2023
Ware explained that he was singing the anthem for former Broncos teammate Demaryius Thomas, who tragically passed away at just 33 years old in December 2021. Thomas and Ware were seen standing next to each other during the national anthem in the past.
So no, Ware’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t exactly Whitney Houston from 1991.
But it was still a touching moment, and the unofficial start to what could be a wild ride of an NFL season.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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