Breaking: Your Friend Maddi Sang at the Game!!!
Imagine this: you’re two soft pretzels in at the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball game and it has yet to even begin. You’re already tired of it since you’re seated butt-to-butt with a stranger because you’re the least favorite in the friend group and had to sit on the end. A hilarious joke is heard in the distance from the cool friend down the aisle and you lean over to hear it, but it was a ‘you had to be there’ kind of joke. You hopelessly look down at your phone, as if you are doing something productive, but the only notification you’ve received is an outlook email titled “Pregnant Mice Needed For a Study – We Want You.” Feeling targeted, you delete the email and give up on that task.
As if life couldn’t get any lower, the infamous Herky the Hawk feels inclined to sit directly on your lap and pet you as if YOU are the strange-looking bird in the situation. At your wit’s end, you decide to get up and buy another pretzel. At this point, it’s stale so you can’t even face yourself after spending ten dollars for such a miserable item, but you did anyway because the only thing in your stomach is your daily vitamin d supplement and go-gurt (for on the go). For one more desperate attempt at joy, you put some cheese on your pretzel and it stains the bright yellow shirt that you tried to crop but your table was covered in half-eaten cereal boxes so you had to find your ironing board, which was ironically full of random bumps from the multiple times you’ve burned it ironing your jeans. At this point, you are raring to leave the game entirely and you’ve simply had enough.
Then suddenly, in one, excellent, stunning, beautiful, fleeting moment, the lights dim, and to your surprise, your friend Maddi walks out!!! And you remember, “Oh my god, Maddi’s supposed to sing the national anthem at the game!”
Maddi takes her power stance and begins with a soft and luxurious “Oh, say can you see?” And at that moment, you see. You truly see. It’s like your entire life, you saw nothing but utter and complete cave darkness, until one brave young woman sang, and you were skyrocketed out of the cave and into the light. Maddi’s voice becomes the beacon of light and hope at the end of the tunnel.
She’s rapidly approaching “and the rocket’s red glare” and your jaw is now closer to the floor than the unpopped popcorn cornel thrown from the grumpy man in front of you. The rockets glare and you dare… to cheer. With your hands turning red from the sheer force of your claps, you take a break to hear the song come to a close.
A single tear trickles down your eye, as you are truly in the land of the free for the first time; Maddi has done it. She finishes the national anthem the only way she knows how, with a humble and undeniably graceful bow. As she walks off into the wings and the crowd roars, you didn’t even realize that you dropped your pretzel in between the seats in front of you in the heat of it all. But you don’t care, you couldn’t even care less. Maddi just put on the performance of a lifetime and you couldn’t be more thrilled for her and the culture. Feeling complete, you leave the game to find out later that they lost, but you know the real winner was yourself because you got to witness your phenomenal friend Maddi sing at the game. What a woman, what a song, what a moment.