In Defense of John Amirante

Bkz5-2JIQAE1KnP.jpg largeYesterday, NY Post’s Phil Mushnick decided to go after Rangers National Anthem singer, John Amirante in his weekly rant.

It was an article that is entirely unfair and uncalled for.

Mushnick, in his infinite wisdom, decided to muse that Amirante sings the anthem in a way that is “classless.”

He continues:

“Sure, it’s no big deal that with the Rangers’ exciting climb to the Stanley Cup finals that the Garden has allowed anthem-singer John Amirante to present our national anthem as if it were a mix of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the Rangers’ Fan Club song.

“And I suppose it’s no big deal that Amirante has chosen to exploit our anthem to showboat by waving a towel overhead while singing it.”

Amirante has been signing the anthem at the Garden since 1979. Besides the Rangers, he has also sang at Knicks, Yankees, Giants and Mets games and he has done it in the same style that revs up the crowd every single time.

But now it’s apparently a problem because Mushnick, who is watching from home, decrees it is.

I have covered the Rangers since 2005-06. I know Amirante, who is a kind man. I have written articles about him and with him. He and his wife come in from his home on Long Island for almost every Ranger games; however the Garden sometimes replaces him, much to his chagrin. And even in his 70s, Amirante sings with the same enthusiasm that he did 30 years ago.

Mushnick who has never covered an event live – he’s a TV critic – should have something better to do with his time than attack a Garden institution. But how many times can you attack Mike Francessa or Michael Kay?

I guess it was a slow news day.

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