WATCH: Navy Lacrosse Team Preps for Games by Belting Out ‘Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue’

News & Politics

The Naval Academy’s women’s lacrosse team competes in the Patriot League against schools “with very strong academic reputations that adhere strongly to the ideal of the ‘scholar-athlete’, with the emphasis on ‘scholar'” 

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At the Naval Academy, it doesn’t matter who’s playing: men, women, or the goat. The competition is for keeps. And the lacrosse Lady Midshipmen found a unique way to get themselves up for a big game that most of us appreciate.

They belt out the late Toby Keith’s 9/11 anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.”

The Instagram video cut to the conference semi-final game against Holy Cross where the Lady Midshipmen trounced their Patriot League rivals 19-5. 

Nothing like a little “Angry American” music to get the blood flowing.

The Lady Middies lost in the conference final to #7 Loyola, 5-4 in overtime. But the viral video of the young future officers getting fired up calls to mind one of the most idiotic controversies in music history.

Toby Keith came from a military family, and in 2001 he watched as the towers fell. He had lost his father, an army veteran who fought in the Korean War, earlier in 2001 in a traffic accident. He wrote the song in about 20 minutes, he says, and began to play it during his USO tour after 9/11. 

But he resisted recording it, even though the reaction on military bases was phenomenal. Finally, the Commandant of the Marine Corps told him it was his patriotic duty to record the song and release it.

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“But once people said I should release it, I knew there was going to be trouble. I’m comfortable being extreme, but saying ‘boot in your a**’ is so extreme. Of course, if you say, ‘foot in your butt,’ you got no song.”

He was set to play the song before a national audience on July 4, 2002, but Peter Jennings thought the song too extreme and nixed his performance. “I thought it was hilarious. My statement was, ‘Isn’t he Canadian?’ to a bunch of press,” Keith said (as quoted by ABC News). “They laughed and then I said, ‘Well, I bet Dan Rather wouldn’t kick me off his show’.”

The Chicks music group (then, the Dixie Chicks) got all bent out of shape.

Wide Open Country:

The second main controversy regarding the song involved The Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks), and specifically lead singer Natalie Maines, who said the song was “ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant.” Keith responded to her comments by displaying a fake photo of Maines with Saddam Hussein. The feud was also fueled by Maines’ famous comments about President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.

Darryl Worley’s 9/11 retrospective, “Have You Forgotten?” speaks of the time after the anger died and there was a concerted effort to control the American people’s emotions.

They took all the footage off my TV
Said it’s too disturbing for you and me
It’ll just breed anger that’s what the experts say
If it was up to me I’d show it everyday

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We’re more than two decades on from that grim day. But Toby Keith’s song has enjoyed a comeback thanks to the Trump campaign and the fact that you can’t keep patriots down.

NPR:

Rally attendee Cora McGrath cheered from her seat when the song played.

“This song applies to Trump because it won’t apply to Biden. He’s made us weak,” she said. “There’s no country song came out in support of this country talking about Biden.”

Today, “Courtesy” fits neatly into a pissed-off political moment, in the view of Country Insider’s Mansfield.

“There are large segments of the population that have gone from anger as a response to a specific event, to anger as just a way of seeing the world,” he said.

I certainly hope that somewhere, the Chicks are seething.

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