Tony Romo throws out first pitch at
Wrigley Field

Romo Wrongs Wrigley

May 13, 2008 11:43 AM
by Anne Szustek
Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo is the latest of celebrities to bungle “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

30-Second Summary

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw the opening pitch at Wrigley Field for Sunday’s matchup between the home team Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that its hometown team’s star “was showered with boos.”

Seven innings later, his stab at singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” received similar reviews from Cubs fans. Not only was he off-key—so much, in fact, that celebrity gossip blog Mollygood quipped that “judging by his vocal technique, it seems someone has been taking lessons from girlfriend Jessica Simpson” —he had forgotten the words.

The Wisconsin native and former player at Eastern Illinois University’s vocals made Wrigley’s “Friendly Confines” a little less hospitable and brings back memories of other celebrity messes of the song.

Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears head coach, tackled the song with gusto, singing the lyrics in record time. Nascar driver Jeff Gordon was quite slow off the mark in comparison—calling the ballpark “Wrigley Stadium” during a May 2005 game, forgetting the words, and then interpreting the song in early 1990s rap form. He still fared better than rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who failed to enunciate the lyrics during his turn at the mic.

Longtime Chicago sportscaster Harry Caray made the song a tradition by near-accident in 1971 while broadcasting for the Chicago White Sox. He sang the game to himself in the press box. Team owner Bill Veeck installed a hidden mic, broadcasting the song to the entire stadium, and it became a Windy City baseball tradition that traveled with Caray to the Cubs in 1981. Since Caray’s death in 1998, the Cubs have had hundreds of celebrities and locals lead the crowd in the song.

Headline Link: ‘Tony Romo Sings a Cubs Game’

Video: ‘Chicago Cubs—Take Me Out to the Ballgame’

Background: Other celebrity renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

Historical Context: Harry Caray and the seventh-inning stretch

Opinion & Analysis: Critiques of Tony Romo’s Wrigley performance


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