CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16: Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears runs out of the tunnel with a flag during player introductions to take on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Johnny Knox
When setting the stage for Sunday's divisional playoff game, the Bears took their cue from another Chicago team who just had a successful postseason -- the Blackhawks. The Bears invited Jim Cornelison, the Blackhawks' national anthem singer, to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" before kickoff, and what resulted was a playoff atmosphere that was magical.
Cornelison was welcomed with loud cheers, and when Chicago fans heard his familiar voice, they reacted just as if they would if they were a few miles west at the United Center. Fans clapped, cheered and yelled along with Cornelison. The raucous atmosphere was turned up a notch as Cornelison reached the line, "that our flag was still THERE," and did his familiar gesture of pointing to the American flag, which was then followed up with a flyover that perfectly corresponded with the end of the anthem.
The raucous atmosphere worked, as the Bears started out the game with a three-and-out on defense and a touchdown on offense. With those kind of results, we hope to see Cornelison at the fifty-yard line, microphone in hand, next Sunday.