On Thanksgiving Day of 2011, 17-year-old Lauren Alaina flubbed the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.
Internet bullies had a field day with Alaina's error, forcing the American Idol runner-up to reconsider whether she'd sing the national anthem at a sporting event again-- Unless, of course, her home state team the Atlanta Braves returned to the World Series for the first time since 1999.
The Braves not only reached the World Series this season. The National League champs defeated American League winners the Houston Astros in six games for the state of Georgia's third professional sports championship (joining the '95 Braves and the 2018 Atlanta United Football Club).
Alaina faced her fears on Halloween night when she sang the national anthem at the current home of the Braves, Truist Park in Marietta, Ga., during game five of the World Series.
"That sweet, young girl that sang the National Anthem and messed it up on national television. The one that was viciously bullied on the Internet and called UnAmerican," Alaina wrote on social media. "I haven't been able to find the courage to do it ever since that day. I've been asked probably 50 times and declined. The fear had been too much for me to overcome."
How in the WORLD did this SERIESly happen?! There are no words to really convey what this performance meant to me. This performance was for 17 year old Lauren. That sweet, young girl that sang the national anthem and messed it up on national television. The one that was viciously bullied on the internet and called UnAmerican. I haven?t been able to find the courage to do it ever since that day. I?ve been asked probably 50 times and declined. The fear had been too much for me to overcome. UNTIL my team, Atlanta Braves, made the World Series. I said I would sing if they made it. I will eternally be grateful to that group of men for giving me a gift they didn?t even mean to give me. It took me almost ten years to conquer my fear, and I could not be more proud of it. The best part was getting to call my dad and tell him he was going to attend the World Series. Thank you, MLB and The Braves, for one of the most impactful days I?ve had in my career. Thank you, Adam Tico Hernandez, for standing up there with me and giving me the courage to sing. I?m so thankful for you. GO BRAVES. LET?S WIN IT ALL!! ??
Posted by Lauren Alaina on Tuesday, November 2, 2021
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Not only did Alaina conquer her fear with a strong performance. She got to bring along a special guest.
"The best part was getting to call my dad and tell him he was going to attend the World Series," she wrote on social media.
Only singing the anthem the night the Braves clinched a world title could've further sweetened the deal for Alaina. Those honors went to a different country singer, Carly Pearce.
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