The Field Museum’s Brachiosaurus is outfitted with a Chicago Blackhawks extra large jersey Monday. — Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune, April 22, 2013 (x)
For Jim Cornelison, performing the “Star Spangled Banner” isn’t as easy as simply walking out on the ice and warbling along. It’s a process that actually starts the day before he sings.
» No bars, no drinks: Cornelison has a self-imposed rule of not going to bars the night before a game. “When you’re at bars, you’re usually talking pretty loud, and I don’t want to exert my voice. I also don’t drink much because it dehydrates you.”
» Quiet time: For at least three hours before the game, Cornelison tries to stay somewhere quiet, often watching a movie in silence.
» The right stuff: He arrives at the United Center about an hour before each game and eats in the media lounge, always making sure to drink a Diet Coke. He stays away from potentially clogging foods like peanut butter and ice cream.
» Band meeting: With 15 minutes to go before game time, Cornelison goes upstairs to meet with Hawks organist Frank Pellico to talk about how best to play the song. Because of a chest injury, Cornelison tells Pellico to play the anthem in B-flat at the April 6 game against the Blues. “It’s significantly lower than usual, but it hurts like hell.”