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Predators Hurt Anthem Singer's Feelings by Replacing Him with Country Stars for Playoffs

So he went to the media to lash out about his ice time.
Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

All professional athletes, no matter how great they are, get replaced. Whether it's by aging into retirement, suffering a devastating injury, or simply being outperformed by a younger and faster player at your position, the inevitability of losing your spot involuntarily is understood by most.

In a city like Nashville, where entertainment is king, your anthem-singing ass can get axed at any time, too.


The Predators have been bringing in celebrity guest anthem singers to fire up the crowd before the team's home playoff games this year. Everybody seems to be pretty jacked up over the performances, except for the Preds' 'regular' anthem singer.

Dennis K. Morgan—who has sung the anthem(s) at Predators home games over 180 times since the team's inception in 2000—is pretty cheesed that massive country music stars like Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill, and Carrie Underwood (who is also captain Mike Fisher's wife), have gotten the call to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" over him during the first two rounds of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.

So, like the worst kind of disgruntled athlete, Morgan went to the press to voice his frustration.

"I'm not going to hide my disappointment and I told the Predators that I have been asked the same question over and over and it's just really getting old," he told the Tennessean on Monday.

"Everywhere I go—obviously at my day job [a healthcare IT recruiting manager] and at [Bridgestone] arena as well as everywhere else I go to church, grocery stores, on the street, in meetings and in restaurants—people want to know how I feel. They came to me and said the captain's [Mike Fisher] wife asked to sing the anthem that night. It was presented to me as a one night only kind of thing and I agreed to it. Then they continued to bring in these other singers and touted them as 'A-listers,' which kind of hurt me."


The Predators released a statement on the matter, as ridiculous as that sounds, when contacted by the paper, which read:

"We have always valued Dennis K. Morgan's performance of the national anthem at Predators' home games. Our arrangement with him has always allowed for nationally and internationally renowned musical artists to perform when available to further enhance our game experience while paying respect to our country through their respective awe-inspiring renditions of the national anthem.

"The reaction from our fans in Bridgestone Arena as well as from around the country to seeing and hearing world class performers such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Vince Gill and his daughters, Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been overwhelmingly positive, bringing national and international exposure to our community while continuing to set our game experience and atmosphere apart from others in professional sports."

Morgan, who said he felt insulted by the organization at first, stated that after taking some time to reflect on everything, he "would love to make it two more seasons because that would be 25 in the NHL and that is kind of a dream of mine."

It's not often, or ever, that an anthem singer goes to the media to complain about ice time. Well, here we are.