"The multi-platinum rock band STYX will be performing the National anthem at this Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"In addition to their Anthem performance, STYX will also be performing a special a capella rendition of their hit song 'Renegade,' which has become a battle cry for Steelers fans cheering on the team's defense."
So far, so good — that, is, until I came upon this quote from Styx guitarist James "JY" Young:
"Having been a fan of the Steelers ever since the days of Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene and the Steel Curtain Defense, and counting former '90s era linebacker Kevin Greene as a friend and fan of our music, STYX is proud to have the Steelers continue to use our song to rev up their defense and their fans in attendance at Heinz Field. Having met Jerome Bettis at a charity event a number of years ago in Chicago and then seeing him become MVP of the recent Steeler Super Bowl victory, it just makes it that much sweeter for me and my Styx band mates to know that our song 'Renegade' helped motivate this great NFL franchise to another championship moment."
That's when the sirens started going off. Because if there's one thing anyone knows about Styx (that is, besides their former keyboard player Dennis DeYoung inflicting the likes of "Babe," "Sail Away" and "Mr. Roboto" on the world), it's that this, er, "classic" rock group has always been associated with the "classic" city of Chicago, Illinois. It's where virtually all Styx's members were born and raised, where they originally formed the band and Styx has always been based, and where Mr. James Young has always, and continues to, reside.
It's also well known that JY is the biggest sports fan in the band, and that's he's an especially huge football fan. And guess what team he's always rooted for. From the statement above, you'd think the Steelers, right?
"It's not really a surprise to find Chicago native James Young and his STYX band mates performing at the Super Bowl--they've performed at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa in 2001 and two years later at Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego. But his trek to Super Bowl XLI in Miami holds special significance--he'll have the chance to root for his favorite team, the Chicago Bears to down the Indianapolis Colts.
"'It's been 22 years since the Bears last won the Super Bowl (1985) and before that it was 21 years (1963), so every couple of decades or so we seem to back ourselves into a Championship game,' said Young."
Isn't it comforting to know that this guy is only too willing to turn on a dime from the hometown team that he's rooted for all his life, and basically throw the Bears--and by inference the entire city of Chicago--under the bus (and I don't mean Pettis, either), simply to try and get some commercial mileage for his dinosaur rock band? And they're going to let this Benedict Arnold sing the National Anthem? Is nothing sacred?
James Young just better hope Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus and Brian Urlacher aren't watching the game Sunday. Because if they are, by Monday morning old JY may find himself headed up the real river Styx. And without a paddle, either.
- Heinz Field
- San Diego Chargers