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06-2022

Kizla: How the song “Star-Spangled Banner” for AVS healed a hole in Jake Schroeder’s heart

Can a song save the life of a lost man?

The first time Jake Schroeder belted “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Avalanche Games in 1998, he was an uninformed father of a newborn baby girl. Back in those days, Schroeder often slept in his underwear as his funk band OP Gone Bad rolled off the highway to their next gig. Desperate for rent money, he turned to the bar for tips. Every waking moment, his heart ached from the fresh, jagged wound of divorce.

“I was struggling. I wasn’t in a good place. I wasn’t taking good care of myself,” Schroeder told me. “It was a point where my life could have gone either way. The national anthem gave me a sense of community when I really needed it.”

When all this could have been bad for OP, he grew up to be the Anthem Guy in Colorado. Schroeder is now escorted from 16th Street Mall to the Champs-Elysees to thank him for making us stand tall as Americans.

As Schroeder prepares to sing the anthem for AVS for the 1,000th time on Saturday night, he is humbled by a gift wrapped in red, white, and blue.

While it might be a stretch to suggest it to every hockey fan who has saved his life or hummed, there is no doubt that they have replaced Schroeder for the better which will warm his heart forever. .

“It’s a tough song. Nothing rhymes. But it shakes my feelings,” Schroeder said Thursday. “I’m so grateful. What a gift this song is for being such a big chapter in my life. ,

On this Veterans Day, before Colorado took the ice and beat Vancouver 7-1, Schroeder worked his magic, prompting 17,226 spectators to join in the celebration of a tune harder than a grand piano.

“It’s not my song, it’s the people,” Schroeder said. “So I’ve always been very careful to encourage everyone in the building to sing along.”

The anthem’s signature moment in Denver is a call-and-response, with Schroeder singing proofs through the night as arena rafters shake as spectators shout: “Ours. Flag. Was. Still. There!”

“It was never planned on my part,” Schroeder said. The encouraging mantra was “an organic thing; It started after 9/11.”

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