When a big-name sings the national anthem at a sporting event, there’s usually not much of a connection between the singer and the team they're singing for.
That will be far from the case with Brad Corrigan, of famed indie-rock band Dispatch, who will be singing the national anthem Saturday when the Rapids battle the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (7 pm MT). Corrigan has developed a friendship with several Rapids players after being a regular at Rapids games for years. And now, the Denver native will get the chance to sing in front of his friends and fellow fans Saturday night - his first time singing the anthem at an event.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Corrigan told MLSsoccer.com this week. “I’ve been nervously excited all week. It will really be one of the highlights of my life.”
This coming from someone whose band has played in front of over 110,000 in Boston and has sold out Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, and numerous other high-profile venues.
Corrigan’s passion for the Rapids began in earnest last year, when a mutual friend first introduced Rapids winger Wells Thompson to the singer. Over a cup of coffee, the two discussed Thompson’s honeymoon (Thompson got married last December), and Corrigan helped set Thompson up with a one-week vacation working with a non-profit group in Nicaragua. The photo above is of Corrigan (left), with Thompson and his wife Daphne, during the missionary trip to Nicaragua.
"We just hit it off,” said Corrigan, who plans to attend several Rapids games this summer. “It’s just been fun. I couldn’t be more passionate about the Rapids and the guys.”
Corrigan’s friendships quickly extended beyond Thompson. Captain Pablo Mastroeni, a big Dispatch fan himself, got in touch with Corrigan as well, and now the two have also become good friends. Right back Kosuke Kimura is also a new friend of Corrigan’s. And who knows, by the end of the season, the whole team could be doing dinner at Corrigan’s house.
“They’re an awesome bunch of guys,” said Corrigan, who regularly speaks with Thompson, Mastroeni and Kimura.
While Corrigan has become a big Rapids fan -- he plans on attended 10 to 12 Rapids home games this summer -- Saturday’s national anthem rendition will be a warm up of sorts. On May 30th, Corrigan will take his talents to Landover, Md., to sing before the US men’s national team battles Brazil at FedEx Field.
But in the meantime, Corrigan will have to settle for singing in front of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and his new-found friends clad in burgundy. And he couldn’t be more excited.
“It’s an indescribable honor,” Corrigan said.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.