CNBC's Rovell sings anthem, fulfills wish

CNBC's Rovell sings anthem, fulfills wish

CNBC's Rovell sings anthem, fulfills wish
ST. PETERSBURG -- During Spring Training, CNBC's Darren Rovell revealed a suppressed desire via a Twitter message.

"I said I want to sing the national anthem, that was on my bucket list, you know let's get it going," Rovell said.

Check that one off the bucket list.

Rovell not only sang the Star Spangled Banner prior to Thursday afternoon's Rays-Blue Jays contest at Tropicana Field, he also sang the Canadian national anthem.

"It went pretty well," Rovell said when asked to assess his performance. "I now understand how people screw up. I will say the Star Spangled Banner is very tough. It's almost like the criticism journalists get from athletes, that they never played the game. I now think that if you have never sung it before, it's hard to criticize anyone. The nerves did kick in. Not a lot. But the nerves were definitely kicking in when I saw the whole stadium standing up."

Not only did Rovell sing, he interviewed Rays president Matt Silverman, reported live throughout CNBC's Business Day programming, and took part in the Rays' first-ever Tweet-Up.

The Tweet-Up was open to all Twitter users, but specifically targeted followers of the Rays team accounts @RaysRepublic and @RaysBaseball. Rovell, who is a CNBC sports business reporter (@darrenrovell), has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and planned to tweet throughout the afternoon from different locations inside Tropicana Field.

Being a huge believer in social media helped sway Rovell to accept the Rays' offer to sing at Tropicana Field.

"I got offers from the Tigers, they were going to have the Four Tops tutor me," Rovell said. "The Pirates were going to have Huey Lewis step out. He had a postgame concert, and I was going to do it with the Mets, they're kind of my team. The White Sox offered. But I decided to go with the Rays because they had a commitment to a bigger idea, which is the whole social media thing. I thought that was about more than just me, which was kind of cool."

Now that singing the national anthem has been scratched off Rovell's bucket list, he was asked what's next.

"Let's see, I've stood in against a Josh Beckett fastball," Rovell said. "I've played Andy Roddick in tennis, competed in the hot dog eating contest. I don't know, I guess that's the fun of it. But I've got to step it up. This is probably the most intense of the challenges of myself."

As part of Thursday afternoon's promotion, the Rays published tweets using the Rays Tweet-Up hashtag (#RaysTweetUp) on the RaysVision scoreboard throughout the game. The @RaysRepublic, which holds a free in-game Twitter Trivia contest during every Rays home game, planned to give away a Rays autographed baseball every inning during the game.

The Rays have seven players that use Twitter, plus Manager Joe Maddon: Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria), David Price (@DAVIDprice14), B.J. Upton (@BJUPTON2), Reid Brignac (@reidbrignac), Sam Fuld (@SamFuld5), Ben Zobrist (@TheZobrists), Cesar Ramos, Kelly Shoppach, and Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon).

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.