Top of the morning, Jan. 2, 2014

Something to get you going today, courtesy executive editor Jim Rossow.

As a national anthem performer, Daniel Borup gets around. The 23-year-old Uni High and University of Illinois grad — whose story we told in Wednesday's N-G — has belted out "The Star-Spangled Banner" more than 20 times before Illini athletic events, including 10 men's basketball games. A first-year grad student at Stanford, Borup did the anthem at a Cardinal's men's basketball game in November and is scheduled to sing before a gymnastics meet in March.

Clearly a big man on campus, Borup has higher aspirations. His battle hymn bucket list:

NCAA tournament title game

"March Madness is my favorite couple of weeks of the sports year. I remember when Illinois played in it in 2005. I was a subfreshman at Uni and we watched the game at the Assembly Hall. That definitely would be a little nervy because it'd be my first time doing it on TV."

Cubs game

"I've been a Cubs fan since I was little. Wrigley is such an iconic place, it would be cool to go up there and be a part of it. Maybe I could sing before a Cubs' World Series game, but I don't think that's in the cards anytime soon."

Super Bowl

"That's the obvious choice — and pretty awesome. The one thing about the Super Bowl, there's a prop bet on how long the anthem is going to be. That would be different to be a part of something that is going to cost people millions of dollars."

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UIUCHoopFan wrote on January 02, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I truly enjoy young Mr. Borup's interpretation of our national anthem.  He sings it as it was written, allowing his voice to express its meaning.  He vocalizes "The Star Spangled Banner" with pride, bestowing honor on the words and music.  His performances have been about the music and its message, not the singer himself or creative interpretation.