Craig Morgan has performed the National Anthem many, many times and is well aware of what can go wrong during such a stressful performance. The singer tells Taste of Country that he didn’t see Steven Tyler‘s heavily criticized performance before yesterday’s AFC championship game, but he feels bad for him anyway.

“The Anthem is a tough song to do, and I feel bad for anybody who gets out there and has problems with it,” Morgan says. The first problem is getting the sound right, which is always a headache. He explains that even if the performer has in-ear monitors, it’s difficult to hear in NFL stadiums or arenas.

“The second is the pressure. It’s just you, man,” Morgan says. “There’s no music, there’s nothing to cover you up. It ain’t like it’s a song that you wrote. If I’m singing ‘This Ole Boy‘ and I forget some words or something, I can kind of make something up and not a lot of attention [is] paid to it. You can’t do that with the National Anthem. People have tried [laughs].”

That’s partly what happened with Tyler on Sunday, but he’s getting more negative feedback for taking liberties with the melody and style than his minor lyrical mishaps. Fans of the Aerosmith frontman are quick to point out that he just sang it like he’d sing any other song. What do people expect?

While Super Bowl XLVI is still 13 days away, Morgan has made a prediction. “Man, I don’t want them to win, but New England,” he said when asked who he would take. He explained that he has nothing against the Patriots or their Boston fan base, but his road manager is a huge fan which makes him not a fan. That’s just the way the two compete.

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