Shauna Thorne sang the "Star Spangled Banner" before the Tampa Bay Rays game Sunday in fewer than 90 seconds and soon realized her performance was a pretense for an even cooler moment. Her boyfriend, Adam Deeb, wearing a Rays jersey and blue jeans — typical ballpark attire — appeared to surprise her by coming off the sidelines after the last note. Deeb took her hand, knelt down and reached into a pocket, to the delight of many squealing fans in the stands at Tropicana Field.
"I have something I want to say to you," he said. "I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Deeb asked Thorne to marry him. Less than a second later, she said yes, giving Deeb a kiss and a hug. The crowd buzzed like Evan Longoria was coming to bat with runners in scoring position.
Reporter Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times got more details:
Deeb, who is 33, explained in a phone call to the Times later that he and Thorne have been dating for two years. His plan was hatched when she mused that it would be fun to sing the national anthem at a Rays game.
So Deeb got in touch with the Rays organization and arranged for a tryout in February. But behind the scenes he was also planning the big surprise. He rented two suites for friends and family, and he purchased the ring.
As he walked toward Thorne, he said, she had no idea what was happening until he reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. All of it played out on the Jumbotron as friends and family snapped photos and took video.
This past week, The Stew blogged about what it costs to use a team's facilities — such as a live feed on the scoreboard — to propose during a game. The typical Rays fee was $500. If Deeb got all of that done for $500 (plus the cost of renting the suites), he got a good deal.
So, have Deeb and Thorne taken ballpark proposals to the nth degree with the post-anthem wedding proposition? Well, as unique as Deeb's idea sounds, he's not the first fellow to propose to an anthem singer. It happened at least once before, at a Miami Marlins game in 2012.
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