George Washington - He Did Many Great Things

Today is the 4th of July.    Happy Birthday America.    We celebrate our greatness and our stickiness as a nation.  We have survived for over 230 years.   We have bended under pressure, but never wilted.   And, for at least the last 100 years we have been the biggest bad ass country on the planet.   Only Rome’s lofty 3 to 4 century longevity streak stands in our way of breaking the all-time empire record.    

Rome faced barbarians, but none like we have faced.  They had great men, the Caesars Augustus and Marcus Aurelius come to mind, but not as great as the men and women of our storied past and present.

From the beginning, when our fathers from England told us to pay our taxes, we said we shall not, and as for this shipment of your tea we shall not drink it, but instead we shall dump it in the Boston Harbor.  And besides, you scoundrels, we prefer coffee anyway.   And not just any coffee, here is $5 I’d like a Carmel Macchiato.  Make it a Grande.       

We hired a great man but humble farmer from Virginia named George Washington to be the General of a ragged band of men that would expel those red-coated funny talking Brits from our new land.  A stately looking fellow he knew early in life that he had a mug made for a new currency.    

On Christmas night in the year 1776, Washington had to have thought, “This is a cold ass night.   What I wouldn‘t give to be spooning Martha right now.   I bet Adams and Franklin are putting another log in the fireplace.   Oh well, if I can just get across this river and sack the Brits, the $1 bill will be mine for all time.”   

He did and although the dollar bill is rarely used these days with the proliferation of the pick your favorite MLB team debit cards, it still can be found as currency at lemonade stands, small town general stores and in the G-strings of sleazy strippers. 

Besides Washington, there would be other great Americans, to name a few:

When the Brits came back for a rematch in 1812 and burnt our nation’s capital and presumably sniffed Dolly Madison’s underpants from her White House dresser drawers, there were many great men to rise up and fight back.   Among them was a man that gave up a perfectly good Mardi Gras celebration to turn back the Brits at the Battle of New Orleans.    That man was Andrew Jackson.  

When the Rebels among us tried to break us apart and take for themselves our rich fields of cotton and tobacco and eventual redneck race car circuit, a great leader said not so fast.   That man was Abraham Lincoln.      

When Japanese sneak attackers torpedoed our Pacific fleet at Pear Harbor, a man stood before us announcing that despite the Infamy of the attack, it shall not stand.   Women and flat footed men with poor eyesight took to our nations factories to build the weopons of war.   Meanwhile, young men of all backgrounds enlisted en masse to build a force strong enough to repel the Japs from their Pacific roosts.   A great American rallied our nation.   That man was Franklin D Roosevelt.   Harry S Truman would finish his work.

When an odd looking Austrian named Adolph felt that he would be the great empire maker with his evil, hateful and sadistic ways, our leaders said not so fast.   A great general would hatch a creative plan with the help of our Canadian, French & British friends and surprise the Germans in the dark of night at a place called Normandy.   That man was Dwight D Eisenhower.   

Not just a nation of great white men, our nation found its voice and its path toward diversity and equality at the dreaming of a peaceful outspoken Southern Baptist Minister.  The challenges still many, but people of color would one day ascend to the Supreme Court, to the sidelines of NFL champions, and to the ultimate of office jobs, the one with Oval dimensions.  That man with the dream was Martin Luther King.

Men may have hogged the headlines for the first couple hundred years, but no longer.   Women have always been the heart and soul of our nation.   Women of all eras broke through and made their mark.   Women like Abigail Adams, Betsy Ross, and Susan B Anthony.   Women like Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Harriet Tubman.   Women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Sandra Day O’Connor.  And Women like Billie Jean King, Sally Ride, and Oprah Winfrey.  

Americans have always stood together.  Despite our vast differences, and minor political disputes.    We root for American heroes at the Olympics, the Ryder Cup, the Tour De France, and with a slightly less rabid voice and less face painting in the competitions of Nobel and Pulitzer.      When the American runs, swims and skates to victory it is like our own brother or sister is the victor.   We will even look the other way if there may be a rumor that our hero used a corked bat, or a helpful hormonal shot, or had a dirt bag friend club her rivals left knee cap.   Americans all, we root for their victory.

Joe Chestnut - Our Hot Dog Eating Hero with the formidable Kobayashi

Joe Chestnut - Our Hot Dog Eating Hero with the formidable Kobayashi

And so today on the corners of  Stillwell and Surf Avenues on New York’s Coney Island another Great American rises up to represent us.   Joey Chestnut defends his title at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.    Chestnut is a national treasure.    Last year his prowess was revealed as he conquered for the second straight year the foreign dragon, Japan’s eating legend Takeru Kobayashi by eating a record 64 hot dogs.   Kobayashi, the Tiger Woods of eating contests was presumed to be unbeatable.  But Chestnut undeterred, gorged his way to two straight titles.   

Not all of us can be great Presidents, Generals, Activists, Athletes or War Heros.   But to anyone that has ever ate a hot dog, whether it be gourmet or sloppy, with chili or with cheese, at a picnic or at the ballpark, Joey Chestnut should be in our rooting hearts today.    U-S-A!    U-S-A!

  1. […] But despite its setbacks the Small Ball Report would continue to grow during the summer of 2009 and captivated the hearts of readers everywhere – and in particular readers related to Anthony Liebrandt in the middle part of the U.S. as well as Arizona and North Carolina – with insightful observations on the sports of Mutton Busting and Competitive Eating.    […]

Leave a Reply to The Onion withdraws bid for Small Ball Report over poor grammar… and its lack of humor « The Small Ball Report Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s