Top 10 most patriotic moments in sports history

We stand on the eve of an important milestone. A day that provokes national reflection. The kind of moment that makes you proud to be an American.

Yes, Joey Chestnut is poised to topple Kobayashi in the hot-dog eating contest today.

Of course, even if Mr. Chestnut fails in his valiant effort (update: He didn't), the team at We Rite Goode wanted to spend today pondering other patriotic moments in our nation's sports history. We've already detailed our methodology and listed some moments that didn't quite make the cut, as well as the sporting events threatening to give Lady Liberty a black eye in recent years.

Thus after much deliberation, our top 10 list follows below. We expect a quibble here or there, so tell us what we got wrong or forgot using the comments at post's end. Have a swell Independence Day, all.

#10) San Diego Padres dress their players in camouflage
It's often ignored in the wake of more important stuff, but the U.S. has been effectively at war for the past five years. But one group hasn't forgotten our overseas troops: The San Diego Padres, who honor our soldiers the best way they know how--by stationing a National Guard unit at Petco.

Still, the camouflauge isn't enough to qualify for top 10 status; what makes the difference is that the Pads apparently don't limit themselves to guarding the San Diego Zoo. As the San Diego Union Tribune reports, with some choice editing:
"As often as he could this offseason, Peavy had a gun or a bow in his hand... According to Peavy..."the coolest thing for me [was wearing] 'United States of America' [gear]."

Look, I'm just going to connect the dots--weapons...gear...crossbow--and say that Peavy sounds like a dude who'd welcome the hills of Kabul in the offseason. And that's just one Pad--who knows what damage the Giles brothers could reek on Al Qaeda? Clothes make the man and camo makes an army unit. So thank you, Padres, for all you do. Peavy for the Cy and America salutes you.

(Update: Some WRG writers are taking strong issue with the Padres' camo making our top 10. If you can give us a better example in the 10 spot, we'll consider it.)


((Update on the Update: So commenter Anon suggests Whitney Houston singing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV--and we don't disagree. God bless America, indeed.))
).


#9) Americans rally to win 1999 Ryder Cup
Skip to 3:21 to see the greatness that was Justin Leonard's 45-foot birdie putt. Of course, the Euros got their bobbysocks in a twist when the US then celebrated on the green--ok, so maybe Jose Maria Olazabal had a putt of his own to attempt--but pish-posh. That attitude lost you the New World, Jeeves!


#8) Hulk Hogan enters the ring to his "Real American" theme song
The WWF=an American institution. And nothing says patriotic like Hulk Hogan in front of a blue screen!!

The real question is, with skills like these, why didn't the Hulkster compete in the recent U.S. Air Guitar championships? This is a time where the U.S. needs leadership...and Hogan knows best!


#7) '92 Dream Team: Barkley elbows an Angolan
Sure, the US won each game handily. And forget pictures after the game--our opponents basically begged posterized, if only to save on film costs. But no moment better personifies the American spirit than the Chuckster's elbow to an innocent Angolan player; the Dream Team may have been on its way to a 46-1 run, but it was missing something (thuggery!), which Charles amply provided. Somehow, Barkley's elbow didn't make the Top 10 list of plays, however...but we know how key it was.


#6) 1980 Winter Olympics: USA Hockey over the USSR
Although we didn't see any other "patriotic moments" lists, this Hockey semi-finals would seem to be contractually required for one. However, we mixed it up just a little and lifted a video from the movie "Miracle" instead.


#5) Rocky wins the Cold War! I mean, defeats Ivan Drago
For my money, the first Rocky was just as patriotic as #4--who can resist the old Horatio Alger story, starring a slurring low-level mob muscle man and Carl Weathers? But for sheer "America, **** yeah!" attitude, you can't top a Moscow crowd cheering for the flag-clad Italian Stallion. I think Sports Guy credits this movie for glasnost.



#4) Randall Simon takes out Guido, the Italian sausage

A shocking, violent, depraved act--until you realize that Simon, in his nationalistic fervor, was merely helping America's own "Frankie Furter" along to victory.

#3) Rick Monday saves the American flag
Another must-have moment for this list. A quick gesture with a lot of staying power. It probably helped that an All-American boy like Monday was the one to rescue Old Glory, and not his teammate in the outfield, Ivan Von Kruschevzky.


#2) Steve Francis refuses to play in Vancouver
In the news a lot this week because of Yi Jianlian, but came right to our minds before that. From the Sports Guy's old Draft Diary:

After the Grizzlies select Stevie Francis second, a disappointed Francis puts on a Grizzlies hat, shakes hands with Stern and tries to pretend he's happy. But when he and his grandmother head on stage for an interview with Sager, Francis becomes steadily more distraught by the realization that he's heading to Vancouver. When Sager asks him, "How does it feel?", Francis rolls his eyes, holds back tears, leans back in his seat, stares up at the roof in dismay and looks like he might start screaming. Sager quickly throws it back to Ernie.


On "PTI," guest host J.A. Adande said that by demanding a trade, Francis helped "destroy basketball in Vancouver." I'm not sure I'd go that far--although Francis get smajor America points regardless--but selfishness, greed, and hissy-fits? Why, good for Steve in taking those abroad...Canadians could stand to learn a few things! And who can blame Francis for begging out? The city's clean, healthy--an underrated center of the entertainment industry. We're talking affluence, and you certainly wouldn't want that...as a multi-millionaire basketball player.


#1) Tiger bagging a Swedish bikini team model
Yes, Woods is the king of golf. And it's not unusual for athletes golfers to get lucky; Phil Mickelson has Amy, David Toms has Sonya.

But let's be honest. Mickelson and Toms...well, they seem like average guys. Try as he might to hide it, Tiger's nerdom is as part of him as his Stanford education.



And success doesn't always equate to a Swedish bikini team model. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world...and, erm, I'm sure his wife's personality makes for a happy marriage. Perhaps they have stimulating conversation. But anyway.

No, I will always remember when I found out Tiger was with Elin. Not because I'm a huge golf fan, a Tiger fan, or somehow follow the Swedish bikini models on a daily (as opposed to the more regular biweekly) basis. But because this is any red-blooded American's dream. U-S-A!

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by Crucifictorious @ 07:27,

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At July 5, 2007 at 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought that some of your runner-ups were better than some of these...Randall Simon over the 02 World Cup, seriously?

 
At July 6, 2007 at 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realize this is mostly a joke, but #1 should be Whitney Houston at Super Bowl.

 
At July 8, 2007 at 1:25 AM, Anonymous CrazyDaddyNet said...

Pat Tillman should live forver in the minds of American Sports Fans. The Arizona Cardinal that retired and went and died to defend our country.
He was young, talented, had it all, and went to fight for us all in what he thought to be the right thing for all Americans.

God Bless him and his family.

 
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