Wednesday, July 3, 2013

American athletes need to start celebrating more

This is our Independence Day, America. Happy birthday!  Gather around the cake to blow out the candles!

It’s a day to celebrate our existence and a day to revel in our supremacy in the world of sports as the No. 1 Super Power on the planet.

Let’s celebrate our tennis where “Breakfast at Wimbledon” always has been a Denny’s-like All-American Grand Slam breakfast served with either McEnroe, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Christie Evert or the Williams sisters or a side of something with USA. 

But, wait! Not one American women’s singles player made it past the quarterfinals this year and not one American men’s singles player got past the third round and that has not happened since, well, the Girls Scouts were founded and the Titanic sank!

OK, let’s celebrate our golf. Tiger Woods is the No. 1 player in the world, right? He was the favorite to win this year’s U.S. Open, our national tournament, though he finished tied for 65th place, 20 strokes behind the winner in the subsequent tournament. Must have been a fluke, huh?

But, wait! The supposed favorite at the U.S. Open, our national tournament, shot his worst 72-hole score as a pro and finished 12 strokes behind the winner … a guy from South Africa?

Well, at least we still have baseball, which is as American as a sport gets. Baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet is a staple of the USA. Baseball is our national pastime for goodness sakes!

But, wait! The All-Star Game, our Mid-Summer Classic, is approaching and the hottest baseball on the planet is … a rookie from Cuba?

Is there a sport left on this planet that an American doesn’t dominate anymore? We still have LeBron James, but we have to rely on him and his like to win the Olympic gold medal in basketball anymore because the rest of the world is dribbling up our behind.

What in the name of Uncle Sam is going on here!? No American male tennis player has won a Grand Slam event since our Labor Day weekend in 2006. No American runner has won the Boston Marathon, staged on Patriots Day, in 30 years! No American has won the Indianapolis 500, held on the weekend we honor of fallen heroes, in seven years, the longest drought in the race since, well, the friggin’ Declaration of Independence!

I have nothing against foreigners. This is a free country where you are entitled to anything except -- in the case of too many NFL players -- bail.

But this is a troubling trend. Our athletes used to be driven to be the best but we’re even losing our edge in the X Games and we invented them.  Other than Americans winning the last three Conn Smythe trophies for being MVP of the NHL playoffs, we hardly look like a Super Power. And the Conn Smythe only matters in Canada any hoo. 

So go ahead and celebrate America’s birthday today. But, sports fans of the good ole USA, do me a big favor. When you blow out the candles, make a wish.


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