Happy belated Fourth of July everyone! Here’s hoping your fingers are intact, your heartburn diminished and your pride in Murica renewed.
I celebrated by watching “Independence Day” and was almost brought to tears by President Whitmore’s speech to his ragtag band of pilots before they took to the air against the tentacle-faced aliens looking to devour Earth’s resources.
In his speech, Whitmore (skillfully played by Bill Pullman) said, “We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests.”
Of course, if you’re a #middleagedgangsta, the place you go to gauge common interests is Facebook. There I found a lot of people are interested in complaining about America on its birthday.
I saw at least four memes touting America’s imperialistic nature — as if we started that trend. In fact, I challenge anyone, anywhere to show me a tribe, country, group of people or sect in the history of mankind that didn’t try and expand their influence.
It may not make actions correct, but it is not fair to pin the phenomena on America.
Each meme was followed by scores of comments piling on about how sucky we are, and Allah help the poor soul who tried to bring any perspective like the one above, or that most major countries — not named Russia, Iran or China — want more America, not less of it.
Now, I’m not here to provide a worldview through rose-colored glasses. The U.S. is far from perfect, and it is our responsibility — and right — to point out what’s wrong. But let’s be clear. It is way easier to find wrong when that is all you look for.
So my challenge is to find a few things that are right:
I know it’s disgusting, and sure, consuming 20,000 calories and enough salt to clear Llewellyn Avenue during an ice storm isn’t healthy, but only in America can a man make six figures simply for being able to maintain a 10 DPM (dogs per minute) pace.
2. Aaron Judge
Growing up, I always wondered what it’d be like if folk hero Paul Bunyan played baseball.
Now we know. Judge is 6’8” and 270 pounds worth of mash, and even though Judge doesn’t roll up to the plate on a blue ox named Babe, he does hit tape-measure shots with an exit velocity of 121 mph.
Speaking of Judge and tape-measure shots, don’t forget the home run derby on Monday.
3. Gordon Hayward making $32 million a year
Of course, the 27-year old isn’t worth that much money, but hot dang, something must be working in capitalist America if a team can pay that much for a 22 PPG, 5 RPG tweener who missed the biggest shot of his career.
4. Binge-watching weekend
I know this isn’t sports-related (though it does involve endurance), or even necessarily American, but I needed to find somewhere to brag about participating in my annual loafathon.
Not sure which theater will be running out of Reese’s Pieces and Sprite this weekend, but I’m thinking “Guardians 2,” “Baby Driver,” “The House” and some “Wonder Woman” because being inclusive is important.
Back home in Michigan we’d call them snow cones. But whatever you call them, nothing quenches a thirst brought on by a Little League tournament quite like an egg custard.
So you see, haters, next time you want to go off on your home, remember, it’s not hard to find the right side of life.
You don’t need booze or a pill, or even a pocket full of money. You just need to look around, turn that frown upside down, and stop whining.
If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.