Why We Love Sports in America: 2011

Categories: 'Tis the Season

America Sports 2011.jpg
Since I'm out on vacation next week let me get to this Fourth of July tradition a little early: Happy Birthday, America.

Our country turns the ripe old age of 235 on Monday. Between burgers and beers and bikinis, I'll make time this weekend remembering how friggin' fortunate we are to have a variety of sports and the freedom to choose which ones we love and loathe.
As usual, add to the list if you want. Or just pick and choose. Whatever.
It's a free country.


235. Labor lockouts peace

234. Failure Jesus, working his magic on Dwyane Wade.

233. The right to hate Tom Hicks and the responsibility of remembering Chuck Greenberg.

232. Cowboys' Super Bowl expectations. Every single year.

231. Tiger Woods' rise. And fall.

230. Ron Washington's relentless optimism.

229. Cowboys Stadium.

228. Jon Gruden.

227. Jordan Spieth's future and Dez Bryant's present.

226. The star on the helmet.

225. Yankee pinstripes.

224. The 18th at Pebble Beach.

223. Dick Vitale, John Madden and, yes, even Brent Musburger.

222. Marion Jones, before she lied.

221. Hail Mary and Touchdown Jesus.

220. The Ice Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the Beer 'n Bowl.

219. Game 7.

218. Cameron Crazies.

217. Stockton to Malone.

216. Rick Carlisle.

215. The Williams sisters.

214. Boston's Green Monster and Augusta's green jacket.

213. The 12th Man.

212. Brian's Song.

211. Spurrier's visor.

210. "H-O-R-S-E," "Hot Box" and "Tackle the Man with the Football."

209. Happy Valley and March Madness.

208. Michael Jordan.

207. The seventh-inning stretch and "Down the stretch they come!"

206. Army-Navy.

205. Pauley Pavilion.

204. Caddyshack.

203. "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

202. Atlanta's Tomahawk Chop.

201. Vince Lombardi.

200. Don King, Gene Keady and Slick Watts.

199. Kobe in the clutch and Junior on the gas.

198. Hot dogs.

197. The Three J's, The Four Horsemen and The Fab Five.

196. "It ain't over 'til it's over."

195. Hawg hats, Fort Worth Cats and Minnesota Fats.

194. Mark Holtz.

193. A two-putt birdie.

192. Wide Right and Student Body Left.

191. Britney Griner.

190. The smell of fresh-cut grass on Opening Day.

189. Slow-motion instant replays.

188. Al Davis' white(ish) windbreaker.

187. Pizza delivered simultaneously with kickoff.

186. The hole in the roof so God can watch his favorite team.

185. The Immaculate Reception.

184. A no-hitter after eight.

183. Jimmy Connors at Flushing Meadows. At night.

182. Alligator arms, swim moves and The Shark.

181. Tom Dempsey.

180. The Silver Boot, the Iron Skillet and plain ol' braggin' rights.

179. Underdogs.

178. Navratilova vs. Evert.

177. Grass.

176. Hat tricks via bicycle kicks.

175. Jerry Jones.

174. NFL Films.

173. Bo Jackson.

172. Bobby Knight's sweaters. And trifecta bettors.

171. Texas-OU Weekend.

170. Flo-Jo and Little Mo.

169. DirecTV's Sunday ticket.

168. Two points, three-peats and four- baggers through the five hole.

167. Robert Hughes.

166. Slap Shot.

165. Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston and Deion Sanders on the
other side of the camera.

164. John Wooden's program and Red Auerbach's cigar.

163. The Steel Curtain.

162. Taking your glove to the game.

161. Tatu. And tattoos.

160. "Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!"

159. Amen corner. And Death Valley.

158. Nike vs. Reebok.

157. No. 1 vs. No. 16.

156. Boomer Sooner, Rocky Top and "wake up the echoes."

155. One-handed 360.

154. Phil Jackson's Triangle and Dean Smith's four corners.

153. Breathe Rights, eye black, mouthpieces and ear holes.

152. The Great One and The Greatest.

151. "Fumblerooski."

150. Monday Night Football's old theme music.

149. "Havlicek stole the ball!"

148. A-Roid.

147. The Ring of Honor.

146. Between the hedges.

145. Reggie Miller vs. Spike Lee.

144. Chris Berman.

143. The chills + a hangover + the day off = the Cotton Bowl.

142. Two minutes for roughing.

141. Rick Reilly.

140. "The Friendly Confines." And Raiders fans.

139. The Zamboni.

138. Yankees-Red Sox.

137. "He could ... go ... all .. the ... way ..."

136. Joe Pa.

135. Tailgating.

134. The Downtown Athletic Club.

133. A blue parking pass.

132. Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock draft.

131. Erin Andrews.

130. Tim Duncan's bank shot.

129. Rick Barry's underhand free throw.

128. Goal-line stands and the Stanford band.

127. "Can I have your autograph?"

126. Dollar dog night.

125. Brett Farve, retired.

124. Brad Sham and Eric Nadel.

123. Lambeau Field in January.

122. Sports talk radio.

121. Miami vs. Florida vs. Florida State.

120. "Steeeerriiiike Three!," "Let's play two!" and "We're No. 1!"

119. Roger Staubach down 13 with 2:19 remaining.

118. Dropping the gloves. And catching big air.

117. The Sky Hook.

116. "Coooold beeeeeer!!"

115. Robert Horry, Adam Vinatieri and Mariano Rivera, when it really matters.

114. Bobblehead night.

113. The fair pole.

112. NASCAR sponsors.

111. Doomsday.

110. Your baseball cap in the dishwasher, a shoestring around your glove.

109. Office pools.

108. Pistol Pete.

107. Day games.

106. "The Catch."

105. Duke vs. North Carolina.

104. "Hey, ump, you're missing a great game!"

103. North Dallas Forty.

102. Soccer moms.

101. Michael Johnson's golden shoes.

100. Bevo.

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My Voice Nation Help

thanks for the Rocky Top mention Richie! GO VOLS!

D. Alexander 83
D. Alexander 83

Desmond Howard and "the pose"Mike EruzioneWide rightSid Bream's slideJosh at the HR DerbyThe Red River ShootoutJunior Griffey and the backwards hatYell PracticeSearching for someone to hug

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I wasn't on vacation, but just got back from lovely Wichita, KS..it's still there..stay at the Wichita suites if you go..fun bar out in front of it about 100 feet..drive back to OKC as quickly as possible and stop by Nic's for a top 3 cheeseburger in the world ..then fight your way down 35 to exit #1, stop and get all the 3.60 a can of Cope that you can carry..then exit onto Hwy 51 at Gainsville and hurry on towards the house..then kiss your babies..(the last couple of sentences may only apply to me) Keep Effing that chicken RW, sincerely everyone...P.S. Had to listen to 98 fm sportytalk in OKC for about 2:30 hours today..RW would probably be a midday guy up there. Who's D is he all up on to have a Drivetime show in a major market?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I would have Texas/OU weekend alot higher..where'd you cut and paste this list from? I know you can't count that high.

Ray D'O
Ray D'O

i didnt see Jeff Catlin or Tom Lee on that list. he needs to thank the program directors of ktck and kesn for paying half his salary to keep him on the air. 


Erin Andrews makes the list two times. #71 with Phylis George and #131 alone. Good idea actually.


Me thinks Mr. Merten is not a fan of RW.


It's hard to know where to start, but Michael Jordan at 208 is ridiculous, especially when he's below soccer moms, Erin Andrews, Chris Berman, A-Roid, etc.


Happy 4th Richie, I too will be on vacation next week, in fact my brain is already on vacation, which is perhaps why I mailed in my first two comments of the day.  Is there a trip to Vegas in ur future


#236 Someone else (anyone else) doing this blog next week while Richie Whitt is gone.


What....100,000 watts didn't make the cut?

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

"1. Sportatorium readers who continually read my blog, and keep me employed, even though it leaves a lot to be desired."


Phan Phan
Phan Phan

I thought #2 was one of the lamest rivalries but still at #2 of 235. My head confused smoke sizzle need drink fast please kill me.


Because Sam got all of zero notice last time that he had to cover when Captain Douchenhairplugger had a vacation from his grueling schedule of cutting, pasting, and cribbing from other internet sources.


Erin Andrews, not once, but twice.  71 and 131.


yes, pleas come post random stories in the comment sections.  I would like to request at least 1 rip job article on Josh shoulder isnt broken and his trading addiction


Who do we need to talk to to get you back and have you take this blog over? Miss you baby arm.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Sam, I think you should just post Sportatorium items in comments during the week Richie's away. Just, ya know, randomly. Miss you.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I would pay 8 dollar dee dollar to read you and Scruff tag team this shithole next week..mix in a little Merton..and hope that RW's party barge gets sideswiped by a cigarette boat..Isn't it fun to laugh?


Missed that one. Guess I didn't read that far down.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Ha, Mert is getting scared..closed to 7 points behind him last night..but alas my collection Redshoes are having a hard time tonight.


I'll be happy to provide an interview detailing why my team sucks more than a typical week of Richie posts.


Why would they fire Richie? He creates a lot of web traffic through here. They dont care why you come, just that you come. Dummy. If you and your little friends really wanted to stick it to Richie, you guys would quit coming until he got fired. We all know that won't happen though.


Back at ya, Robert. Great stuff on The Ticket today, by the way. And, to my small legion of Sportatorium followers, I miss y'all too.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

We miss him more, has anyone retrieved RW's bloody gloves and 3 inch steak knife from Mert's back yet?