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Boats, Hikers and Athletes give Thanksgiving Different Shades of Gray…

November 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

In year’s past, your neophyte Stick ‘N Ball Sportyblog Senior Scribe Touchdown Tommy has tried to cleverly tie in the traditional bounty ‘O Thanksgiving with some form of Pigskins being tossed about all day long…

As I’ll refrain from trying to tie-in thee “Egghead,” nee Seattle’s past great QB Mathew Hasselbach into the Turkey Day ritual with nods to Devil’s Eggs or Potato salads, etc; Hya!

Especially since that current No. 3 Seahawks guy’s working out Ok!
Whilst surely Tony Romo should stick with his pleasure palace vs. getting Stuffed at Cowboy Stadium, right?

Romo’s secret…

Having begun the year by listening to an amazing tome via CD Audiobook format this January titled: The Boys in The Boat by Daniel James Brown, about nine non-descript young men overcoming adversity to achieve their ultimate goal.

As it seems to Mwah, that I’m the only one who cares that this Summer’s Olympics in Brazil was the eightieth anniversary of this most triumphant achievement by our University of Washington Huskies elite Mens-8 rowing squad, in a time when rowing was the school’s and city’s most prestigious event.

The Boys in the Boat Book review

And although I’ve ridden on it countless times over the years on the bus , I had NO idea that the Downtown Seattle city street named Royal Bromough was named in honour of a prolific Seattle Sports Writer.

As Bromough, who not only feverishly covered the Huskies rowing events in order to build up his beloved Seattle, most likely was also instrumental in leading the charge when the team was suddenly forced to scramble to come up with $5,000 to pay for their trip to Berlin to represent their country in the 1936 Olympics.

Six Minutes in Berlin: The Greatest Victory you’ve Never heard of

While another excellent author named Erik Larsen’s book In the Garden of Beasts overlaps the same period of time, when Germany was ultimately preparing for war. Noting how in the fall of 1933, Adolf Hitler originally implores the building of the mammoth Reichsring’ sporting complex for Germany’s impending 1936 Summer Olympics.

Yet Der Fuhrer’s Reich Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, ultimately persuaded Adolf into seeing the benefits of portraying Germany in a kinder, gentler, sunshine ‘N rainbows; Err Wiener schnitzel kind of way, and hence the games became Der Fatherland’s ultimate propaganda tool!

Thousands of Jews arrested in Germany archive, 1938

which according to Daniel James Brown’s awesome book, UW’s coxswain Bobby Mock was totally unaware of his Jewish ethnicity until shortly before leaving for Berlin. For which we all know what Hitler ultimately did to the Jews!

Yet presumably, most of us would utter the name Jesse Owens when asked about the ‘36 Olympics, where how dare a Black Man so thoroughly defeat Hitler’s perceived “Master Race,” Ja Volt? Becoming that game’s most decorated athlete by winning four gold medals, albeit even our President Franklin D. Roosevelt wouldn’t shake his hand afterwards!

But how many of us know about the outright Discrimination Owens suffered during his life? Ranging from not being eligible for college scholarship due to his race, and immediately being barred from Amateur status following his Olympics triumph for having the audacity to try proffering financially from his achievements. Causing this once great athlete to find himself running against horses in order to make a living! along with running a Dry Cleaners and becoming a Gas Station Attendant…

Race: Jesse Owens, winner against all odds

Thus fast forward eighty years, and notice how little we’ve ultimately progressed. As seriously? A Presidential candidate telling an African American & U.S. Citizen to “Get Out!” For simply having the audacity to kneel during our national anthem! As very surprised he wasn’t told to get on a boat shackled and go back to Africa!

Sherman: Shootings overshadow NFL game

Although I find it overly ironic that police violence towards African Americans has increased during the reign of the country’s first black president.

Moving on, I’ve just recently finished listening to another fantastic book that’s just been made into a movie starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson; Bill Bryson’s 1998 A Walk in The Woods, portraying him and a friend’s Walkabout on the Appalachian Trail, in ‘96 better known simply as the “A.T.”

A Walk in The Woods Movie Trailer

As Bryson briefly discusses how the Native Americans were most amused by all of the Anglophiles quests to discover new plant species and send them abroad,
since after all surely the white interlopers needed to give thanks to the Indians for helping them acclimatize to this continent!

Hence, naturally this makes me think about another ‘lil ‘Ol Pigskin team called the Washington Redskins, for which I’ll admit I grew up so-to-speak never even remotely considering the stigmatism revolving round the Redskins insignia; Dating Thyself, since they were Coach Gibbs hallowed Hogs’, with John Riggins running roughshod over their opponents with Joe Theisman at the controls…

Yet once again, the plight of being different greatly affected who’s arguably been deemed the greatest athlete of the 20th Century! None other than Jim Thorpe, who Y’all know was a Sac and Fox Nation Native American, best known for winning the Decathlon and Pentathlon during the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

Yet Thorpe, a la Jesse Owens, suffered the indignity of the mighty Amateur Athletics Union, (AAU) having his two gold medals stripped from him after the statue of limitations had long expired for having played Semi-Pro sports to make a living, a practice done by many other contemporaries, albeit they escaped sanctioning by simply playing under false names! Before Thorpe’s medals were reinstated, albeit some thirty years after his death.

Alas, thinking I was Oh, So Clever; Nah, Don’t Worry Y’all! Not gonna dispute the Redskins needing to change their name, but instead I thought I’d FIGURED THE PERFECT NAMED FOR THEM, I.E.; Washington Generals!

Uhm, OOPS! Now I know why that name sounded familiar, it was those beloved Harlem Globetrotters nightly opponent! So instead, how ’bout the Washington Plutocrats; Oh Never Mind!

As I’ll leave Y’all to retire to the living room for the evening’s NFL Nightcap, stuffed upon pecan and pumpkin pie, with thoughts ‘O Sugarplums; Err wrong Holiday. Instead with visions of Grandma driving Y’all home in the family’s Station wagon; Uhm I meant SUV…

Look Out! Grandma’s Behind the Wheel

Tags: olympics · Misc · NFL Football · Uncategorized

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