Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday's with Murray

A History Lesson

Today is our country's birthday. We celebrate 200 years of great men and great events. Accordingly, we thought it apropos to salute our nation's great past with a quiz designed to recall the truly significant moments in our history. As that commercial says, "And that was the way it was." American history as it might be viewed from rereading back issues of the Sporting News. Winner gets a three-cornered hat with a feather in it for riding a pony.
   Q. What was "the shot heard round the world"?
   A. It was either the double eagle Gene Sarazen made on the 13th hole at the Masters in 1935 or the home run Bobby Thomson hit off Ralph Branca in the Polo Grounds in 1951.
   Q.Who was "the Minute Man"?
   A. Floyd Patterson.
   Q. Who said, "We have met the enemy and they are ours"?
   A. The owners of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox.
   Q. Who said, "There is Jackson, standing like a stonewall"?
   A. This is wrongly attributed to a soldier at the battle of Bull Run. It was actually said by an Oakland pitcher in the 1973 World Series when a Mets batter hit a triple over right-fielder Reggie Jackson's head.
   Q. Who said, "I have not yet begun to fight"?
   A. Antonio Inoki, the Japanese crawler.
   Q. Who freed the slaves?
   A. A baseball arbitrator named Reitz.
   Q. Name the three greatest inventions of the past 150 years?
   A. Instant replay, the zone defense and the Rozelle Rule.
   Q. Who said, "Go west, young man, go west"?
   A. I don't know. But Horace Stoneham is looking for him.
   Q. Who said, "I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country"?
   A. A whole bunch of guys in the NFL. That's why they joined the National Guard.
   Q. "Find out what he drinks and give it to the rest of my generals" was said by whom?
   A. Popularly supposed to have been said by Lincoln of Grant, it was actually said by an NFL coach after Joe Namath won the 1969 Super Bowl.
   Q. Who said,"Retreat, hell! I'm advancing in another direction!"?
   A. Roy Riegels.
   Q. Who is "The Man Without a Country"?
   A. Vida Blue.
   Q. Who warned this country against "entangling foreign alliances"?
   A. The USTA.
   Q. Who said, "My paramount object is to save the union. If I could do that without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that"?
   A. Popularly believed to have been said by Lincoln to Horace Greeley, it was really what Bowie Kuhn said to Marvin Miller and Charley Finley.
   Q. Who said, "A man ought to have a right to cudgel his own jackass"?
   A. The editor "Marse" Henry Watterson is widely believed to have said that when rebuked for criticizing the governor of Kentucky, but it is an actual transcript of what Charlie Finley said to a newspaper reporter when he tried to sell the Oakland A's one by one.
   Q. Who said, "I do not choose to run"?
   A. Usually, Alex Johnson. But Fred Merkle made the most famous non-run in history, costing the New York Giants the 1908 pennant.
   Q. Who said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?"
   A. A batter who had to go up there on a day Sandy Koufax was wild and a guy playing the Steelers who wanted to know exactly why they called him Mean Joe Greene.
   Q. What were Custer's famous last words"?
   A. "On paper, the Indians figured to finish last."
   Q. What was the Louisiana Purchase?
   A. Originally, the 885,000 square miles purchased from France for $15 million, most of which was mortgaged to pay for the $180 million, 13-acre Superdome for the New Orleans Saints to play in.
   And George Halas was The Father Of His Country and Vince Lombardi was born in a log cabin and learned the T-formation by firelight and Howard Cosell would rather be right than be President and we won World War II for the old Gipper and Bear Bryant said in the Gettysburg Address, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," a speech every schoolboy knows by heart, and that's what made our country what it is today, by God!

Reprinted with permission by the Los Angeles Times.
Jim Murray Memorial Foundation | P.O. Box 995 | La Quinta | CA | 92247

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