Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Presidents Day Sport Fans [J. Mark English]

Presidents have long been tapped into the psyche of the sports world. Many of our Presidents demonstrated their greatness early in life in the sports world. President Ronald Reagan developed the great communicator role by being a broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs. President George W. Bush is a former owner of the Texas Rangers. President Gerald Ford was a standout center for the University of Michigan's football team. President Dwight Eisenhower had a tremendous golf game, and claimed a handicap of as low as 14. President Richard Nixon once drew up a play for the Washington Redskins.

One of the more famous athletes to serve in the White House was President Theodore Roosevelt. Water used to come right up to the White House from the Potomac River, and he would swim up and down the river every morning.

The name of this site is "American Legends." An American Legend refers to the great athletes that have played in this country. What is a great athlete? On April 23, 1910, President Roosevelt gave a stirring speech where he came as close to describing the greatness of athletes, and those that dare to participate in sports:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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