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Hero of the Week: The U.S. Men's Swim Team

If you will please refer to the official Ranger Up Charter the only thing we despise more than the French are unpatriotic Americans. Simply put: the French (particularly the Parisians) suck donkey balls and few arenas on planet Earth highlight French douchebaggery like the wild world of sports.

When Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 7 times in a row, it wasn’t that he worked harder than everyone else, or was a genetic freak - he was a cheater. In the World Cup, which is apparently a big deal in Europe or something, the French made it to the finals, only to lose to Nick and I’s heritage (the Italians) because France’s star player couldn’t take a joke and head butted a guy in the sternum…then whined about it.

Finally, despite having a disturbing lack of Olympic excellence in swimming, their captain, Alain “the Mouth” Bernard decided to get froggy (sorry!) and declare, when asked about competing against the United States in this years games “We’re going to smash them. That’s what we’re here for.”

Few things on this planet are more American than Summer Olympic domination, and the Red, White, and Blue dominate few sports more than swimming – and in that world, no one has been laying the gold medal smack down more than swim phenom Michael Phelps. Yet the haters were still hating, and the world was taking four Frenchies over four American badasses. These so-called pundits had the French favored as the winners, even though the US team, sans super swimmer Michael Phelps, swam a qualifier in world record time. Regardless, the stage was set and it’d be decided in prime time TV.

300 meters into the 400-meter race, it looked like the pundits and the frogs were right. Despite Phelps setting an American record for a split, and the US being ahead at the 250-meter mark, the French team had pulled ahead. The French anchor swimmer, captain, and head dumbass (pronounced Doo-Ma) Alain Bernard hit the water .55 seconds ahead of American captain, Steve Lezak- an eternity in swimming, and certainly in 100 meters.

At the 50-meter mark, Steve-o had hardly closed any of the distance on the French swimmer. He was nowjust under half a second behind with 50-meters to go against the Frenchman who the so-called experts had championed as the fastest swimmer in the world.

American dominance was hanging in the balance and I felt like I was living in a surreal new world. It looked like in 50 meters the United States of America was about to lose… to the F@*#^%! French. Even the American announcer, Rowdy Gains, was starting to write Team USA off. American captain Steve Lezak, the leader of the team, the man responsible for what we did or didn’t do had a different thought: “No. Freakin. Way.”

For Steve it was immensely personal. At 32 he was one of the oldest swimmers for the United States. He’d lost to Australia in 2000 in their home pool. He’d seen a “feel good story” happen as the South Africans nipped him in Greece. No way was he going to lose again. Something snapped in that distinctly American way. No way.

Lezak kicked it into another gear and started to close. The crowd roared. His teammates screamed at him on the block, Steve went faster. 20, 15, 10 meters- he closed like a madman. At 5 he’d done the near unthinkable, he’d caught up to the Frenchie. Lezak hit the wall with a split of 46.06 second. He’d just swam the fastest split in world history. The Americans had shattered the world record in the 4x100 meter relay by four full seconds. Lezak, amazingly, had turned in a time .63 seconds faster than then French Captain Blabbermouth.

Team U.S.A. had beaten the Frogs by .08 - eight one hundredths of a second.

Lessons learned:

1) Karma is a bitch.

2) Americans love to do what everyone says is impossible.

3) They especially love accomplishing the impossible when it involves smashing a giant pie full of shit in the guy’s face who only moments before was running his mouth.

At the end of the day what the French have never understood about the United States is that we don’t waste our time talking a big game – we back it up. We will meet our goal or die trying.

If it takes the fastest time in the history of the world then we’ll rise to the challenge – we’ll be the man in the arena Teddy Roosevelt talked about so long ago.

Steve Lezak, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones, and Garrett Weber-Gale put their money where their mouth was, rose to the occasion, and swam the race of their life. The French just talked. That’s why the Frogs will never catch us, that’s why sometimes the world hates us, and that’s why Steve Lezak and the rest of team U.S.A. are such badasses. The flag is more to us than a piece of cloth or a pattern on LZR racing swimsuits. It’s a source of pride and something Americans never want to fail.

On behalf of the crew at Ranger Up, congratulations to team captain Steve Lezak and the rest of the men’s 4X100 relay team on their win over the French. You guys showed what you can do with a little skill, and a lot of heart.

And one more thing:

Suck it France!

Copyright of Tommy
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