While “pundits” like Bill O’Reilly brought Americans things like “Freedom Fries” along with calling for a boycott of France for their lack of support in the run up to and beginning of the Iraq War, I stood by France. Well, stood by might be too strong to describe my position, I did not participate in their inane changing of the American fast food side dish staple. I didn’t agree with the Iraq War, but I didn’t agree with some countries having oil contracts with Iraq during our embargo, either. Nevertheless, I will join the anti-France American crowd this week in a collective roaring laugh at them and more specifically their arrogant (a Frenchmen arrogant?) swimmer Alain Bernard.
Bernard is the anchor of the French 4 x 100 meter relay team. In case you missed it, Bernard ponied up this quote before the Olympics, “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for,”.
What makes this story so remarkable is what actually happened. Bernard, a world record holding swimmer, is the anchor of the French team. Our Ace, Michael Phelps leads off the team. So America started out winning, but by the time the fourth and final leg came around Bernard was easily ahead. So far ahead NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines actually called the race for the French with about 60 meters left. Then something strange happened, Jason Lezak, who swims in the shadow of Phelps, overcame the lead and beat the braggart by the slimmest of margins.
So today we all bask in the glow of another American victory, but for those of us afflicted with what the Germans call “schadenfreude” we get a bonus out of this deal.
I believe it was Muhammad Ali that once said, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
And I tend to agree.
So what does that all boil down to?
If you brag and cannot back it up then you’re just talking merde… that is to say shit. Bernard, even as a world record holder, was talking shit and incredibly when he had the chance to back it up folded like a $2 tent from WalMart- though, admittedly, that might be a bit harsh- to WalMart’s tents!