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Time to light off a few fireworks, crack another beer, and put on some MURICAH-themed music.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Penn State at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a rare occurrence of me listening to our SBNation overlords (hi, Matt!), we have broken our Mailbag feature up into multiple sections. Have you not gotten your Fourth of July food and drink tips from us? GO DO THAT, DUMBASS:

Alright, we move on, and this time to talking our favorite bits of patriotism, best ways to burn our fingers off, and what movies and songs make us proud to be a fucking American.


Outside of mortars, which fireworks are best? --87 Rides a Surfboard

BrianB2: It is illegal to sell fireworks that “launch” in the state of Maryland. Add it to the long list of reasons as to why we are just the absolute worst.

Beez: I always liked the sparklers that change colors as they burn

Creighton: The good stuff: Snakes and sparklers

Jesse: Ground bloom flowers. They fit in the barrel of a paintball gun and spin and stuff.

MNW: Fireworks—and idiots with them—are quite possibly my least favorite thing about the Fourth of July. The professional displays that your local city puts on? Great. Fine. I don’t want to sit in a lawn chair surrounded by screaming asshole kids and get eaten alive by mosquitos, though, so I’ll take a hard pass.

The rest of you? With the rockets that shoot out over the lake and leave a shit-ton of pollution in the lake that I’m praying take a left turn when you launch them and set your boat lift on fire? You can fuck right off. Maryland has it right. Ban all launching fireworks. Sparklers and cherry bombs for you. Bah, humbug; let me be drunk in a lawn chair around a fire in peace.

Mid-Summer, Holiday themed, historical context power poll: Rank the historical power position (historical scope and context the choice of the writers involved) of each B1G school, and use different types of fireworks as the theme/answers. --Lions_Tigers_Wings_Oh_MI

BrianB2: Hey, didn’t I already kind of do this?

I have very limited knowledge when it comes to the varying types of fireworks out there (and college football) so don’t allow this hastily thrown together power-ranking to trigger you. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay.

1. Ohio State: big fireworks?, 2. Michigan: slightly less big fireworks?, 3. Nebraska: them fireworks that fizz at the end, 4. Penn State: those fireworks during every finale that do nothing but make a loud boom and everyone hates, 5. Wisconsin: I don’t know anymore kinds of fireworks, 6. Michigan State: Whatever fireworks are slightly smaller than Michigan’s fireworks, 7. Iowa: Coors fireworks, 8. Minnesota: yup, 9. Maryland: fireworks that don’t leave the ground , 10. Purdue, nope, 11. Illinois: an online image of fireworks , 12. Northwestern: sparklers, 13. Indiana: a pixelated online image of fireworks, 14. Rutgers: The kind that blows your hand off.

Ray: This is really difficult but I’m going to say Rutgers at #1 because we came up with 50% of America’s most popular sport (props to Princeton for the other 50%).

Ergo, we are the Roman Candles? That sounds like something that a firework would be named (I’m a football “writer” not Jason Pierre-Paul dammit!).

Beez: This sounds suspiciously like a bluebook exam question for every sub-300 humanities course.

The only thing missing from the prompt is the phrase “and unpack fully.” I’ll rank Wisconsin #1 and assign them “the good fireworks.” Minnesota gets #13 and “those snake pellet things that are designed to burn your thumb.” Rutgers gets #14 and “anything that doesn’t work right.”

MNW: I included the video in the Mailbag Call, but it bears repeating. Rutgers:

I have nothing else to offer in the way of Power Poll rankings on this one. Pretty sure I shot my load in the last section.

Rank the top 10 songs about America: Meaning that the lyrics include a reference to ‘America’ , or ‘USA’ or the like. --OklaClone

BrianB2: In no particular order: Anarchy in the U.K., London Calling, Blitzkrieg Bop, Back in the U.S.S.R., Walk Like an Egyptian, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), O Canada, Man on the Moon, Land Down Under, and Baby Shark.

Ray: All songs about America after 1800 are jingoist garbage.

Except Born in the USA, obviously.


10. The Guess Who: American Woman

9. Funkadelic: America Eats Its Young (just include the whole album while you’re at it)

8. Megadeth: Peace Sells...But Who’s Buying?

7. Green Day: American Idiot

6. Childish Gambino: This Is America

5. Dead Kennedys: Kill the Poor

4. Public Enemy: Fight the Power

3. Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On?

2. Theme from Team America: World Police

1. Rage Against The Machine: Know Your Enemy


10: Joe Arpaio Is A Punk- AJJ

9: A More Perfect Union- Titus Andronicus

8: I’m So Bored With the USA- The Clash

7: Nazi Punks Fuck Off- Dead Kennedys

6: War Pigs- Black Sabbath

5: Masters of War- Bob Dylan

4: This Land is Your Land- Woody Guthrie

3: Bonzo Goes to Bitburg- The Ramones

2: Body of an American- The Pogues

1: Lady Liberty- AJJ

What’s your second favourite country? --LL Sota

BrianB2: Canada? I am not well traveled.

Ray: France. The food, the wine, the culture, the arts, the language, the art, the architecture. It’s all amazing. Plus, if you like freedom, they’re like the fullback to our halfback in terms of making democracy a thing.

Beez: The United States of America.

Creighton: Iceland, but they only fall to 2nd place if we’re specifically talking about international soccer.

Jesse: Uh… Weird question I guess? I was born in South Korea so they automatically win this, but I also know next to nothing about the country so whatever.

Boilerman31: New Zealand and it’s not even close.


Second favorite country?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Go back to Canada, ya hoser
    (19 votes)
  • 29%
    U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
    (20 votes)
  • 41%
    Love it or leave it, commie.
    (28 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now

What films bring out the “All that’s good in America” feels for you? Mine is Apollo 13. --KetteringLex

BrianB2: Forrest Gump maybe? Not sure it highlights the best bits. Team America: World Police? Platoon? I don’t think I am approaching this from the right angle. Independence Day, yes, let’s go with Independence Day.

Ray: Band of Brothers (not sure it counts as a miniseries, but it’s a near-annual viewing for me).

Beez: The Bill Pullman speech from ID4. The James Earl Jones speech from Field of Dreams about baseball. Sidekicks. Cool Runnings, for some reason.

Creighton: That scene in the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie where all the New Yorkers get out of their cars on the Brooklyn Bridge just to throw their garbage at Willem Dafoe.

Jesse: D2: The Mighty Ducks

Boilerman31: Zombieland, followed closely by Trading Places.

MNW: Jesse’s onto it with D2; it combines two of our favorite American things—winning at sports with a just completely made-up narrative that is, of course, achieved by a diverse cast of characters and also Emilio Estevez.

For me personally? Miracle with a bullet. The triumph of something vaguely democratic over the filthy Communists? Check. Accents that remind me of the homeland? Check. Hockey? Check. Czechs? Check. IT’S GOT IT ALL.


Best American movie?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Forrest Gump; no wait, Team America; no wait, Independence Day
    (10 votes)
  • 30%
    Band of Brothers
    (30 votes)
  • 8%
    Field of Dreams
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    D2: The Mighty Ducks
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    (5 votes)
  • 27%
    (27 votes)
  • 13%
    (13 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now

Megan Rapinoe: great American or greatest American? --Hollywood Hawk Hogan

BrianB2: I don’t know, might still have to go with Michael Phelps here, he’s from Baltimore and spent most of his early 20’s being a complete idiot, two things I can closely relate with.

Ray: Tied with Carli Lloyd at 11 out of 10.

MC: The GOAT will always be Mister Rogers, but she’s been tremendous. Huge factor in getting the US into the finals, and they need her at full strength in a hurry. And then of course highlighting important discussions in our society that shouldn’t even be political, but we won’t go that far down that rabbit hole.

Beez: Assuming I’m not eligible, yes.

Candystripes: Yes.

Creighton: Let’s give Mt. Rushmore back to the natives and carve Rapinoe’s face onto the Washington Monument for all eternity.

MNW: No no no, Creighton, you’ve got it all wrong. Train your car about 20 miles straight east out of Atlanta on US-78. There’s a much, much different mountain that could use, to borrow Deadspin’s turn of phrase, a purple-haired lesbian goddess’s visage etched onto it.

BRT: Great man (and great woman) historical idols are always problematic to me, but I do very much enjoy what Rapinoe’s been laying down lately…so great American.

What are the best three smells to intermingle in the air to let you know—Yes, Goddamnit, This Is America. --Andrew Michael H

BrianB2: A freshly mowed lawn, a campfire, and that hard-boiled egg nobody found on Easter.

Ray: Beer, hurricanes and freedom.

Beez: Campfire/burning yard waste, overly-chlorinated pool water, smug and undeserved superiority.

MC: This is a family site and therefore I plead the fifth.

Jesse: Barbecue.

Creighton: Unburned diesel from some idiot rolling coal, literal actual coal, the ink from stamps on medical bankruptcy paperwork.

Boilerman31: Meat searing on a grill, Bourbon, and whatever MC is referencing.

Yes, yes, we know we’re wrong. Give us the correct answers in the comments!