Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lambeau, Lombardi, McGuire, and…Uecker!

What four faces would you put on Wisconsin's Mount Rushmore of Sports? has been running state-by-state polls on that question – pick four people to be on your state's Mount Rushmore. Every state has one.

Wisconsin's four, according to ESPN, are: Hank Aaron, Brett Favre, Vince Lombardi, Al McGuire.

Lombardi's a lock. Aaron? He hit his 500th, 600th, 700th, and 755th home runs in Atlanta, not Milwaukee. He's on Georgia's Mount Rushmore, too.

Favre? My hero-worship of Brett Favre is wholly documented and without peer. But putting him on the list…we'll come back to him.

Al McGuire – I have no personal memories of the 1977 Marquette Warriors, whom McGuire coached to the NCAA championship. That's why these things are never left up to one person.

Here's my list: Lombardi, and Curly Lambeau with him. Wisconsin is a football state – the three biggest sports teams here are the Packers, Packers, and Packers. Winning, losing, whatever. Lambeau and Lombardi are two of the most hallowed sports figures in the country, not just in Wisconsin.

They go on.

Here's the thing about McGuire: if we put him on there, how do we not put Barry Alvarez on there, too? Or "Badger" Bob Johnson, who coached Wisconsin hockey to three NCAA titles? Harvey Kuehn?

If we put Favre on, do we not also have to include Robin Yount? And why them, but not Bart Starr?

Had I my druthers, we'd have a Mount Rushmore with two big heads – Lombardi's and Lambeau's – and then a bunch of smaller ones – McGuire, Alvarez, Johnson, Kuehn, Aaron, Favre, Yount, Starr…

You get the idea.

I'll pick four if you put a gun to my head. Probably go with McGuire and Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker – nationally known, universally loved, the most prominent face of the Brewers we've got. What, you'd prefer Bud Selig?

But I won't be satisfied with those.

In fact, forget that: I want Uecker and Yount. Screw basketball. No, wait…gah. This is harder than it looks.

Got it. Danica Patrick. At least our Mount Rushmore will get more hits than anybody else's.

This is fun. And it brings up some other questions, like: what would Wisconsin's political Mount Rushmore look like? Fighting Bob seems like a lock, whatever we think of his current status as the "progressive" patron saint. Proxmire? Thompson (Tommy, not Ed)? Aspin?

Don't leave James Duane Doty and Henry Dodge off there. Those are two of the greatest characters in Wisconsin's political history.

What about military? General Billy Mitchell. Admiral William Leahy – he was born in Iowa, but grew up in Ashland. The unfortunately-named Richard Bong – a WWI ace and test pilot. Chief Black Hawk. We can lay claim to General Douglas MacArthur, if we want – his father won the Medal of Honor fighting with the 24th Wisconsin Infantry.

Quick, somebody name some artists. No, wait: bloggers. Wisconsin's blogging Mount Rushmore. Thanks, but really, I have to decline. No, no, I mean it. My humility demands that I not accept.