Henry ran onstage and took the microphone away from Hoppe. "At a penultimate moment near the veritable climax of this salutatory occasion I, judgmentally verbalizing, desire solely to...."
"Just my luck," Roberto Clemente said to Casey Stengel. "At last I get to meet Patrick Henry, and he talks like Howard Cosell."
"That's nothing," Stengel replied. "I met John Adams the other day, and he looks like Yogi Berra."
"Bee-ootiful sentiments, Patty, gorgeous," said Willie Hoppe. "Spoken like a true speaker. And now, last but not least among our special awards, here's a little guy who hails from New York, New York, a real player who proves the old saying about how it's not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man, a legend in his own time, Mr. Big with a gun, will you all, please, meet and greet...Aaron Burrr!" Burr came running in, dashed over to Revere and Henry and slapped their outstretched palms.
"Bee-ootiful, Aar, memorable," Hoppe said. "And now, before we give our boffo award for Sportsman of the Century, 18th wise, we shouldn't forget our scribes and golden throats. And so, to present a special press award, here's a guy we know and love, a credit to his profession, a legend in his own time, the unforgettable Clemmm McCarthyyy! Come on up, Clemmie!"
McCarthy, binoculars around his neck, clambered onto his table, knocking Bill Vukovich's drink into Little Bill Johnston's lap. "Mmmm, thank you, Willie," McCarthy began. "And mmmm, it's a beautiful, mmmmm, evening for this, mmmm, first running of the 18th century Sportsmen awards. Mmmm, the winner of the first press award, mmmm, is a, mmmmman who needs no, mmmm, introduction: mmmm, statesman, diplomat, inventor, mmmm, all-round Renaissance dude, mmmm, you may also be surprised to learn, mmmm, that he not only swam the Thames River in London, England in mmmm, 1724, but wrote the, mmmm, first textbook on swimming in, mmmm, America. Coming on now, mmmmm, a great American, mmmm, originally from Boston, mmmmm, Mass., who later called Philly home, here he is, mmmm, in person: mmmm, Ben Franklin!"
Dr. Franklin came skipping in, Jean Harlow on his left arm, Isadora Duncan on his right. On the way to the microphone he pinched Babe Didrikson and winked at Maureen Connolly over in the corner, drawing a baleful glance from Gentleman Jim. When the applause died down, he said, "I'd just like to say first of all that I wouldn't have come, except that I thought Eleanor Holm was already here.... But seriously, folks, this is a terrific honor for me and my loved ones, and I always remember that time is money because little strokes fell great oaks. Right? Right. And I'd just like to say that God helps them that help themselves, and if you can't play a sport, be one. Right? Right. And remember—plough deep while sluggards sleep, and never forget, sportsmen, that the biggest room of them all is the room for improvement. Right? Right. You're all my kind of people!" And he blew some kisses.
"Rave, Bennie, rave," Willie Hoppe said, "and muchas gracias to you, too, Clemmie. And now, to present our first Bicentennial Sportsman award, here's a luminary who needs no introduction. Not only a charter member of the Cloud of Fame but a U.S. of A. chief executive in his own right. You know already—a legend in his own time, the man who put the oomph in environment, God bless it, and took the mayhem out of football, my kinda guy, your kinda guy, here he is, back by popular demand, Mr. Rough Rider himself, the immortal Teddy Roosevelt!"
T.R. came sprinting out, dressed in his Spanish-American War uniform. He hugged Willie Hoppe, lifting him right off the platform. "Bully, bully, bully!" he cried. "They broke the mold after they made this one, didn't they?" And he put two fingers in his mouth and whistled while signaling for applause with the other hand. The place rocked for Hoppe before Roosevelt finally was able to begin again. "Well, I can see by the old clock on the wall that we're running late, so let's pass on first down. Ready now. Here's our winner!
"And what a blue-chipper he is. At 6'2" and better than 175, a heavyweight from the word go, one of the baddest dudes in all 13 of the—count' em, 13—colonies, here's a guy who could throw a coin in any league, a guy who was at home at a racetrack as well as in the hallowed halls of Congress, an ace card player and a stud that both polls ranked as the No. 1 fox hunter in the colonies for 16 straight weeks. Also, leave us not forget that he is, next to the legendary Paul Brown, the only guy with an NFL team named after him. Who else but? Our Bicentennial Sportsman, a legend in his own time, here he is, first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of sportsmen, the coach of our country, will you welcome please, everybody's All-America, George Washington!"