The Most Patriotic Sport EVER

This Independence Day, my son and I will be running in the “Firecracker 5K” in our All-American downtown. Nothing feels as patriotic to me as doing something athletic on our nation’s birthday, because sweat smells like America.

And no sport is as patriotic as running is. America is a nation of individuals, and nothing’s more individual than running. Not even sleeping. Remember in Grease when Danny Zucco couldn’t play with anyone else so he had to run track? Exactly.

Look, all sports are good, but not all sports can be super-American like running is. In honor of Independence Day, I thought I’d break down for you which sports are more patriotic and which ones aren’t really all that American (and which you can stop playing immediately if you care about your country).

In descending order of patrioticity:

  • #1 Running 1 of 12
    #1 Running
    Running is individualism incarnate, and individualism is the highest American value. Plus that whole pushing your limits and breaking through the wall thing helps. This makes running the most patriotic sport, IMHO.
  • #2 Swimming 2 of 12
    #2 Swimming
    Michael Phelps and Janet Evans! Super Olympictastic patriotic! Plus it's another individual sport (except for synchronized swimming, which no one really understands anyway). It's second to running because you can only do it if you have access to water.
  • #3 Competitive Eating 3 of 12
    #3 Competitive Eating
  • #4 NASCAR 4 of 12
    #4 NASCAR
    Double-duh. Driving around and around and around really, really fast, and making a lot of noise is totally American. And partly a sport, which is why it takes the number 4 spot.
  • #5 Beer Pong 5 of 12
    #5 Beer Pong
    We have improved on the Chinese-dominated sport of ping pong by adding beer. Prowess + ingenuity + alcohol = USA! USA! USA!
  • #6 American Football 6 of 12
    #6 American Football
    It has "American" right in the name, so it must be patriotic. But the head injuries and joint deterioration pull it down to sixth place.
  • #7 Bullriding 7 of 12
    #7 Bullriding
    The professional circuit is sponsored by chewing tobacco. And the riders dress like old-fashioned cowboys. Inherently patriotic, but also extremely dangerous, so it's in the bottom half of patriotic sports.
  • #8 Baseball 8 of 12
    #8 Baseball
    Everyone says baseball is "as American as apple pie," but we already covered apple pie in #3 above, Competitive Eating. This leaves baseball with very little in the patriotism department. Crotch-scratching doesn't count, nor does steroid use.
  • #9 Soccer 9 of 12
    #9 Soccer
    It would be ranked lower in patriotism because of its worldwide popularity, but both David Beckham and Thierry Henry have come to play for US teams, which means we rule. When we can get the world's best players to come to us, that's a coup, and it earns soccer a spot on the patriotic list, albeit a low spot.
  • #10 Golf 10 of 12
    #10 Golf
    There's something inherently un-American about a sport that's performed in plaid pants and produces no sweat or danger. It makes a lot of money so it's on the list, but only as number 10.
  • #11 Hockey 11 of 12
    #11 Hockey
    The violence is all-American, but the whole sport is dominated by Canadians. Yes, the Kings won the Stanley Cup this year, but hockey has more history in Canada than it does here, so it's almost last on the list.
  • #12 Cycling 12 of 12
    #12 Cycling
    Most famous cycling event: Tour de France. Not even 1% patriotic, unless you're French, which we're not. Last on the list without question.


(Photo source:



Now get out there and run like the wind! Your country is depending on you.


Magda Pecsenye writes about parenting at and about co-parenting after divorce with her ex-husband at When The Flames Go Up.

Follow her on Twitter at @AskMoxie and join the AskMoxie Facebook page.


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