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If we took a holiday�.took some time to celebrate�

When I awoke this morning, these were the words that played and danced in my head like a little gypsy queen valley girl.  After asking myself the obvious question, �Why is a Madonna song playing in your head?� I shook off the cobwebs to the realization that today is the Fourth of July.  It�s Independence Day � a day commemorating the birth of one nation under God � a day when 13 colonies reinvented themselves.

Maybe that was the tie to Madonna.  She continually reinvents herself to flow with the times.  Ok, enough of that.  It�s scaring me and probably worrying you.

Back to the Holiday�

(there�s that song again)

One of the things I like best about the Fourth of July is that you always know when it is.  It�s not like Memorial Day or Labor Day or Thanksgiving which require a calendar to figure out.  Or Easter, now there�s one I still haven�t figured out.  I can�t even tell you which month it�s going to occur next year.  We already celebrated Easter in 2006 right?

But the Fourth of July keeps it simple and I like it that way.

Simple things for simple minds.

Hey, hey, hey�don�t you forget about me�.(now there�s a better song)

Some youngsters forget why it is we celebrate today yet today, perhaps more than any other during the year, symbolizes our common bond as a nation.  Courageously, the forefathers of our country risked so much to boldly pursue the promise and the glory of a new world and today just as one such forefather predicted, we will celebrate.

"I believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… it ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…"

That�s John Adams, a lawyer, the first Vice President and of course the Second President of the United States in a letter written to his wife in the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Now that�s a birthday!

It�s time to celebrate.

Uh-oh, that song is back!

Many will celebrate at beaches, on boats, in the ocean or upon a lake.  Others will celebrate at Coney Island and the feature attraction there today is Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Ironically, the reigning champion and today�s favorite is a Japanese man named Takeru Kobayashi.  I bet you are thinking sumo wrestler, right?


Kobayashi is all of 5�7� and 132 pounds.  To earn his title, the 27-year-old native of Nagano, Japan engulfed 53 � hot dogs in 12 minutes.  Challenging the champion is a 22-year-old engineering student at San Jose State Joey Chestnut, who managed 50 hot dogs in the Nathan�s qualifier. 

Chestnut is a formidable opponent weighing in at 6’6", 230 pounds.  He could take Kobayashi�s title, particularly when you consider the volumes of other summer delicacies that Chestnut gobbled up from his grill with relative ease.  He is the current record holder in pork ribs (5.5 pounds in 12 minutes), waffles (18.5 in 10 minutes) and jalapeno poppers (118 in 10 minutes), and he won the Wing Bowl, during which he orally filleted 173 wings in a half-hour.

More than Chestnut had to be roasting on an open fire.  Wow!  Talk about heartburn!

I don�t think John Adams had these games in mind 230 years ago�

Yet clearly today is a festive day.

For me, it�s a rather festive week.  On the first in a private way I celebrate my Mom whose birthday begins the month.  Mom would have been 68.  On the second is my son�s birthday.  He just turned 14 and now I’m just two years removed from heartburn of my own.

On the third, there�s the birthday of this very website.  Yesterday, marked three years since the day we went live.  In some ways, it seems so much longer and in other ways, it seems like we just launched the site.

This site, this project started as a hobby � an extension of a passion and it grew and morphed into something tangible.  And thanks to you, it continues to grow and morph.  We�ve hinted recently that things will be changing on our site and much like our country�s forefathers we�re excited by what lies on the horizon and by forging into and exploring new world wide web frontiers.

Yesterday in Letters 2 TL…, I let it be known that we will be changing our name to ProFootball24x7 in order to set the stage for growth as well as to avoid any potential conflicts with the team we enthusiastically cover.  Interestingly, I received a number of emails from regular visitors who were not all too pleased by the name change.  Almost to a person, they likened our name change from Ravens24x7 to Peter Angelos� refusal to place Baltimore on the Orioles� road jerseys. 


Soon, you will be able to judge for yourself but I�m supremely confident that when you see what we have in store, you will understand our rationale and endorse it just the same.  If Ravens24x7 bleeds purple, ProFootball24x7 will rain it!

Hey, another song!

For what it�s worth, I don�t get Prince.  But today, go on and party like it�s 1999!

Be careful and be safe and even if it�s just for a fleeting moment, take some time to think about your good fortunes and your freedoms and then thank the founders of our great country, the soldiers who fought for the realization of a dream and those today who fight to protect the very freedoms that we will celebrate.

Have a great Holiday!

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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