Kobe Bryant, an American Patriot

Kobe Looks like it’s Kobe Bryant, 1: Cris Collinsworth, 0.

The main stream media doesn’t seem to care, but at least plenty of country-loving bloggers are all over this. When I first learned of Kobe Bryant’s words of patriotism about playing for the U.S. Olympic team (who handily won the gold this weekend), I immediately ran a Google search to find out more. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal was the only non-blog site I could find that even mentioned it. Even so, headlines of “Kobe Schools NBC Tool Collinsworth on Patriotism”, “Cris Collinsworth Prods Kobe Bryant to Be Unpatriotic”, and (my personal favorite) “Collinsworth Pwned by Kobe Bryant” can be found rampant throughout the internet.

This Friday, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth interviewed basketball great Kobe Bryant on what it was like to play for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics:

Collinsworth: Tell the story when you first got your USA uniform.

Kobe: Well I had goosebumps and I actually just looked at it for awhile. I just held it there and I laid it across my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.

Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?

Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s… we believe is the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say “You know what? Our country is the best!”

Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by.

Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.

It’s even better when you watch the interview. I can’t help but cringe in disgust as Collinsworth smirks ever so condescendingly at Kobe, as if to say, “You poor, unenlightened American. You still think it’s ‘cool’ to be proud of America.” As if he, a second-rate reporter, could intimidate one of the world’s most well-known and liked athletes into giving in to peer pressure for the sake of being “cool.”

Without missing a beat, though, Kobe was quick to shoot back, as if he could see right through the antagonism in Collinsworth’s words and tone. And he wasn’t going to apologize for a thing.

How encouraging to see such a prominent figure in the entertainment industry stand up to the despicable false humility of snooty liberals, led by those in the media. For so long they’ve been holding their noses at American patriotism and trading it in to be a “citizen of the world.” They proclaim that pride in one’s country – so long as that country is the USA – is arrogant and offensive because it suggests that Americans think their nation is superior to others. This, ironically, is the ultimate hypocrisy because these fake, phony pretenders are really just trying to convince the rest of us that they are morally superior themselves. They know better; they’ve been enlightened. To these snobs, it’s only cool to be proud when you’re proud of not being proud of America. Got that?

I’m glad Kobe Bryant isn’t afraid to set his own standards for what’s cool. Like other Americans who realize and appreciate the opportunities provided by this country, he doesn’t take this for granted. And he’s not afraid to show his appreciation, like way too many others who fall in his income bracket.

It’s almost enough to make me a Lakers fan.

Just kidding, that could never happen. Go Dallas. But go Kobe, too.

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