Dwight D. Eisenhower Sports Quotations
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And the other was this: the doctor did want to take off my leg because he thought it was necessary. But you must remember boys in those days were raised for two things: work, and then they made their play; and if you couldn't play baseball and box and play football, why, your life was ended. That was in our boyish minds.
But I think a life of raising prize cattle, going shooting two or three times a year, fishing in the summer, and interspersing the whole thing with some golf and bridge - and whenever I felt like talking or writing, doing it with abandon and with no sense of responsibility whatsoever - maybe such a life wouldn't be so bad.
I have just realized that it is due to you, and to Mr. James Thomas and his staff of the Army Navy Country Club that the putting green here on the White House lawn is already in such excellent condition. I assure you that I get a great deal of pleasure and relaxation out of using the green in an occasional late afternoon hour . . .
Not only do I have a great love for the game of golf - no matter how badly I play it - but I have also the belief that through every kind of meeting, through every kind of activity to which we can bring together more often and more intimately peoples of our several countries, by that measure we will do something to solve the difficulties and the tensions that this poor old world seems nowadays to so much endure.
Probably no one here knows I coached a football team - a service team - playing against Georgetown. I think it was in the fall of 1924 Lou Little was your coach, and he beat us. But it was a very happy circumstance, because it brought me the friendship of another man, Lou Little, who to this day remains my very warm associate and friend.
Well, a funny thing, there are three that I like all for the same reason, golf, fishing, and shooting, and I do because first, they take you into the fields. There is mild exercise, the kind that an older individual probably should have. And on top of it, it induces you to take at any one time 2 or 3 hours, if you can, where you are thinking of the bird or that ball or the wily trout. Now, to my mind it is a very healthful, beneficial kind of thing, and I do it whenever I get a chance, as you well know.
I think of going back to the sports field again, and let's take a baseball game. Well, you have cracked out a grounder and you put in your last ounce of energy and you just happen to make first base. But you don't stop there. First base is the beginning. Now you call on all your alertness, your skill, your energy - and you count on your teammates, you count on the people that are working with you. And the purpose of that getting on first base was to get you around to count a run.
You did not tell me what you are doing athletically just now but I do hope that if your arm comes along next spring you can get it in good shape to try out for the pitching spot on the varsity. However, if you don't make it then I suggest you take up golf which after all is the best game of all of them.
But I noted with real satisfaction how well ex-footballers seemed to have leadership qualifications . . . I believe that football, perhaps more than any other sport, tends to instill in men the feeling that victory comes through hard - almost slavish - work, team play, self-confidence, and an enthusiasm that amounts to dedication.
The other day Aks and I went up to your ranch for a day's fishing. I cannot remember any day when we have had more fun on a stream. We had along with us three newspaper men and a few secret service people, many of whom had never seen a trout stream, so we did the thing up right by borrowing frying pans, bacon and corn meal from the wife of your rancher - and we cooked an outdoor meal for the crowd. It was really quite a day.
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