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Colonial Smackdown – Choose Your Founding Fighter

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US History
US History
July 1, 2024
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In the modern era, it is easy for us to look back at history as stuffy stories in dusty books; men wearing frock coats having impassioned discourse while war raged in the backdrop. Often, we forget that the founding fathers were more than simple statesmen, but how realistic would it be to see George Washington strap on some four-ounce gloves and settle affairs of state the same way Marine Corps recruits earn a phone call home?

George Washington: The Stoic Strategist

George Washington, the towering figurehead of the American Revolution, was known for his strategic prowess on the battlefield. Built like a tank for a man of his time, Washington could easily have dropped his tricorn hat and put in a mouth guard.


Height Advantage - Washington was tall for his time, standing at 6'2". His reach would definitely give him an edge in combat.

Strategic Mind – Known as a masterful tactician, America’s first President would likely piece up an opponent like Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes, identifying weaknesses and rocking them with big nasty hooks.


Too Dignified - Washington’s unwavering sense of honor might make him reluctant to engage in a street fight. While this might not apply to defending someone else, it would cause a time delay an opponent could take advantage of.

No Sense of Humor – A battle involving fists alone would be advantage Washington but add in quick and biting banter and he would likely not be as fast to react.

John Adams: The Feisty Firebrand

Next up is John Adams, the second President of the United States. Known for his fiery temperament and sharp tongue, Adams in a brawl is a sight to behold. Picture a pint-sized pugilist with a penchant for passionate speeches mid-fight, like Paul Giamatti with boxing gloves.  


Fiery Temper - Adams’ temper could turn him into a bulldog in combat, his short fuse might give him an unexpected edge over calmer fighters like Washington. Much like Rashad Evans in the UFC fight that effectively ended the reign of the much taller Chuck Liddell.

Stamina - His relentless spirit and determination were legendary; he wouldn’t back down easily. In any fight, the ability to take a hit is as crucial as the ability to hand one out, and Adams is the type to take a fist to the T box and then insult his opponent’s mother.


Short Stature - Standing at around 5'7", Adams might struggle against taller opponents with greater reach, without the speed advantage smaller combatants often have.

Too Chatty – Good smack talk can destabilize an enemy, but there’s an important balance to be struck. Adams might spend too much time delivering a monologue on the principles of freedom, forgetting he’s in a fight.

Ben Franklin: The Crafty Conundrum

Finally, we have Ben Franklin, the most unconventional fighter of the trio. Franklin was more of an intellectual than a physical combatant, but don’t count him out just yet. It may seem cartoonish from a modern context, but a man who can harness lightning could likely outsmart an opponent rather than overpower them. However, he did have at least one instance of experiencing an ambush in the French Indian War.


Inventive Genius - Franklin could MacGyver his way out of any situation. Fashioning a lightning rod into a weapon or producing a crude flash bang to cripple his opponent’s senses long enough to give him a decisive edge would be well within Franklin’s ethical code.

Charming Wit - His ability to disarm with humor and charm could throw off his adversaries, and his power to tear a man down with words was known to be shocking, even from a modern perspective.


Physical Fitness - Franklin wasn’t exactly known for his athletic prowess. He suffered from gout, kidney stones, obesity, respiratory problems, eczema, vision problems, and most possibly syphilis. So he’d probably get winded after a few swings. Cardio sucks but keeps those fists flying.

Distractible - He might get too caught up in the scientific implications of the fight to actually participate or see an attractive French woman and wander away. Being in the ring seems like an important component to ignore.

While George Washington, John Adams, and Ben Franklin were undoubtedly pivotal in the founding of the United States, imagining them in a comedic, physical showdown highlights their unique personalities and strengths. Washington's strategic mind, Adams' fiery spirit, and Franklin's inventive genius would make for an unforgettable, laugh-out-loud spectacle… Until the first British blood hit the mat.

Part two coming next month!

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