This Week in ‘Merica: like a regular Outkick post, only redder, whiter and bluer. And with 110% more dead presidents. This week: a guy who shoots things on TV for a living, Craig Morgan.
Veterans Day approaches, y’all. For some of you Florida State fans, this is the only time the letters VD mean something other than frequent clinic trips. In honor of this day that celebrates living veterans, we had a brainstorming session at TWIM central. How would we cram as much ‘Merica into this special edition as possible?
Our accountant suggested a reality TV host, and was summarily dismissed. Too obvious. The mail guy said we should do something with country music, but he’s been blacklisted from brainstorming since he displayed his poor taste by picking Kristen Bell from the Veronica Mars movie over the far superior Shailene Woodley in The Fault in our Stars in the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Our cleaning lady said we should just go with a vet’ran, which was a good idea, but which one?
Then the skies opened and GW (Washington, not Bush) himself sent us a gift. Craig Morgan hosts All Access Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel, where he regularly almost dies on television — €”sometimes in hunting episodes, and sometimes crashing motorcycles in Afghanistan. He also spent sixteen years in the U.S. Army. And he’s been putting out country hits, like Redneck Yacht Club and This Ole’ Boy for over a decade. He’s a ‘Merican triple threat. Perfect.
We can only assume that during the phone interview he had a Colt revolver in one hand, a Gibson guitar in the other, and was riding a mustang bareback that he’d just tamed in the wilds of Wyoming.
TWIM: You’re a huge hunter. Aside from terrorists and Groupons, what’s the most ‘Merican thing there is to hunt?
CM: I have to say white-tailed deer. There are more whitetail licenses sold in the country than any other form of hunting license.
TWIM: Have you ever thought about the possibility that one day your television show will kill you?
CM: There have been times when I’ve looked back and thought, “It’s lucky I didn’t die while I was doing that.” I don’t worry about it. When it happens, it’s going to happen. When I was in Africa, I shot a puff adder with my bow, and it wasn’t until after it was all said and done and we were back home that I realized that if my guide had not seen that snake, a lot of bad things could have happened. If that snake bites you, there’s a good chance you won’t live.
TWIM: In one of your show’s episodes, you hunted elk. Who has a higher IQ, an elk, or an Alabama fan? Hint: elk have the ability to feed themselves without assistance.
CM: Elk, for sure. I’m not insulting the Alabama fans, I’m just saying elk are really smart. [Editor’s note to Alabama fans: he seemed sincere]
TWIM: As a born-and-bred Tennessee guy, you must support God’s team?
CM: I am a University of Tennessee guy.
TWIM: I get my inspiration for This Week in ‘Merica from my dyslexic pet bald eagle, Lincoln Abraham. Where do you get inspiration for your music?
CM: Life. I hear things, and do things, and experience stuff that impacts my life, and a lot of times after the fact I look at it and think, “That little incident will make a great song.”
TWIM: Your songs reference libations regularly. What’s the most ‘Merican of spirits, Jack Daniels or Jack Daniels Single Barrel? Or some other form of Jack Daniels?
CM: Straight up Jack Daniels. Single Barrel is a little more elite, like the Special Forces of Jack Daniels.
TWIM: What’s the most ‘Merican country song ever written?
CM: As much as I hate to, I have to say God Bless the U.S.A., by old Lee Greenwood.
TWIM: You just completed your 11th USO trip to perform for troops overseas. Is it the deployment food you like? Or do you just really like toilets with no air conditioning?
CM: I will say that both of those things definitely give you an appreciation for the things we have at home. But I do those trips because I think it’s extremely important for those of us who have a microphone, so to speak, as a singer, an athlete or an actor, to let those men and women know how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis. There’s no “home” life for them over there, and when we go over there we take a little bit of home with us, and speaking from previous experience as a soldier, I know it helps them.
TWIM: There’s nothing more ‘Merican than hawking your projects during interviews with media outlets. Do you have any projects that we should know about?
CM: I’ll be in the studio in January or February. We’re filming right now for next season of the TV show, and this season is still airing. The highlight of next season is the trip to Africa, which was very enlightening. We went over right at the beginning of the ebola scare.
TWIM: You seem to be involved in multiple charities.
CM: Anything where there’s kids or soldiers involved, we’re going to put our efforts into it, one of which is Folds of Honor, which helps kids of fallen warriors get the education their parents would’ve been able to provide for them.
Craig, for your tremendous trifecta of ‘Mericanism, I hereby award you five freedom points. Cash them in at your convenience at the gift shop. Your patronage of patriotic pastimes and adherence to truth, justice, and the ‘Merican way of fighting terrorists and making twangy music and television where you shoot things brings great credit upon yourself, the U.S. Army, and the state of Tennessee, which quite frankly doesn’t need any more credit. Well done.
Craig’s show airs on Tuesdays at 2:30 Eastern on the Outdoor Network. Find more info about his music, including If Not Me, his musical tribute to the U.S. military, on his website.
In honor of Veterans’ Day, this issue of TWIM has no possible terrorist. Instead, 5 bonus freedom points also go to Team Red, White and Blue. On Tuesday, these fine freedom loving folks will be finishing up an amazing journey wherein a flag was run relay-style from sea to shining sea. Kristoffer Evinrude ran one leg of the relay, and summed up his experience, “It was the most powerful 6 miles of my life so far.” Team RWB’s mission is to “enrich the lives of veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” The Atlantic-to-Pacific flag run is to raise awareness and money for their cause, which is a good one. Some of those real live veterans we’re celebrating need help when they come back from fighting for our freedom. Organizations like Team RWB, and former TWIM heroes like Veteran Outdoors (who just finished their 1,000th trip supporting a deserving veteran) are often the best way to give it to them. Here’s an idea: buy yourself a night of absolute guilt-free VD revelry by making a small donation to one of these organizations. If you don’t, the terrorists have already won. Hahaâ€”just kidding. Terrorists never win. Because of people like Craig. And you, you charitable donor you.
Incidentally, I’m quite sure this is the first time the phrase, “guilt-free VD” has ever been uttered.
Until next time, patriots, may all your stars be spangled, all your glories be old, and all your wars be revolutionary.
Of all the people on Twitter, I am by far one of them. Got an idea for a ‘Merican of the Week? Tweet it at me, bro.