America, put down the pacifier. And lay off the Snuggies. Did George Washington cancel crossing the Delaware on account of a few flurries? Such is the take-home message from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who responded to the snow-induced postponement of Sunday's Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings game by telling a Philly television station that "we're becoming a nation of wussies."
Here at Page 2, we're hardly about to slip on a cardigan, bemoan our national malaise and tell readers to turn down the thermostat. That said, we're pretty sure the Softening of America -- exhibit No. 89: kinder, gentler "American Idol" judges -- has a number of indicators beyond being overly cautious about inclement weather, and that the phenomenon goes back at least as far as the 1960s.
Unconvinced? Match the quote to the writer and/or speaker in our below quiz:
1. "We are becoming a weak nation."
2. "It's the wussification of America."
3. "America is going softer than left-out butter."
4. "We're seeing a decline across the board in America. It's just a softer generation."
5. "America has gone soft -- physically, mentally, spiritually soft."
6. "America has gone soft we're a nation of retail call centers."
a. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, on today's video game-addled recruits.
b. Newspaper columnist Tim Rowland, on the 1970s introduction of pre-washed jeans.
c. Actor Jon Voight, on Barack Obama's presidency.
d. Sports writer Rick Reilly, on schools banning dodgeball.
e, Comedian Adam Carolla, on Dr. Drew not knowing how to change a tire.
f. John F. Kennedy, during the 1960 presidential campaign.
Answer Key: 1-c; 2-e; 3-d; 4-a; 5-f; 6-b.
Sources: Lexis-Nexis, Sports Illustrated, Huffington Post, The Dan Patrick Show, NPR, The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, Md.)