I don’t want to turn this into a discussion on Barack Obama’s politics, because then I would have no idea what I was talking about, but when I saw that the President is going to be interviewed on TNT this during the playoffs, and he threw out the comment that LeBron would fit well with the Bulls, it got me thinking about how often the President pops up on the sports landscape. I remember not long after he got elected he made a comment about trying to get a NCAA football playoff implemented. He also fills out NCAA brackets, plays a decent amount of golf, and of course makes statements about LeBron that would get Mark Cuban fined from here to eternity.
Does this bother people, Obama’s sports involvement? I suppose the state of the economy and other issues don’t make it the best environment for the President to be flaunting his hobbies. I can see people saying, “You’re taking the time to do an interview with Marv Albert?” It doesn’t seem like a high priority, and yet the question of the President’s time is a mysterious one. I’m sure you could argue that no one has less free time on the planet, but perhaps someone with so little time to spare should be able to do what they want with it? There’s not people out there that think Obama is actually ignoring important national issues to play HORSE at the White House with Clark Kellogg, are there?
I guess there probably are plenty of people who think this, but President Obama is pretty steadfast in his association with sports. He’s unapologetic. He seems to have team allegiances, he always wears his White Sox gear instead of going with standard MLB issue. I have to respect that. I don’t think he’s necessarily a bigger sports fan than some other presidents, but he seems less concerned about hiding the fact. He’ll play golf, he’ll play basketball, he’ll give an opinion on a sports issue like the NCAA football playoff or LeBron. He’s not a square when it comes to sports, and there is something American about that.
I think he hopes it helps him identify. By appearing during a March Madness telecast or during the NBA playoffs, it exposes him to people who may not usually be exposed. It’s a side of himself that he clearly wants to show off, and I suppose if you see a guy shooting around, it makes him a bit more easy to relate to, even if he is wearing a shirt and tie. I guess it just feels to me like President Obama is trying to use his sports fandom to make himself more popular, especially when he needs all the support he can get, I just wonder if it is having the intended impact.