President Obama got a lot of criticism for filling out his NCAA brackets on TV this week. He’s busy, so I’ll fire back for him.
The less serious round of complaints came from people who were angry that he picked all four number 1 seeds to make the Final Four. Well, joke’s on you. After the first two days of the tournament, President Obama’s in the 100th percentile on ESPN. While we’re on the topic, I’d like to discuss the term “chalk,” as in, “He went chalk in all four brackets.” It just sort of appeared two years ago and, all of a sudden, everyone was using it. I hate it. I know you think it makes you sound like a gambler in the know. It doesn’t. It makes you sound like a fucking idiot who repeats words he hears on TV. I would like it banned, along with other out of nowhere phrases that became overly used like walk off home run and pick 6 for an interception that’s returned for a touchdown.
But those critics pale in comparison to ones who say the President shouldn’t fill out brackets because there was an Earthquake in Japan and a civil war in Libya. That one comes mainly from Republicans who have spent the last 2 plus years criticizing everything the President does, but it’s especially bothersome because of the hypocrisy. During all these complaints, not one person has mentioned the time the Senate Minority Leader fucked a horse at the Kentucky Derby after 9/11. It’s like no one even remembers.
There are two possible reasons for this. In May 2002, the nation’s focus was still trained on Ground Zero, Afghanistan and Anthrax attacks. A story about a sitting senator and a racehorse may have slipped by unnoticed. More likely, though, it’s because I’m making the whole thing up right now.
Here’s what happened (No, it didn’t):
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was at Churchill Downs to enjoy the revelry and watch the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” By the time the race ended, he was a few Mint Juleps deep but still jumped the opportunity to attend a victory celebration with the winning horse and his owners. He found in especially symbolic that the horse’s name was War Emblem, considering the US was still in the early stages of the War on Terror. Mitch McConnell is nothing if not a Patriot.
As the celebration began to wear down and the Mint Juleps started to kick in, Mitch McConnell decided he needed to close his eyes for a second. He walked into a dark corner of the stable, sat down on the floor and leaned his head back. He must have been more tired or tipsy than he realized, because by the time he opened his eyes, everyone else was gone. He stumbled to his feet, let his eyes adjust to the dark and quickly realized he was face to face with War Emblem.
Well, if you know Mitch McConnell, you know that he loves to talk to horses close up. And so he did. But he realized War Emblem had a strange look in his eyes and was making strange noises. Mitch McConnell tried to calm the great steed by stroking it’s mane. But at that point, the horse stood up aggressively on it’s hind legs. Mitch McConnell instinctively turned away to protect his beautiful face. That’s when it happened. The next thing he new, Mitch McConnell was being sodomized from behind by a champion race horse. And unlike the just completed Kentucky Derby, this took significantly longer than 2 minutes.
Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Justin, this is not a story that Mitch McConnell should be mocked for. He was clearly the victim of equine rape.” Well, reader, you’re right, except for one thing.
Why wasn’t Mitch McConnell wearing any pants?
We start, this week, with a letter
It makes me sick when those in the press bemoan the monsters that they themselves have created. If the media feel uncomfortable with the extended trade and contract talks, exaggerated rumors and constant me-first attitudes, then they should stop reporting every sigh, sniffle or sneeze by the athletes involved.
Ryan Szalay, Rochester, N.Y.
I agree completely. Kudos to Ryan Szalay or Rochester, NY. Not only does he make an excellent point, but he does so while using alliteration in the last sentence of his letter. That makes the truth go down so much smoother.
Great Adaptations by Luke Winn
I found myself getting bogged down by the minutia of this article. But the one observation I was left with came from the section about Texas. Coach Rick Barnes has based his offense on tapes of Mike D’Antoni’s Suns and Jerry Sloan’s Jazz. A coach who can’t win the big one bases his philosophy on two coaches who can’t win the big one.
The Insider by Kelli Anderson
There’s a lot of information here. I’m not sure how much of it was useful.
The Cardinal Kin by Kelli Anderson
I kept waiting for the family tragedy. Especially after I read this sentence:
You assume it has always been that way. Then the two start telling childhood stories.
Instead, there is no drama. One sister was a troublemaker as a baby. Now she isn’t. The other one was a quiet kid. Now she has friends.
A Fling and A Prayer by Tim Layden
Jalen Rose hates this article. He called it an Uncle Tom and a Fucking Pussy. My problems are less race based than his. I think it’s ridiculous to attribute five pages worth of thought to a three quarters court fling. This isn’t George Washington crossing the Delaware. There simply couldn’t have been that much strategic forethought into having the team’s best player shoot the ball from 45 feet away.
Man In The Middle by Ian Thomsen
The Heat make too many excuses. Everytime you read about them, someone is saying, “Well, we’re just getting to no each other,” or “It’s still a learning process,” or “Everyone hates us and wants to lose.” Stop whining and just play!
I think this would have been a far more interesting article if it did away with the Bosh stuff and had instead focused on the Pat Riley “program” which apparently inoculates Eric Spoelstra from being fired.
Royals, Flush by Joe Posnanski
This whole thing was too cutesy by half. From the title to the “How I Met Your Mother” flashback style of writing. While we’re on the topic, why is Bob Saget the narrator on “How I Met Your Mother?” Ted Moseby is supposed to be my age. I’m not going to sound like Bob Saget in 20 years. I’m going to sound like me. Because I’m already an adult.
And, oh yeah, Joe Posnanski wrote about Kansas City again.
The Swinging Savant by Austin Murphy
I like that Bubba Watson tought himself how to play and it bothers the crusty old golf veterans. I also like that he seems like a normal dude. But, you’ve gotta update your cultural references. Cable Guy? That movie came out 15 years ago.
Peace, Love And Hockey In Belfast by Michael Farber
Holy shit, this issue is long. And I think that hurt the impact this article had on me. Ordinarily, I would have been really interested in a story about a sports team serving as a small respite to people still reeling from years of war. But, by the time I got to read it, I was exhausted. Too much magazine this week
Point After by Joe Posnanski
I need to lose some weight.