If there’s one common thread among the authors of SomeDisagree, it is that we are all very safely categorized as nerds. Some of us advertise that aspect of ourselves more readily than others, but (not so) deep down that’s what all of us are. Of course, our nerdity (is that a word? do I care?) expresses itself in different ways: for instance, Wiesman is basically a walking Trekkie stereotype, but dodgerbluestate doesn’t care for that franchise at all, preferring instead to obsess over awful music from the 1980s.
As for myself, I’m a big nerd for a lot of things, but perhaps nothing enthralls my nerdy spirit so much as sports and politics do. I’m really tempted to go into a laundry list of evidence to prove my geeky passion for these things (it would be full of tidbits like the fact that I spent close to an hour of yesterday watching highlight videos of high school juniors Michigan is recruiting to play for its football team) but I’ve decided to try and constrain myself in these posts for the foreseeable future, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
So, being who I am, you can imagine how utterly thrilled I was this morning when Bill Simmons posted a 25-minute podcast with President Obama, dedicated entirely to the President’s opinion on various sporting topics.
(For anyone who doesn’t know, Bill Simmons is the wildly successful online sports colu…meh, screw it, here’s a link to his Wikipedia page).
During the second Bush Presidency, it was often said that George W. was “the kind of guy you’d love to have a beer with.” That may have been true (I know I certainly had more than one very strange dream in which I did just that) but is there really anyone you’d rather have a beer with than Obama?
The political nerd in me absolutely loves the way Obama has used his love of sports to connect with voters ever since he first started running for office. Haters will probably say that he’s received undue help in this regard from ESPN (who, incidentally, employ Simmons), which is owned by Disney, which also owns ABC News, and therefore must be part of the Vast Liberal Conspiracy to brainwash America with biased media. Whatever. I don’t care if ESPN were owned by NewsCorp, a President with a sick J who takes the time to fill out a public March Madness bracket and weighs in on issues ranging from college football’s need for a playoff to the NBA lockout will get coverage from sports networks. The fact that Obama can sit down and talk sports fluidly and in detail with Bill Simmons (who is notoriously hard on inauthenticity and has little respect for mere authority) is a testament to how in-touch he is with the things ordinary Americans care about. Really great stuff.