Posts Tagged ‘March Madness’

Is It Ok For Obama To Be Funny?



When I get excited about something, a YouTube video I love, a song that is stuck in my head, a hot new anchor on CNBC, I like to tell everyone about it. It’s how I deal with being excited about something.

So when I wrote about President Barack Obama doing a cool segment on ESPN where he picked a bracket, I also posted it on a  message board and sent the link to a bunch of people. While my friends thought it was fun I noticed that I got a lot of flak here and on the message boards. The most common shot was that in the face of the recession, the President shouldn’t be in the media doing anything but working on our problems.

I thought it was interesting that this same week, two articles in the Poltico came out that lends views on this subject. Carlos Lee writes a piece on the humor of President Obama, and includes a reel of some of the jokes he’s cracked during speeches and press conferences. The other piece was an Andie Coller article on the recent media appearnces of The President, which includes the earlier mentioned ESPN segment as well as his interview on The Tonight Show.

Now I understand people’s morale with the current economic climate, they want to see a leader that’s working hard, not hardly working. But what I liked about the Coller piece is that it really deeply explores all angles of the story and notes on the risks of an approach such as Obama’s. We are already seeing some fallout about his crack on The Special Olympics. I like Coller’s idea that Obama needs to do these things to, “him build trust and personal capital with an audience he’s less likely to connect with through his weekly radio address.”

Not everybody is concerned or knowledgeable about current events like us Washingtonians. Obama was able to win the election by being able to reach across many groups of people- and he’s trying to do the same thing to reach out and get the support for the initiatives he’s pushing through.

You have to realize that President Obama has a busy schedule and that these appearances in reality are only a drop in the bucket. While you see him on ESPN for 15 minutes. That was a 15 minute break in between two meetings. The segment was shot on St. Patrick’s day- and if you look at his schedule, he did a whole lot more than a quick hit on ESPN. He met with committees, his cabinet, and was delivering remarks at receptions up until late night. I believe you and I were at home by the time he was done his day.

So what do you think? Because we’re all sad about the times means that he shouldn’t be friendly, optimistic, and open until things are better?

Sports Chatter: The Terps Do Better Than Expected

Subject: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 11:35 AM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

You know what got me excited today?

The start of March Madess. The network is down in my office today so e-mail is problematic, printers don’t work, however internet is ok. So everyone is working on their brackets for the Office Pool- to which I am managing this year.

I have to say that DC dodged a bullet with Maryland making it in there- Were we really going to be excited for an American team that mostly likely will be done by Friday? However Maryland is also playing that day and we could be without a DC team before the first weekend. I have a feeling our expectations should be with NIT domination rather than NCAA domination- did you see Mason is a 7 seed over there, maybe they can make a Cinderella run and get into the NIT Final Four!

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 16, 2009 4:44 PM EST

Yeah maybe-I’d give them a much better chance than either UMD or American. In the post I’m putting together right now (which will feature some of our not so great teams, and our two dancing ones) I put it out there that I think American has the better chance of an Upset than UMD. I just don’t believe in the Terps-sure they are hot…but I don’t know. Bad feeling. and Cal (from what I’ve heard) is a fairly solid team.

Villanova (who American plays)-well sure they are Big East-but not every Big East team is going to advance. WVA, Marquette, Syracuse, UConn, Pitt, Louisville-these teams will advance. Last year, American played Tennessee tough-real tough. Some of that is going to carry over this year-and we could see our very own Mason part II-at least until they play UCLA in the next round or Texas/Duke a round after that.

Okay-I’m dreaming. American has no chance-but it wont’ stop me rooting for them.

Can you send me the NIT brackets? I have to think Georgetown is in there too, right? GW probably is in that third tournament-if anything. Ugh they were so bad this year!

Subject: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:27 PM EST
To: Frank J. Lattuca

Well the first day of games is over, I have to say things aren’t looking so good with my bracket in my office pool. Like you I thought Maryland kinda barely made it into the field and were set to bow out- and they pulled off the upset you didn’t think was going to happen. 

I was watching the game and I have to say the Terps looked good. Their man Grievis Vasquez did what he had to do and racked up 27 points- but I really thought with just him they couldn’t pull it out.  

But you know what- college basketball is all about 3 pointers and even though Cal (the one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation) got off more than Maryland, they had the better completion percentage. Looks like Turtle Power was able to throw the Bears off for a game.  

Sad to see American take another bow but it wasn’t like we saw it coming. Villanova wass pretty much playing a home game. Do you think Jeff Jones will be lured away to another team? He’s certainly shown himself to be a contender.

From: Frank J. Lattuca
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Time To Dance!
Date: March 19, 2009 10:45 PM EST

Thankfully my brackets are in tact-sure I thought MD wasn’t going to pull of the upset, which is exactly why I put them as winning in my bracket ;-) I’ve learned to go against my gut on close games, and it has worked out pretty well so far.

Yeah Maryland did look good, and Memphis didn’t look so hot in their opener-so the optimistic Terps fan is going to start thinking “Hey-we can do this!” (That’s a CBS message board with some optimistic UMD fans waxing poetic about a possible upset.)

It is this person’s humble opinion that, no, you can’t. Memphis is awake now and will not take UMD lightly. Expect Memphis to come out of the gate running, Maryland to keep it interesting-but never really have a shot at winning. Just saying, you may want to stay in on Saturday night after the Maryland game-lest you get caught up in what seems to be a UMD tradition in College Park-rioting.

And yes, very sad to see American drop the ball against ‘Nova-A gallant effort, to be sure, but ask John Feinstein and George Mason how far gallantry will get you. Still-they had ‘Nova on the ropes for a while and did their school, their fans, their conference and their city (our city) proud. Next year Golden Eagles, next year. They now have a legacy of at least playing tough in the tournament-with last year’s near upset against Tennessee and this year’s “much closer than it looked” game against a Big East power house basically on a home court.

Will Jones leave? I don’t know-he had a good career at UVA before he came to American, and frankly has turned that program right around. Back to back NCAA appearances and Patriot League championships speak highly of his abilities, and he has been there 9 years now. So he’s probably ripe to be picked. I guess it will depend on the offer and his loyalty to American. He’s the winningest coach in their history and so he’s got a nice little set up there, for sure. He might just want to keep doing what he’s doing rather than move on to a project that is too big for him.

Okay must sleep. Long day of basketball…I mean, uh…work….tomorrow.

Daily DC Item: Obama Makes His Pick For March Madness


Pete Souza for

On the day millions stop working and start tuning into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, I thought I’d let you know that you won’t be the only one tuning in. Tuesday afternoon Obama met with ESPN’s Andy Katz to show America his picks for the tournament. He even said he’ll be keeping track of the scores as the tournament starts up. “I think the chances are high,” President Obama answered when asked by Katz if he’ll be sneaking a peek at the games.

In Katz’s related story on ESPN you can see that President Obama sought council from his cabinet, most notable from Press secretary Robert Gibbs. ESPN even managed to get Obama’s original handwritten bracket so you can keep track of his picks at home. If you want to see all of his picks you should watch the video linked below, however you should know that he has already called out his top pick to, “not embarrass me in front of The Nation.” I wonder what kind of pressure you have to be feeling when The President tells you to win.

All I can say is that Obama is the coolest President ever. However I thought he just as cool when he filled out a bracket last year.

Watch the video of Barack Obama making his NCAA picks!

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