Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day From ESPN

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post that touched on why I am obsessed with the ESPN Sportsnation poll question. Well, they have maybe the greatest example and worst question I have ever seen on the site right now.

(Ed note - there was a picture here of the poll, which asks "Which professional athlete would you vote for as President of American pro sports?" but the photo was corrupted. The choices, as you'll see below are Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning.)

Let me count the ways I hate this...

1. We're not given an option for none of the above. Seriously, ESPN? These are the only athletes with requisite leadership skills to be President of American pro sports teams? Like 8 months ago no one would have trusted LeBron to babysit their kids. Now he's one of five arbitrarily selected players for a meaningless job that you're trying to tie in to an election. Interesting.

2. What the fuck is President of American pro team sports and what would he do? Are we talking like commissioner of commissioners? Is this a purely ceremonial title like Queen of England or Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback? Or does it come with actual power? I don't even want to be thinking about this. FUCK YOU ESPN.

3. These are all not only apolitical athletes but pretty boring ones in the public eye. At least give us Chris Kluwe, who's thoughtful and intelligent, or Tim Tebow, who is totally in favor of religious oligarchy. Even Derek Fisher was actually involved in the players' union negotiations. This list is just stars who generally don't get along great with their teammates but who have "leadership" or something.

Seriously, I am shocked Tebow didn't make the question, though. 

Let's debate each player's merits:

Tom Brady: Uggs model. He has an Obama-like streak of rarely getting fired up but when he does we decide he's being competitive instead of a dick (like Romney/Cutler, which by the way would be an awesome ticket). His success is certainly a function of the excellent infrastructure in place - he didn't build that, but I have a sneaking suspicion he thinks he did. Takes everything too personally (he still cries on national TV because he was drafted late for being fat at the NFL combine). Wants to go for it on every fourth down.

Verdict: Probably a conservative-leaning hawk in the Reagan vein. He's also got that good looking Republican thing going, too.

Kobe Bryant: Rapist. Are we really discussing this? Also, he'd totally be the Obama to Jordan's Clinton. And we all see how Jordan's post playing career days have gone. His defenders would point to all the good he's done despite not being perfect. Probably totally in favor of drone strikes on the NHL.

Verdict: Between the shameless philandering and the chip on his shoulder, we're talking serious Newt Gingrich potential here.

LeBron James: One-time choke artist, now a champion. Too sensitive to everything but finally learned to nut up and accomplish something. I think he'd promise long-term American sports dominance but then be hard pressed to back it up fully.

Verdict: Exploding onto the national scene at an extremely young age? Naturally gifted but can't quite put it together? Always promising more than he can actually deliver, and when he does deliver we just move the proverbial goalposts? Galvanizing leader when he's ahead and eerily sullen when behind? Dude's Obama. That Heat pep rally was his Yes We Can.

Derek Jeter: Elder statesman playboy. The Captain is a bedrock institution in American sports, but he hates Nick Swisher because Swisher has a personality. Let's just say this doesn't augur well for his candidacy. He does support Obama (while A-Rod OF COURSE supports Romney) but I think he's just trying to remain relevant. I think he'd handle the easy issues but wouldn't have the range to deal with the more difficult questions. Also, gives all the girls he sleeps with a gift basket including signed baseballs. That's class.

Verdict: Lover who's remained relevant long past his presumed expiration date. I want to go with Clinton or Biden, but Jeter is more a cult of personality despite not having a public personality. I'm going with John Boehner for the all-American bona fides and the general politician vibe.

Peyton Manning: Derpity-derp magoo. Great at commercials, even better at chewing out teammates in front of cameras. Has incredible tactical knowledge but frequently fails when things get tight. His system, which he clings to at all times, is obsessed with people learning their own roles and performing them correctly. If you don't do right by Peyton he has no mercy.

Verdict: With his staunch adherence to a system based on self-reliance, there's no question he's Ron Paul.

I clicked on my answer (sadly, I went with Manning), and the breakdown is as follows: Manning 53%, Jeter 19%, Brady 15%, James 7%, Bryant 6%.

ESPN is the worst.

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