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Obama's NCAA picks are as lousy as his Cabinet nominations

The memory of former US president John F. Kennedy is surrounded by myths and conspiracy theories.

The memory of former US president John F. Kennedy is surrounded by myths and conspiracy theories.

Thanks to wildly imaginative filmmaker Oliver Stone, JFK’s death is tangled in such theories as Fidel Castro, LBJ and the Beatles hired Elvis Presley to carry out the assassination.

Although JFK’s term saw some of the biggest breakthroughs for the civil rights movement, he’s still more famous for being a Catholic, a son of a wealthy bootlegger and for boinking Marilyn Monroe while married and in office.

Disgraceful behaviour, I know, but who am I to hold being Catholic against someone?

Even when it comes to sports, the public’s perception of the man is often mistaken.

Kennedy and his brothers famously played rowdy games of touch football. However, JFK’s real sports passion was golf. He even took lessons from Arnold Palmer. But what is interesting is that the White House was far from eager to promote the young president as a dynamo on the links.

As one story goes, the press—no doubt filled with those scuzzy sports reporter types—once got a first hand look at the JFK playing a hole. As it happened, JFK played terribly; it was like the Bay of Pigs of his golf game.

Although disappointed, JFK was informed by someone in his administration that him duffing the hole was the best thing he could have done. Otherwise JFK might have given the American people the appearance of being someone who spends too much time on the course, playing a game that at the time reeked of aristocracy, when he should be busy leading the free world.

Current President Barack Obama could take a lesson from that anecdote.

Two weeks ago, Obama took part in a 20-minute interview with ESPN, making his in-depth prediction for the NCAA basketball championships.

I understand that as a public figure and politician he’s reliant on a good public image, and sports abilities and knowledge are an important way for him to allow his personal, human side to transcend the boundaries of suit-and-tie politics.

Minus that and his abundant charisma, and the Americans have an ethical, left-leaning Richard Nixon—who was the biggest football fanatic the White House has ever seen.

Obama has basketball and football while George W. Bush had baseball, golf, hunting and cheerleading.

Even Dick Cheney balanced his inhuman, Spawn of Satan image by hunting quail and lawyers.

Now, with 64 teams whittled down to four in the NCAA tourney, we’re starting to see signs that Obama might not be the infallible superman Joe Biden and Lindsay Lohan say he is.

Obama may have been right with his pick in the Super Bowl, but currently his picks for March Madness have placed him in 18th place out of 32 in the White House office pool.


Although clearly just being a sourpuss for not being included in the President’s Final Four, there’s some sense to Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski telling the press, “Somebody said that we’re not in President Obama’s Final Four, and as much as I respect what he’s doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.”

If Obama’s picks were dead-on, he’d only be opening himself to scorn from the right for spending too much time watching and studying college basketball while the world’s economy is going down the crapper. Maybe that would indicate the truth—who knows?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may actually have it right, in some respect.

As many know, the PM is writing a book about hockey.

He was hoping to have the book out at the end of 2006, but then he got elected in January of that year. Even last September, he mentioned that he was hoping to get it done by the start of this year.

Similarly, publishing a book that demands loads of research is not the wisest thing to do while in office at any point in time—no less now—and the ongoing publication setbacks might show he’s busy dealing with the current economical situation—and giving back-rubs to oil executives in Alberta.

Speaking of which, he and his oil-tycoon-buddies could also write a book on duck hunting called, How to Hunt Ducks with Polluted Tailing Ponds. (Chapter One: Disabling the Noise Cannons.)

Any which way, it’s always good to see conservatives writing and reading books instead of burning them.

Contact Tom Patrick at