Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Presidents and Sports

Mitt Romney appears to be determined to get on this blog, despite my certainty that he's never even heard of it. As you may have heard, Romney was again asked about sports, and again put his answer in terms of his friendship with owners. It's worth asking how much we need to keep grilling Romney about sports, but in this case, I think we're stumbling toward a useful topic, perhaps in spite of ourselves.

I don't really have a problem with Presidents being friends with sports owners. Aren't they all? Obama is friends with the Rooneys in the NFL. George Bush WAS an owner. Successful men get along with successful men, I guess, and that's fine.

The problem is, Presidents really can intervene in sports, even if they really, really shouldn't most of the time (George Bush's steroids crusade was just...worthless). And if they do so solely on behalf of their buddies in ownership, that's no good. Owners are no more likely than any other stakeholder in sports (players, managers/coachers/GMs, media, and yes, fans) to know what's really best for the sport, and their interests really need the least amount of protection.

So, Romney's answer is useful inasmuch as it tells us if he would or would not take Presidential action on sports, and if he would do so on behalf of the owners. Right now, that "inasmuch" is not much; while Romney seems to think about sports in terms of owners, he doesn't really seem to think about sports much at all, so it's unclear if he'd actually do anything about them as President. But of course, the question wasn't really about anything Romney would do to sports as President, so we shouldn't be surprised that the answer doesn't hit that nail on the head, either.

Either way, I want to know more. We never really saw Goerge Bush's steroids crusade coming, and I'd hate to see a replay of that. For that matter, I'd hate to see quite a bit of Presidential action on sports (Obama's support for college football playoffs also makes me a little itchy, even though he hasn't really done anything about it). So, I think this is worth further exploration. I just hope that future questions are little more on point.

No comments:

Post a Comment