Wednesdays, the middle day of the work week, are never exciting. You’re past Monday and Tuesday but you’ve still got Thursday and Friday. Mine started out the same as always; checking emails and missed calls before moving on down the list. This Wednesday was not promising anything out of the ordinary, until I opened up ESPN and was greeted with this:
There are a few reasons this excites me. For starters, I am an avid college basketball fan and a big supporter of Barack Obama, and his desire to partake in March Madness each year due to his self-professed love for basketball brings together two of my biggest interests. For the past 6 years, seeing President Obama talk with Andy Katz about the nation’s best teams signals that is it truly time for March Madness.
This year promised to be even more exciting. That’s because there was a very good chance the president was going to pick Kentucky as his national champion. It would be hard not to; Kentucky is 34-0 and has college basketball on notice about who the is prohibitive favorite this year.
That didn’t mean that President Obama was going to pick them, though. In 2012, when UK was the favorite yet again, the commander-in-chief went with North Carolina to beat Kentucky in the championship game. They didn’t even make it that far.
So, I waited for 9 AM to roll around so that I could find out who the president chose. And then finally, as the segment was wrapping up on SportsCenter, I saw this tweet from the Herald-Leader’s Mark Story:
Yes. It was going to happen.
What, exactly, was going to happen, you might be wondering? Well, let’s back up a bit. You have to understand the relationship between the state of Kentucky and President Barack Obama. That relationship is this – the majority of Kentuckians hate Barack Obama. Now, there is one major factor as to why this is probably the case (B-L-A-C-K) but there are others too; the majority of Kentuckians have historically voted Republican in national races while electing their hometown Democrats in lesser, state roles. Take 2012 for example – Barack Obama won 60% of his presidential primary. The other 40? Those votes were cast for “Undecided”. And those were only Democrats voting for him!
Back to the point at hand. Barack Obama had just picked Kentucky to win the national championship, most likely because they’re the safest pick in 20 years and politicians usually don’t stray too far out on any limb. Combine this with the utter disdain he gets from the people of Kentucky, and today suddenly got much more interesting.
As the news started to trickle out, there were a few early opinions on Twitter that made their presence felt. For example:
OK, the kiss of death complaint. I can handle this one. President Obama has picked only one right champion (North Carolina in 2009) during his time in office, so I can understand some angst about being chosen by someone who doesn’t have the greatest track record in prognostication. We’ll call these the Mark May truthers.
It was only beginning.
These guys were so upset that a
Muslim African-American the president picked the same team as them…the team that almost 4 MILLION other people picked on ESPN as of today, that they were actively struggling with whether to stay with UK as their champion. What a cross to bear. You know what, WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYWAY. This bandwagon is full and has been full since the moment John Calipari was hired.
Then, we had this guy:
Actually, the only reason I wanted to include him was because he used the nonexistent word “upsetted”. That’s some strong grammatical screwing up, when you throw a past tense on the word upset. OK, moving along.
I started to notice a pattern to the majority of these anti-Obama-picks-Kentucky tweets. See for yourself:
Hmm, I thought. I might be on to something here. Surely, though, people are smarter than that, right? Surely not EVERYONE on Twitter who disliked President Obama’s pick ended their joke creation process at the same, quick, dead-end conclusion.
“I don’t like the president, but he just chose my favorite college basketball team, but I don’t like the president. But that was a good decision by him…and it was the same decision I made…and I’m always right, so… PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE A RIGHT DECISION FOR THE FIRST TIME!”
Even Drunk Coach Cal (who isn’t real! that is not Calipari but yet an imaginative Twitter account that deals with what it would be like if Calipari tweeted while drunk! I love social media.) had to get in on the action.
I had been let down. I had given more credit to my fellow Kentuckians. I thought we were better than this. I mean, not by much, don’t get me wrong, we as a state are in the bottom 5% in almost every major health category and have both the poorest counties in the nation and the region with the highest rates of cancer…BUT I STILL THOUGHT WE WERE BETTER THAN THIS.
The only silver lining I can find in this whole sad affair is that, God forbid, Kentucky were to actually slip up and be eliminated form the NCAA Tournament during this historic run…just imagine all of the (same) jokes that will be delivered. It may help brighten up another mundane day.
Thanks Obama, indeed.
Shoot straight my friends.