"He said he was sorry," I offer.
"I just don't get it."
The President, playing basketball with friends and family, walks away from the fun braced for twelve stitches to the lip. If you have ever had twelve stitches in the lip, and most people cannot say that they have, all I can say is, it hurts. The stitching, the healing, none of this feels good. You don't want to know what I did to be awarded mine, only that it was not due to the usual suspects, domestic or intimate partner abuse. That would leave falling, tripping, or stray rocks.
But this is not about me. Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, accidentally elbowed President Obama. Decerega tells us the game was all in good fun,
"I learned today the President is both a tough competitor and a good sport. I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I'm sure he'll be back out on the court again soon."I sure hope not. This is likely a minority opinion, but Michelle might agree, and there have to be others, too, who are upset that of all places, our Commander in Chief has been injured on a basketball court, playing a game of hoops.
A person should be more careful playing basketball. Whenever FD leaves the house to play alumni basketball for a school that he never attended, I shout, "Be careful!" It comes out more like, "You're old. You shouldn't be playing basketball."
He goes anyway, because he loves the game. And it is a wonderful game, as only those who of us who run back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, or once did, gasping, drenching our shirts, purging the poisons, could possibly know.
I mainly worry about crunched digits. FD plays the piano.
It is the emotion of the game responsible for our leader's split lip, the drive of adrenaline, not even his adrenaline, is the irony. It belonged to a director of one of his programs. The director's competitive spirit is responsible for the trouble the President will have next week talking to diplomats of other nations.
"I'm good," is probably what the President said, after the injury. He won't plot revenge or jail the fellow.
Can we do that in this country? Can a President jail someone for a foul? No, of course not. But he might have a long memory.
The ultimate lesson of all this should be directed to the children, and the President should be the messenger, for he really shines when he talks to the kids. (See his first day of school speech). He might say something along these lines, but more eloquently,
It's just a game! Save a little of that aggression, that competitive attitude, for your homework. You're going to need it, too, when you have jobs, when you ultimately move into the workforce. The point of sports is control, precision, moving the body gracefully to reach a goal. You shouldn't have to poke, gauge, or gash anyone to be a valuable player.Is that so naive, telling them to work at skill and avoid brutality?
While you're talking to them, Mr. President, when you have recovered the gift of painless speech that is, tell them to pass the advice along to their parents.