The Week Sports and Politics Became One

Sports and politics collide! Three points on their convergence this morning:

1. If you weren’t following along with Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco while he live-tweeted the State of the Union address last night, you really missed out. Some of @ochocinco’s finer cuts:

“Not being rude but if they stand up and clap on every statement Obama says this could go on well over 3 hours.”

“Anybody notice the guy over Obamas left shoulder doesn’t seem very happy and he’s not smiling. He’s not clapping with joy.”

“@SpeakerBoehner Just read some of your tweets and you seem pretty angry kind sir. I can see you on tv but you’re not smiling. Hope you’re ok”

“Like losing virginity all over again RT @dylgoss7: Hahah i feel like this is @ochocinco ‘s first time experiencing politics.”


2. It’s been much discussed, but Tim Thomas’s decision to skip the Bruins’ White House visit was unusually dumb. The problem wasn’t just the stink it caused, but his muddled rationale. In case you haven’t seen it, here was the explanation he put on his Facebook page:

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

Aside from the fact that the Constitution says nothing about the merits of a small vs. large federal government and that the various Founding Fathers had very much differing and conflicting ideas about the role of government (I know, from listening to politicians sometimes, you’d think there was one big patriotic group-think back in the late 18th century), Thomas contradicts himself. He says the decision to skip wasn’t about politics, though quite clearly it was. He just spent the previous two paragraphs explaining his politics to us. If it wasn’t about politics, then what could it possibly have been about? Oh right, he says, “This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.” That’s a circular argument. His statement was supposed to be explaining his choice. To say that his choice to skip the White House was about the choice is just stupid.

Thomas is certainly entitled to his politics and allowed to do whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean we can’t say he’s being dumb, disrespectful, and unnecessarily divisive. That seems to be the opinion of the Bruins, anyway. Fluto Shinzawa has a killer piece in the Globe today, tracking the fallout. Shinzawa quotes one team source as calling Thomas’s decision, “[Expletive] selfish [expletive].’’ The Globe reporter also wrote:

Two team sources think Thomas’s decision won’t have a negative effect inside the dressing room because it reflects no deviation from his character. Separately, the sources both said Thomas’s actions merely revealed what his teammates have known since 2006-07, his first full season with the Bruins: that he is a solitary, me-against-the-world figure who often puts himself in front of the team.

Wow. Shinzawa even suggested this could be the beginning of the end for Thomas in Boston. Remember a few weeks ago when Thomas was simply regarded as a hockey hero?


3. Elizabeth Warren is, if nothing else, determined not to repeat Martha Coakley’s mistakes, at least when it comes to sports. First, Warren tweeted about how she was out in the cold, shaking hands at Fenway Park. And while Coakley wasn’t quite sure whether Curt Schilling pulled for the Yankees or Red Sox, Warren had her opinions on Tom Brady and Eli Manning very much straight during a lively appearance on the Daily Show last night: