So Pittsburgh Steelers badass linebacker James Harrison doesn't want any part of a meet-and-greet with the President, does he? He absolutely hates to get on plane anywhere, any time. Plus, he jokes, the White House is in a bad neighborhood. No biggie, he says.
Dude, what is the big deal? Harrison isn't the first athlete to blow off the trip -- he also turned down the invitation three years ago -- and something tells me that he won't be the last. To hear the media drone on, though, you'd think the guy quadrupled taxes or something.
Look, I don't mean any disrespect here, but who did have a better 2008 season -- Harrison and the Steelers or Barack Obama and the Democratic Party?
Harrison took down 16 passers, shook loose seven fumbles, was selected the Defensive Player of the Year and scored a 100-yard touchdown, the greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history, maybe ever, while his team got one for the other thumb.
Mr. President? He shook a lot of hands, flashed a lot of smiles, made a lot of promises and beat John McCain, who like the Arizona Cardinals couldn't win the big one, either.
Excuse me, but shouldn't the President be headed to Heinz Field instead?
You do know the White House is three miles from Nationals Park, where the home team rips off thousands of people in public, right?
By now, they've seen enough of the Steelers on Pennsylvania Avenue to last awhile, anyway. If the Satan-lovin' New England Patriots hadn't Belicheated their way to the top, the Men of Steel might be headed to D.C. for the fourth time in the last eight years.
As far as I can tell, there's only one person that knows the White House better than James Farrior, Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and the boys. You got it—Monica Lewinsky.
Besides, this isn't the time for filthy rich, highly successful athletes to parade around in public. Take a look around. See many winners in the U.S. of A. these days? Uh-uh.
At the moment, more than 2.2 million people are unemployed here. Many have lost their homes. Many have seen their 401K plans shrink to 100.25K plans. Worst of all, many have lost hope for the future.
As a longtime fan, Mr. President, you know the sports world is no different. It's filled with losers that are down on their luck, ones that could use some love and encouragement from the highest authority in the land.
So never mind James Harrison and the Steelers. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...
Give me your Los Angeles Clippers!
You're a basketball fan from way back, Mr. President, so I don't have to tell you about the rough waters that the Clipper ship has sailed for...for...forever. In 31 seasons, the Ralph Naders of professional hoops haven't had a sniff of an NBA championship.
Last season the Clippers won 19 games and finished in fourth place. Behind the Lakers, UCLA and USC in their own city, although in fairness, USC did exceed the salary cap.
Pat head coach Mike Dunleavy and his players on the backs, Mr. President, and I bet those guys would feel 5 feet tall.
(If team owner Donald Sterling tags along, then you better hide the towels, though.)
Give me the Detroit Lions!
Mr. President, do realize how long it has been since the Lions had teeth?
Here, let me put in terms that you can understand best: They haven't won a playoff game since two Bush Administrations ago or an NFL championship since Dwight Eisenhower was in office. You probably don’t remember that last one—you were minus 4 years old then.
Wait, it's worse than that. Would you believe the Lions haven't won any game that counted in two years? Why, that was so long ago, Rod Blagojevich hadn't begun to scalp Senate seats yet.
If you invited the Lions to the White House, their fans would have reason to be proud again. All three of them.
Give me a Canadian club, any Canadian club!
Hard to believe that no NHL team from across the border has taken a swig out of the Stanley Cup in 16 years, isn't it? Sad but true.
If the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks were invited to a supersized cookout on the White House lawn—without sticks, of course—imagine what it could do for foreign relations.
Give me the Washington Nationals!
You know, Mr. President, the Nationals? The baseball team? The one that has gone '62 Mets on us this season? The one whose television ratings are a tad higher than a test pattern? Yeah, that's them.
Decades ago, people said of Washington, "First in war, first in peace, last in the American League." The updated version is, "Darn near last in war, tied for 21st in peace, would be first in the Eastern League."
The nasty Nats could use a friend in a high place, Mr. President, not to mention a few hugs. Better yet, these guys can cab it to your place. Budget, you know.
Oh, and if you know any relief pitchers, then make sure to invite them, too.
Otherwise, Mr. President, you don’t want have to paint place and rename it the Black-and-Gold House, do you?