Aquatic dam-building mammals everywhere were glued to their sets on Monday as Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson spoke at the Democratic National Convention, introducing his younger sister Michelle Obama. Fairly unremarkable as introductions go, although it did include possibly the first-ever mention of The Brady Bunch at a major political convention. But the part that caught my attention was when Robinson talked about the idea of first getting to know Barack Obama in a game of pickup basketball. That's a wise notion for several reasons. From Robinson's speech:
My sister had grown up hearing my father and me talk about how to judge a person's character by what type of sportsman they are, so she asked me to take Barack to play basketball. If you're looking for a political analysis based on his playing, here it is: he's confident but not cocky, he'll take the shot if he's open, he's a team player who improves the people around him, and he won't back down from any challenge.
God, I hope Robinson isn't calling him "scrappy." Of course, if Obama had hogged every shot, refused to play defense and cockily shouted "and one" after every basket, would that have been mentioned? Probably not. It's true: One can learn volumes about a person's character through a game of pickup basketball. It's rumored that director Garry Marshall actually filled staff writing positions based on his regular pickup games, and it's not a bad notion. If I owned a corporation, all job interviews would be conducted via a game of full court, 4-on-4. Is the candidate a self starter who is willing to go out and play an aggressive man-to-man, or is he a slacker content in standing around playing a passive zone? Does he take only high percentage shots? Doe he realize that 90 percent of rebounding — just like life — is blocking out? Is he one of those jerks who wears compression shorts under his regular shorts? That last one gets your resume fed into the shredder every time. This could be very useful in politics as well. There's an opening on the Supreme Court? Lace 'em up, judge. If McCain is smart he's gathering all his short list VP candidates on an outdoor court right now and choosing up sides. Hey Romney, take off your wristwatch! Liveblogging Michele Obama's Speech [Jezebel]