Florida Senator And Likely Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio Spends His Time Reading Websites About Long Snapping, Would Switch Jobs With Jeff IrelandS

Marco Rubio, according to an article published yesterday in the New York Times, is a diehard Dolphins fan and a massive football fan in general: His father used to motivate him to keep wearing his leg braces, there to correct a knee problem, by giving him pep talks in the voice of Don Shula ("I always wondered why Shula had a Cuban accent," said Rubio), he wanted to work for the University of Florida football team under Steve Spurrier, and he regularly—constantly, the article seems to suggest—speaks with Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland about injuries, strategy, and who the team should draft. Asked whether he would switch jobs with Ireland, Rubio said yes "instantly," which should be a comfort to his constituents.

Rubio coaches his 7-year old son in youth football, which sort of explains this tidbit, but also sort of doesn't:

But Rubio, 41, is legitimate, a serious fan who not only can name the Dolphins' long snapper (John Denny) but can also tell you that an N.F.L. long-snapper must get the ball to the holder in seven-tenths of a second.

"You are two-tenths of a second from getting every kicked blocked in the N.F.L.," he says. Rubio learned this from reading a Web site devoted to long snapping.

Rubio brags about taunting Florida State fans on Twitter and says of the Jets, "That's the team I hate to lose to the most. They could be 1-15, and if they beat the Dolphins, their fans get obnoxious," which is not quite true, as their fans would be obnoxious even if they lost. (After Rubio made that comment about the Jets, the Times got an email from Rubio's spokesman emphasizing that Jets owner and Republican bankroll Woody Johnson has a good relationship with Rubio.) Both Rubio's sister and his wife have been Dolphins cheerleaders. Also, this:

Colleagues once discovered Rubio studying a binder of pre-N.F.L. draft scouting reports during an important debate, according to a biography by the Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia.

Yeah, he really likes the football. If it means this guy in the Oval Office, fine. We need a Secretary of Unforgetting.

Football, And It's Not Political [NY Times]