Enemy of the Week

In the Heat of This Cold Night

The sporting life is flourishing this winter.

By 2.14.14

UPI
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You can close the book on Al Gore. He lied to us. Pure and simple. Then he took the money and ran, okay, waddled, while we’ve just had to shell out for a new sled, a fresh pack of huskies, and additional space heaters for our igloo. So much for his promises that we’d be living in Tahiti by now. There’s currently more snow in Washington, D.C. than in Sochi.

“Earth in the Balance,” Al used to say. Hah! Just like the equilibrium he and then-wife Ms. Tipper Gore displayed in “Joined at the Heart,” their pre-divorce book on the bedrock role of family in their lives. The book was an outgrowth of an earlier Al Gore offering, “Common Sense Government: Works Better and Costs Less.” It appears to still have one avid reader, a fellow who goes by the name of John Boehner. He dips into it for bedtime stories every time he tucks Mitch McConnell in.

There’s one thing to be said about a frozen winter: It enhances interpersonal warmth. A special time was had by all at the White House Tuesday night when French President Hollande came to dinner, alone. For deeply personal reasons he was on a cooling off regimen, which freed him to direct all his considerable charm at America’s first lady, who was flattered to discover that she’s a head taller than the hand-kissing Frenchman. And if you check out the guest list, you’ll by struck by the care that the evening’s host, Monsieur B.H. Obamá, took to have it reflect Love, American Style, à la mode, if you will (and please, this isn’t about ice cream). Thus there were those like the honored guests who preferred the stag look: Elena Kagan, Laurent Fabius (Billy Crystal was born to pronounce his name), Sarah Schmidt, Bruce Stokes, Christine Lagarde, Charles Adams, Jr. Others, to honor the Obamas of today and the Gores of yesteryear, came as married heterosexual couples, including a goodly number that sported the same surname, a nice retro touch. In other instances, same surnameness reflected a (Hagel) father-daughter or (Pritzker) cousin pairing — not to be confused with the mother-daughter twosome of Nancy Pelosi and Jacqueline Kenneally, the first time someone of the latter name combination has supped at the White House since Jacqueline Kennedy dined alone.

Then came the same-sexers, though in what marital state must remain a matter yet to be determined. In its slide show, the Washington Post did identify one woman from this category as “an activist for same-sex marriage” (you can look it up), an odd situation in that not one of the other guests was identified as an activist for different-sex marriage, or for that matter as an activist bitterly opposed to marriage. There was further evidence of woeful imbalance when Jason Collins and his handsome date were listed as a pair, so soon after Mr. Collins’ special appearance as Mrs. Obama’s guest at the State of the Union address. How come all this attention being showered on Mr. Collins, but none on his identical twin brother, Jarron Collins? Inequality in America is a much bigger problem than anyone imagined.

If you don’t believe it check out the New Republic and Nation magazines, who’ve been asking point blank, “Where is the mainstream, right-wing reaction to NFL prospect and SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay?” Or as the Nation’s headline put it more pithily, “Why the Curious Right-Wing Silence on Michael Sam?” Forget the “silence” part — Enemy Central’s employer reacted to Sam’s announcement before it left the locker room even though none of us had the faintest idea who Mr. Sam was. Even better, we beat Sports Illustrated to running the same cover photo of Mr. Sam in action. (Apparently no one else knew who he was either because the pickings were slim.) And it is strange that the folks at the New Republic and Nation are so hot to trot after Mr. Sam, having themselves never mentioned him before this week. It would appear these nutsos like Mr. Sam only for his body, not his football mind. And they’re the ones who think it’s football players who’ve suffered too many concussions. Much more troubling is the damage that sex on the brain can cause.

So congrats to Messrs. Jonathan Cohn and Dave Zirin, the two writers responsible for the above taunts. May your fledgling sportswriting careers flourish. Think of the EOW you’ve won this week as a PED. You need something to improve your game.

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