We flicked it up for Sports Illustrated

Everything this blog is about--excepting Gwen Stacy and aquatic elves--collides here:

Still, you talk about bossy. I thought he'd let the professional sportswriter do most of the picking while the wonk occasionally looked up from some Pakistan brief and nodded. Yeah, not exactly. When I got on his campaign bus, all three flat screens were tuned to ESPN. Obama was sitting in a black leather swivel chair, reading the paper. "Hey, man, I'll be with you in a second," he said. "I'm poring over the latest economic news." It was the USA Today NFL stats page.

He is taller, grayer and quicker to laugh than I expected. Moves sort of like an athlete--cool and smooth. "Now, you're the expert," he began. "And I'll gladly be the junior partner in this, but I really think we should take Drew Brees. He could have a big week. Oakland's secondary is a wreck."

Ohhhh, so that's how it's going to be. "Well, I like Carson Palmer," I said. "He's due for a big week, plus he plays in Ohio and I figure that's a state you need, so ..."

He looked at me like I'd stuck my elbow in his soup. "Man, this is more important than politics!" he insisted. "This is football!"


In 2004, when Mike Ditka considered running against him for Senate, Obama--remembering how Ditka let William Perry score a Super Bowl TD instead of Walter Payton--said that "anybody who would give the ball to Refrigerator Perry instead of Sweetness doesn't have very good judgment." Ditka didn't run. "Too bad," Obama says. "We were hoping he would."

Oh man...If only I had five votes...