White House revelations notwithstanding, office football is not an actionable offense. It is a stress habit for men, like smoking or biting nails.
Of all the revelations spurred by Ron Suskind's book Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, perhaps the least surprising is that footballs were tossed around in staff meetings at the White House.
Peter Wallsten and Anne E. Kornblut report on what former White House communications director Anita Dunn described as a near-hostile workplace environment for women:
The complaints began circulating early in the administration.
In interviews at the time, female officials complained that top aides fueled the high-testosterone atmosphere. Footballs were occasionally thrown during staff meetings, by one account. Rough language abounded.
That, of course, made the White House hardly different from most other political operations.
Boy are the reporters right in that assessment. As I sat down to write this yesterday, one of my young male colleagues was playing with a hackey sack in the hallway in front of my desk.
Sometimes the men who sit either side of me toss one over my head and throw it back and forth over my desk, at high velocity. They use standing desks, so there's no risk of hitting me at my seated one, and you don't work in a newsroom for any length of time without learning how to tune out what's happening around you when you need to.