Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reilly, Obama

Rick Reilly wrote a column for ESPN The Magazine this week about picking a fantasy team with Barack Obama. Funny stuff, really, although even Obama couldn't overshadow Reilly's writing about what always seems most important to him: himself.

It's always a dubious project when sportswriters take on politics, I know. So maybe my expectations were a bit too high. But look:

It took us 30 minutes to pick nine slots. The man was into it. I said I'd need to talk to him the following week about how we did.

"Cool," he said. "How's Tuesday?"

"Sorry," I said. "Getting married Tuesday."

He looked stunned. "Who'd marry you?"

Wise guy. Check.

I mean, Reilly just HAS to insert that he got married, even though it has nothing to do with the column. And then he gives us his own witty characterization of Obama. Please, man. Save it.

And just when you thought he couldn't destroy a fascinating column subject any more, he ends with--what else--more about himself:

He e-mailed to say he wished he had followed my advice on Berrian (who smoked Marshall), but he was "pumped up" about our numbers. And he congratulated the newlyweds.

I e-mailed back and said that if he wins this election, the ambassadorship to Tahiti would make a nice wedding present.

I don't really care what the column says about Obama. Coming away from the article, in fact, I don't have a clear idea of what Reilly wants us to think about the democratic nominee anyway. He's obviously joking when he says "Doesn't work well with others" because Obama demanded they take Clinton Portis instead of Adrian Peterson, but it falls short of interesting because of Reilly's selfish editorialization.

Whatever. I (a) wouldn't want to receive that information from a sports columnist (and one who consistently rants against Tiger Woods's competitiveness, no less), and (b) assume that Obama was fully prepped for his time with Reilly well in advance.

But still, Rick. Horrible. You used to be my writing hero. What happened?