Reporter's Note: President Obama gets all caught up in basketball, but give me a shiny sheet of ice, some sharp blades, and the crack of a slap shot any day! In the meantime, I’ll give him my latest letter.
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Tom Foreman | BIO
Dear Mr. President,
As you know, I am a bit of a hockey fan. When I lived in Colorado I loved watching the Avalanche streak down the ice and I went to a good many of their games, including one of the Stanley Cup playoff tilts. The Avs are still my favorite team, although after almost ten years in DC I’ve grown quite fond of the Capitols too, and they’ve proven very exciting, especially this year.
I also like some of the customs and traditions of hockey, which frankly I think your political pals ought to consider taking up.
For starters: the Zamboni. In between each period of play, I enjoy watching the big, lumbering machine put a fresh layer of ice over all the nicks, and scrapes left behind by the previous tussles. It is practical, of course; no one wants to trip while skating 35 miles an hour and intercepting a frozen puck that is traveling well over a hundred all while being chased by someone who would like to pulverize your ribcage. But the Zamboni’s work is also symbolic. It says, this is a fresh start. Clear your mind. Refocus. Do your best. I think a little Zamboni visit to Congress after each day’s play could go a long way toward sharper, crisper action in the morning.
The second thing you pols might want to add to your repertoire: Hockey style fights. Because they are fair. Well, not all the time, granted. But it is the code of hockey that when two guys have finally had it with each other, they square off, throw down their gloves, and have a go. I’d rather be punched in the mouth any day than knifed in the back. Part of what poisons politics is not merely the animosity, but all the double-dealing and sneaky, dirty fighting.
The third thing: The Penalty Box. I think a lot of those Congressional types could benefit from a minute or two in the sin bin when they get out of hand.
And the last thing you might want to add to the agenda: The handshake. No sports contests are more grueling, violent, exhausting or emotional than hockey playoff series. And yet at the end, no matter how fierce the battle, both teams skate together, shake hands, and show respect and gratitude for their opponents.
All of these measures, if adopted, I am certain will make DC a more functional place. Unfortunately, I know I’m just dreaming. After all politics is not hockey. Hockey is civilized.
I’ll be kind of busy today getting ready for a trip, so if you want to call can we make it Sunday? Thanks. You are always so understanding.
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