Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Obama’s Brother in law-One for the Hoops fans

College basketball is probably my favorite sport. There are very few games that I wouldn’t watch start to finish, no matter who was playing. Of course powerhouse games – Duke/UNC, UCLA/Arizona, Georgetown/Pitt are fun.

But the underdogs – they are my secret love. It’s probably why I got on board with the Obama campaign way back in January of 2007.

And that’s why I’ll be rooting for Oregon State this year, even though they’ll be playing my beloved UW Huskies twice. Oregon State, you see, didn’t win a single PAC 10 game last year. And they hired someone they thought could turn the program around. Craig Robinson – a man who happens to be Barack Obama’s brother-in-law.

CBS has a great piece up about Robinson and what’s staring him in the face.

It’s probably no surprise that kids are willing to test the waters at Oregon State, a bottom-rung team in the middle of nowhere, because the coach is related to the man who might be President. But it’s worth thinking about, anyway:

“We’re at the table with a lot of recruits because of the publicity I’ve received because of my family,” Robinson said. “This kind of publicity allows me to call AAU coaches, and even if they don’t know me, they will at least listen and get to know me, and right now I’d say 70 percent of the guys we’re in with wouldn’t be interested in us if they didn’t know me because of my family.

“It’s getting me in the door. And then it’s the same thing I’ve said about Barack and Michelle, that if you get to know them you’re going to vote for them, and that’s what I hope people say about me. If they get to know me I think they’ll at least let me in on their kid, and I have always felt that I can be as good as anybody if I can just get in the living room.”

The article goes on to talk a bit about a prospect that Oregon State shouldn’t be even talking to, let alone close to signing. Roberto Nelson, a 6-4 four-star shooting guard out of Santa Barbara.

[Nelson is] a top 75 prospect from California and is being recruited by pretty much all of the major programs on the West Coast. Oregon State should have no chance at a prospect like this, especially at a time when it has dropped 33 of its past 36 Pac-10 games. And yet the Beavers are in with Nelson to the extent where they are likely to get a visit this fall.

Something is inspiring these kids to think about taking a chance on a program that they shouldn’t be taking a chance on. Kids like Nelson should be signing agreements to start at top-tier Middle Conference schools like Nevada, or to sign on as role players at big schools like Stanford or Oregon.

In this day and age, when athletes are derided for taking the easy way out, Craig Robinson is getting kids excited about a program at the bottom. Now, read this quote from an interview last May, and think about it in terms of 2008, the Democrats, and what lies ahead:

That’s exactly what we have to do. We have to get back to a winning mentality. The good thing is that, albeit awhile ago, this place has some history of winning. So I think if we can turn the corner a bit, we will get the support from the fans, the media, the high school coaches.

Let’s turn the corner in 2008. Good luck to Craig Robinson at OSU. While we may not be able to play ball for you, we can volunteer our asses off for Barack Obama and make sure that you’re recruiting next spring as the President’s brother in law.

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August 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. This is a nice story. I’m not really a big college hoops fan, but I’ll be pulling for Oregon State this year.

    Comment by smashartist | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Craig Robinson is by all accounts a good guy and a decent coach, and I wish him nothing but success in his new job. That said, at the risk of sounding like John McCain, I think it says something about celebrity in this country that teenagers will make a major life decision such as where to go to college based on the basketball coach’s in-laws. I shudder to think what would happen to Oregon State’s program if Miley Ray Cyrus decided to attend their biggest rival.

    Comment by gdh1 | August 17, 2008 | Reply


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