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Spin Control

Posts tagged: NCAA basketball tournament

Today’s fun video: Obama fills in his bracket


In what has become an annual ritual, President Obama filled out his NCAA Tournament Bracket for ESPN earlier this week. (Spoiler alert: He says nice things about Gonzaga, but doesn't pick them to win it all.)

Which prompted the second annual ritual of Republicans complaining that the president was spending time filling out his bracket than doing something more important. To read the Politico roundup, click here.

But it seems the GOP misses an important element of this: Obama is giving thousands — maybe even hundreds of thousands — of college basketball fans a chance to say they're smarter than him when it comes to picking winners in the tournament.

Obama’s bracket: Are you doing better than the prez?

In keeping with tradition for the start of the NCAA basketball tournaments, President Obama filled out  his bracket and the White House released it.

Something new was added to the mix this year, however. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized Obama for spending too much attention to basketball and not enough to other things going on in the world. 

(video courtesy of Talking Points Memo. It's a longish clip from the Sean Hannity show, but the discussion of basketball begins about 2:50 in.)

So what do you think…should Obama have skipped bracketology this year to attend to Japan, Libya, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the economy, Iraq, Iran, Republicans in the House, jobs, health care or anything else you think he's not doing correctly?

Are you willing to let it slide this time because he picked Gonzaga men and women to win their first round games?

Or is the real problem not the filling out of the brackets but the amount of time one spends watching games and rooting/hoping/praying that the final shot in a close game will go the way of the team you picked for this round? Click here or on comment and add your two cents.

Fun video: If the government ran the pool

This video is a bit overdone, and the acting a bit underdone, but it is topical. Submitted for your approval: If the office basketball pool were run like the AIG bailout, wouldn’t we all be winners?’

Putting some chips on the Zags

When a sports team from around here plays in a big contest with a team from elsewhere, Washington politicians usually have to have something riding on the outcome.

In 2007, when the Seahawks played the Chicago Bears in the NFL playoffs, Gov. Chris Gregoire bet salmon and apples against barbecue and hot dogs with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Apparently he didn’t have any political positions seats to put up that week.)

In 2006, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers bet North Carlina Rep. Patrick McHenry a salmon dinner to a barbecue dinner that the Seahawks would beat the Panthers in the playoffs. She collected. Two weeks later, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell bet Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum salmon, apples and coffee aganist pierogies and wings, the ‘Hawks would beat the Steelers in the Superbowl. They had to pay.

In 2005, when Eastern Washington University’s football team played Montana in “the Governor’s Cup,” she bet a salmon she’d caught against some of Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s buffalo steaks.

Friday, Gregoire’s office announced she has a bet with North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue on tonight’s Gonzaga-North Carolina baskeball game.

Bet you can’t guess what she bet…


About Obama’s picks

Barack Obama got his pick for Commerce Secretary on the third try. That would be former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, who was confirmed today.

He’s doing not quite so well on his picks for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, where he’s picked 33 out of the 48 games thus far. If you’ve done better, feel free to gloat.

But it would seem that Coach K’s suggestion that the president has better ways to spend his time than filling out his brackets might have been misdirected…it seems as though Obama didn’t spend that much time, after all.

How are Obama’s picks holding up?

Wondering about the president’s picks?

No, not his picks for cabinet or subcabinet posts, but the really important ones. His picks in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.

President Obama currently has picked 16 correct, as of Friday afternoon. Respectable, to be sure, but that puts him tied for 69th in the newspaper’s bracket pool on the CBS Web site.

A more complete discussion of his picks, and standing, will come at the end of the weekend.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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