Don't Pay Attention to Coach K's Comments About Obama

Much has been made of President Obama's visit with ESPN's Andy Katz to discuss his bracket for the NCAA Tournament, and not all of the response has been positive.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke with reporters on Wednesday and, via the Associated Pressoffered a stern rebuke to the Commander in Chief's attempt to predict the Final Four. 

"Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets."

The quote has spread like wildfire, drawing out many who accuse the President of whistling past the graveyard. Obviously our country is facing serious problems and no reasonable person could argue that addressing and solving them should be any President's chief concern, but aren't we taking the task of filling out a bracket a tad too seriously?  

How long does it really take to fill one out, especially one as heavy on chalk as the President's? 15-20 minutes sounds like a decent guess, which doesn't seem like an awful lot of time to take out of a day when there's any number of things that the President is obligated to do every day that have nothing to do with actual governance.

Think of those visits from Super Bowl teams, nights at the Kennedy Center Honors and pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving, for example. Those don't stop when the country's at war or facing other crises, so there doesn't seem to be much risk that an economic meltdown that's been going on for more than a year is going to become irreparable because the President took a couple of minutes to write team names on a sheet of paper.

It's funny that a tournament that causes widespread inactivity in offices around the country, even absences from work entirely, would engender such a negative response. There's no way to equate those jobs with President of the United States, of course, but a little perspective wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Not that Coach K, the guy who seemingly sparked this whole controversy, seems to disagree in the least. Media Matters reports that he was smiling while delivering the above quote which he followed up by saying, "Why would I care about that? I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."

Which raises the question of why any of us should care about it.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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