As a fan of the Golden State Warriors, a lot went through my head during the day of Monday, June 12 before they clinched the NBA Finals. But allow me to share one of the more ridiculous thoughts I had.
I was briefly debating whether it would be a good idea to post a video of Meat Loaf’s “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” on Facebook if and when the Warriors won. Certainly, my sports fan friends and family would get the reference, as would pretty much anyone living in Northern California.
But I have plenty of friends and family who don’t fall into either description. Would they get the reference? Or would they be as clueless as I am when someone posts about “The Bachelor” and take it more literally, thinking I was posting some cryptic message about a relationship that they didn’t even know I was in?
I spent more time debating that in my mind then I’d ever care to admit. These are the kind of things that run through my head. But, I never once even thought about the following question.
If the Warriors win, will they visit President Donald Trump in The White House?
Not including this win, I’ve cheered for eight teams that won championships in my life. I was too young to even remember Notre Dame’s 1988 National Championship winning team, or the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champions in 1988 or 1989. I remember the 1994 49ers well but was too young to understand all of the pageantry that comes with winning a championship.
But the 2010, 2012 and 2014 San Francisco Giants, as well as the 2015 Golden State Warriors all won championships after my 25th birthday.
Now, brace yourselves. I’m a big sports fan with a great memory and I am about to share every memory I have of all four of those White House visits.
When the Giants visited the White House in 2011, then President Barack Obama made a joke about Brian Wilson’s beard.
If you want any specifics about the joke, you’re going to have to do your own research. If you remember and want to tell me, feel free. But you might as well tell me what you had for dinner on May 23, 2005. I honestly couldn’t care less.
Because while I have only one specific memory of my favorite teams going to The White House, I’ve seen countless other teams on highlight shows. They all go about the same.
The team owner, coach/manager and a few key players stand around the president. Everyone else stands in the background awkwardly, much like you’d see out of a third grade class on picture day. The president then tells a corny joke or two and every laughs nervously, not unlike how you laugh if you’re watching a movie with your mother and someone tells a funny joke that features about four “F-bombs.”
Finally, the team presents the president with a jersey with his number on the back. In President Donald Trump’s case, it would be 45.
Are these customs that, as sports fans, we can’t live without? It sure doesn’t seem that way.
Now, let’s take a second to address a couple things that you might be thinking.
One, this is some political message.
Not at all. Be an ardent fan or critic of President Trump’s all you want. Stay peaceful yourself, don’t advocate violence and don’t let your political enthusiasm get in the way of people living their lives. For the sake of this discussion, that’s where my political interests start and stop.
Secondly, you might assume I’m a person with absolutely no sentiment.
Again, not true. One of my greatest memories of the Warriors winning in 2015 is laughing with my friend about all of the text messages that he sent me through their playoff run.
In 2010, I can remember inadvertently tackling my mom shortly after the Giants won. In 2014, I can remember nearly hyperventilating as Madison Bumgarner tried to close the Kansas City Royals out. When Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez misplayed Alex Gordon’s two-out hit, I remember unleashing a stream of profanities that would make a sailor blush.
When Bumgarner retired Salvador Perez for the final out, I remember being far more relieved than happy. I also remember thinking of a friend of mine in Kansas City who had really gotten behind the Royals run and thinking that it was unfortunate that she wouldn’t get to feel the championship thrill. A year later, I was happy for that same friend when Kansas City did win, even though I was again cheering against her team.
These are memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. They just don’t involve awkward visits to see the president.
Let’s not only assume that they won’t go, but let’s take that to another extreme. Let’s say that the Warriors not going to The White House starts a trend. Then, by the time President Trump’s time in office is over, the championship visit to The White House is just a part of this country’s past.
Is it something we’d really miss? It shouldn’t be.
If anything, it would be a strange net positive on his presidency.