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Inauguration Overload?

Sports producer Lindsay Applebaum:

Liz Clarke has an interesting story today about how some college basketball coaches are calling off practice Tuesday so players can watch the inauguration.

Two things struck me after I read the story. One, it's unreal how many athletes know and care about politics these days. And not even in a Charles Barkley way. Two, why do I have to work on Tuesday if nobody else does (ahem, Boss)?

Something else struck commenter peterxaviercollins, though:

peterxaviercollins wrote: This is typical of the Washington Post. Every sports reporter thinks he (or she) is a political reporter. Don't you realize, Ms. Clarke, that we turn to the sports page to GET AWAY from politics?

Hmm. It's true that reading the sports section has long been viewed as some sort of escapism ("I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people's accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man's failures." -- Earl Warren), but this seems different.

I don't know why. Maybe it's because everyone is cashing in on Obamamania in some way, and, like, come on, dude, the newspaper industry is dying, so can't we get in on it, too?

I'd be willing to not bring this whole thing up if it were the first time I'd seen an anti-politics/inauguration/anything-that's-not-sports comment, but they've been popping up all over the place as of late:

mooresap wrote: Either way, keep the Politics off the sports bog Dan, its often the only place I'm not subjected to the Post's pro-Obama crap.

jec4p: I can't even escape inane anonymous political arguments at the sports bog. I blame the commies.

Anyway, maybe we ought to settle this with a completely unscientific poll. The results certainly won't guarantee any more or less inauguration coverage, but at least we'll know where we stand. Or something.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 16, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
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AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! This is "Crowd Noise" back from the dead!! Please Gawd NOOOOO!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

Posted by: MarylanDChris | January 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the "can't we get in on it, too" link go to the Washington Post Inauguration store? Gotta get those eyeballs!

Posted by: ilikeike | January 16, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I voted "no" but I'm actually not opposed to coverage if it's part of an interesting story that directly concerns area athletes. I mean, we ARE in D.C. It happens. If Caron is saying something about the inauguration during an interview about what he's doing this weekend, then keep it. But it's a fine balance. We don't want every other sports story to be focused on politics, even if we are reading the area's biggest newspaper. That said, this whole conversation will be moot in a couple of days, so what's the big deal?

Posted by: icantfeelmyface | January 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i dont care whether you write about the inauguration or not. but one thing i do know is that you shouldnt listen to the people with the vapors over politics in the sports section. this is washington, politics always bleeds over.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | January 16, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm already politically over-saturated, as everywhere I turn there's something involving the Inauguration in my view. Anywhere I can go to avoid it is where I want to be. That said, I don't think Liz Clarke's article is that egregious an offense. The Inauguration is causing coaches to cancel or reschedule practices. That's sports-related in the same way that it is when they have to cancel or reschedule because of snow or a power outage. I could do without the commentary by the coaches about the significance of the event, but I'd stop well before accusing Clarke of confusing herself for a political reporter.

I'm working too, so you're not alone. I fully expect to be able to hear a pin drop around the office.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | January 16, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I voted no, but only because you used the phrase inauguration. I rather enjoy the mixing of politics and sports which is an old DC tradition. I respect the RI "rules" of no poli on the blog, and other sports blogs. But people need to accept this boys and girls, you don't want poli-blended sports become a baltimore fan.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 16, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"it's unreal how many athletes know and care about politics these days..."

Hmmmm. Now, why would that be?

Posted by: davekempson | January 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Keep the politics out of the sports section. Its sickening to read that crap in this section. I'm guessing the 30 or so percent that voted for it was Cillizza coming over here because his blog isn't getting enough traffic.

Posted by: JDP_ | January 16, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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