In a move smacking of honesty, enthusiasm and an engagement (rather than disdain) for the world around him, Greg Oden went out of his way to let people know he is supporting Barack Obama's bid for the presidency. Oden wrote about a phone call with Senator Obama and he comes off like an innocent and eminently likable kid:
"This will be my first presidential election to participate in as a voter and I hope that you younger voters will get involved. I think that our votes can really influence the outcome so go out, register and vote for who you think is the best candidate to be the best leader for this country and make sure you and your family will feel good about the new president that is elected in November." -Greg OdenI'm totally thrilled to see a rich, ambitious young athlete reveling in his selfhood rather than going the soul-less Jordan and Tiger rout of trying to be all things to all people. And, he's still getting some endorsements to boot. With guys like Oden and Gil Arenas really being themselves perhaps we could be returning to a time when ballplayers where known for their personalities and not just their sponsor.
Once professional athletes were at the forefront of American social and civic life. Those who were so inclined used their status as a pulpit for progress and change. That was a good thing. People listen to their heroes. Just look at the sneakers you're wearing. Now, I'm not saying that we need a league full of outspoken Jim Brown clones but I'd rather run that risk then end up with a bunch of corporate shills who are afraid to speak their mind.
Meanwhile, elsewhere people are just trying to figure out who really is my new bicycle. Is it Hillary or is it Barack?
And, that leaves Bill Simmons out there. He's campaigning for himself.
Postscript: That shirt pictured above is actually for sale, along with similiar ones using your favorite team's logo.