Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sucker-punch or good ol' fashioned kapowie!?

[Photo and caption from Yale 1969 yearbook, via LA Times, 8.9.04]

So which is it, just a "bad boy" having some fun?

"I am looking at a photo of the George W. Bush that you've probably never seen before. It's a sports-action close-up of him at Yale, over a caption written prophetically by a fellow undergraduate more than 30 years ago: 'George Bush delivers illegal, but gratifying right hook to opposing ball carrier.'"

"Never mind that this is a rugby game, alien to most Americans, and that the caption writer's assessment wasn't political. I think it explains one reason why Bush hasn't slid in the polls since John Kerry reported for duty: He owes more than a little something to the "bad boy" vote that no pollster captures as well as this photo and caption do."

-- Jim Sleeper, LA Times Commentary, 8.09.04
Or, a sucker-punch?
"As long as we're re-examining the 1960s, looking for signs of character, trying to decide if a man who volunteered for combat and was decorated five times was more or less courageous than a guy who didn't even show up for his own medical exam... here's George W. Bush during his college days, hitting a fellow sportsman in the face... while rugby is a contact sport... "

"Grasping an opponent by the back of the head and punching him in the face is beyond the pale -- I've watched rugby avidly for years, and I've never seen it during an open-field tackle like this, honest -- and will typically result in a player being immediately sent off."

-- Bob Harris, posted in This Modern World, 8.10.04
In the interest of fairness, let us examine John Kerry and lacrosse:

Young John Kerry

The big questions: Why was he smirking in his prep school team photo? What insidious, un-American thoughts was he harboring? Did he join the lacrosse team simply because he thought it was a French game? Will his former teammates reveal what a really bad player he was? Did he cheat at lacrosse? Was that bump on his forehead self-inflicted? Did he ever sucker-punch an opposing team member like "Bad Boy" George?

Here's a novel idea: What if the presidential debates this fall were done mano à mano, with Kerry in his lacrosse uniform and Bush in his rugby shorts? Make it pay-per-view and it might defray the cost of the election.

In a related story, click here to read about a man who played on both Kerry's prep school lacrosse team and Bush's Yale rugby team!

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