Bush is best for athletics | NevadaAppeal.com

Bush is best for athletics

Presidential elections can be much like many major sporting events. There’s one main winner and one main loser. Historically everyone will remember who won and not everybody will remember who lost. The winners get the glory while the losers feel the pain.

With the election coming this Tuesday, the polls find President Bush a slight favorite, with a large group of voters still undecided. But if the winner could be decided somehow by which candidate’s victory would be better for the world of sports, the answer would be clear. The winner would be George W. Bush.

Bush’s father, former President Bush, was a baseball All-American at Yale, leading his team to two College World Series. Naturally, George Jr. would grow up around sports, and he had notions of becoming a Major League Baseball player. Unable to fulfill his dream, he would eventually do the next best thing. He bought his own baseball team, the Texas Rangers.

Among his peers, Bush was such a good owner that he was once considered for the position of Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Taking on the higher calling of becoming President, Bush has not lost any of his love of the sport, scheduling Little League games on the White House lawns.

Bush is well aware of the importance of sports to society. In this year’s State of the Union address, the President brought up the issue of dangerous performance-enhancing drugs. He equated the moral character of steroid cheats with Osama bin Laden, considering them both national threats. Despite the exaggeration, the President showed he definitely has a clue on that important subject.

Say what you want about Iraq, but the world of sports is now much better without Saddam Hussein in power. When one of Hussein’s late sons was in charge of athletics, only winning was acceptable. Iraqi athletes were subject to trips into dungeons where tortures would include whipping the bottoms of their feet. One of the best stories of this year’s Olympics was the underdog Iraqi men’s soccer team reaching the semi-finals and playing in the bronze medal game.

Moreover, being a true sportsman, Bush is supported by a strong majority of hunters and fishermen, and of the 31 National Football League players who made campaign contributions, none made theirs to his main opponent, John Kerry.

President Bush followed in the footsteps of his father and Ronald Reagan by attending the Daytona 500. Democrat Bill Clinton never found the time to participate in such a great American sporting event.

Lastly, Bush has shown physical dominance over Kerry in the only competitive forum applicable – throwing out first pitches at baseball games. Everyone remembers Bush’s dramatic perfect strike at Yankee Stadium after 9/11. Not too many people remember Kerry’s 50-foot bouncer at Boston’s Fenway Park this spring. Bush sets the better athletic example, while Kerry would only get picked for the debate team.

• Tomorrow many of the best horses in the universe will be at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, for the 21st Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. More than $100 million will be wagered worldwide over the eight-race schedule that offers $14 million in purses. However, since all the horses are excellent, picking the winners of these races always has been, is, and always will be extremely difficult. This is especially true for someone like me who knows very little about the sport.

In years past, my strategy was to do as much research as possible, ask my racing fan friends who they liked, make my picks and cross my fingers. In 2003, that plan worked for winning only three of the eight races. This year I will choose not to influence any handicappers with my guesses. I’ll just turn on the television and enjoy a great afternoon of high-quality horse racing.

Joe Ellison is the Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist. Contact him at editor@nevadaappeal.com.