Well, I’d say Mr. Barack Obama has gotten his swagger back.
Not since the days of the ’08 campaign have I seen the guy I saw last night, standing in front of Mr. Agent Orange and Crazy Uncle Joe at the State of the Union.
This Obama was having his “I’m Keith Hernandez” moment as immortalized in “Seinfeld.” What I mean by that is he basically was saying to the world, and Congress: I won a second term, this is my last chance to do big things for the country, and I’m going to demand you get on board or get out of the way.
There were so many policy initiatives that had to thrill liberals, many of them drawing cheers from me and Mom who was watching with me.
Obama hit on, among other things:
— Raising the minimum wage
— Stricter climate change legislation
— Expanded pre-K education
— Immigration reform
— Unicorns for every American
OK, so I made the last one up. Still, it was refreshing to see topics hardly ever raised in the first four years (climate change, immigration, education, gun law reform) actually sound like priorities to Obama now.
I think he realizes this is his moment, his last chance to do something real. Realistically, he’s got 2 years before everyone starts looking toward 2016 and he becomes a bit of a lame duck.
I hope he follows through on what he said Tuesday. It was a soaring, inspiring speech that hit many high notes. Maybe, finally, this is the President we voted for in 2008.
**My two favorite words in all of sports get put together again tonight. It only happens twice a year, or if we’re really lucky, three times a year.
Duke-Carolina. Greatest rivalry in all of sports. Eight miles apart. Two of the top 4 programs in all of college basketball.
Hatred. Respect. Animosity. The grudging realization that without the other, one wouldn’t be as great.
OK, enough hype. They play tonight at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and on paper it looks like it’ll be a rout. My Blue Devils, even without Ryan Kelly, seem to be the far superior team. I even had a few Facebook friends who root for UNC pre-emptively congratulate me on tonight’s win.
I told them to shut up. Too many crazy things have happened in this rivalry for anything to surprise me. It’s so much worse when UNC wins in Cameron, though, so I really, really would hate to see it tonight.
Ah, so nice to once again yell the words: “Go to hell Carolina, go to hell (clap clap).
Can’t wait for 9 p.m.
**Finally today, a few words about an athlete I’m sure 99 percent of you have never heard of. Her name is Esther Vergeer, she’s a 31-year-old Dutch woman, and she retired Tuesday from her sport.
That sport was tennis, and she was so good at it that she makes Roger Federer look like a club pro from Des Moines.
Vergeer was a star in wheelchair tennis, and she retired with a 470-match winning streak.
That’s right: She hadn’t lost a match since Jan. 2003. That’s before we invaded Iraq, people; that’s how long ago it was.
Vergeer became paraplegic after spinal surgery at 8. Her first forays into wheelchair sports were in basketball, but she picked up tennis at 12 and decided to focus on it in 1998. By 1999, Vergeer had reached the No. 1 ranking.
Vergeer was so much more powerful than other wheelchair players; check out some video of her here. She brought her sport to new heights, and for that, I think she should be saluted today.