Sean Spicer Also Sucks at Sports Metaphors

"You play a game four quarters, you play an election until Election Day."

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May 4 2017, 10:16pm

How is the Trump Administration so bad at this? On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus unwittingly compared the House of Representatives passing the AHCA to a touchback. A self-own on many levels, indeed, but perhaps even more head-scratching was the previous day's football metaphor, when Press Secretary Sean Spicer gleefully compared Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to that of the New England Patriots during a press briefing.

Asked about FBI director James Comey's testimony on Capitol Hill that day and Hillary Clinton's earlier remarks that "If the election had been on October 27th, I would be your President," Spicer reached for a totally relevant, totally coherent explanation of his worldview: Boston-area sports franchise fandom. (The question comes in around the ninth minute, for those of you watching at home.)

"Well, look, I'm a Patriots fan, and I think if games ended in the third quarter, there would have been a different team here last week. [Narrator: It had been two weeks, actually.] But you play a game four quarters, you play an election until Election Day."

Of course Sean Spicer is a Patriots fan, and of course he finds the most obnoxious way to insert that fact into every conversation, no matter how unrelated to the topic at hand. I'm not quite sure how he got from "Did the FBI inappropriately influence an election" to "Don't ever count out Touchdown Tom," but let's run with it. If Election Day is the end of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI in this presidential football election metaphor, it's important to remember that there are no winners at this point in the game. The score is tied, and yes, the New England MAGAs are on a historic comeback and the rest of America feels a little bit nauseous or has already given up and gone to bed, but they haven't sealed the deal quite yet. They need to go to overtime, that archaic NFL system whose rules make little sense in our modern era and yet determine the outcome of some of our country's most significant matchups.

OK, wow, maybe the Trump Administration is too good at making these metaphors.

One might question the wisdom, if you're Sean Spicer, of drawing such an enthusiastic parallel between the Trump campaign and a football team quarterbacked by a known cheater and owned by a man who loses very expensive diamond-encrusted rings to Russian autocrats. Then again, it's not altogether clear that Sean Spicer's boss believes any of those things are bad.