Look, I get it. The Washington Nationals’ fourth-inning Presidents Race is a diversion, nothing more — a ballpark tradition, a chance for a belly laugh. A diversion from a diversion, if you think about it, for pro sports are supposed to be the kind of entertainment that relieves us of our daily burdens.
But if the Nats are preparing to use their newest mascot, William Howard Taft, the way I think they will, their fifth racing president is a terrible choice, especially for the thousands of children in the stands every night.
“They’re all rather large,” Andy Feffer, the team’s chief operating officer, said of the presidents, “but he will be a little bit larger.”
The lovable fat guy is a dangerous anachronism, one that should be discarded in our cultural dustbin, along with the sexy smoker and the affable drunk. Fat kills, as surely as speed did in the 1960s, only it happens more slowly and you suffer more.