Can we have a president who doesn’t know sports but pretends to?

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Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz greets supporters at a campaign rally in Indianapolis last week. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

ATTENTION! The following is not about politics. It’s about sports ignorance. Signed, the management.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to show his appreciation for Bobby Knight’s campaign support. One problem: He misspelled the Basketball Hall of Fame coach’s name:

“I will be campaigning in Indiana all day. Things are looking great, and the support of Bobby Night has been so amazing.’’

A possible typo might have been worth some slack-cutting if not for the fact that Ted Cruz, another Republican candidate, made his own sports faux pas while campaigning in Indiana last week. In the gym where “Hoosiers’’ was filmed, Cruz referred to a basketball rim as a “basketball ring.’’ I defy anyone to say they have ever heard that phrase used in that sense. Or any sense. If an extraterrestrial dropped down to the earth, he would not call the rim a “basketball ring’’ out of fear of being exposed as someone not of this world. He would call it a “cylindrical metal object’’ and not lose votes.

Cruz and Trump were pandering to Indiana’s basketball-crazy populace, of course, and failed miserably. Perhaps both candidates are a market correction to President Barack Obama, who, according to some of his critics, spends too much time thinking about sports.

But can we have a president who doesn’t know sports (bad) and tries to pretend he does (worse)? I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s time to re-think what we’re teaching in our schools. Adding sports knowledge to the Common Core is not a bad idea. We could call the program “No Candidate Left Behind.’’

It’s up to you to decide if the ignorance that Trump and Cruz displayed should be a fatal flaw for a candidate. If I’m any of the other candidates, I keep my mouth shut when the subject of sports comes up. Too many pitfalls. Too many opportunities to look like someone who was not allowed to sweat as a child. Too much risk of being outed.

I mentioned this was about sports and not politics, right? Why do I think you’re going to ignore that?


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