President Donald Trump recently remarked that one of the biggest surprises he had faced since assuming the presidency was simply how much work needed to be done to right what is wrong with the country.
That being the case, he doesn’t exactly have a lot of free time to spend on keeping up with non-essential traditions or fulfilling obligations that do nothing to further his agenda of making America great again, such as filling out a tournament bracket for NCAA basketball’s March Madness as his predecessor liked to do, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
For the past eight years, ESPN had teamed up with former President Barack Obama in the White House to fill out a tournament bracket on the air and discuss his predictions of who would win each match-up and why. It was a production referred to as “Baracketology,” which Obama wasn’t particularly prescient at, but undoubtedly had fun with as he was obviously a great fan of the game.
Trump, on the other hand, is not known to be a fan of college basketball, and reportedly politely turned down a request from ESPN to keep the presidential bracket tradition going into the new administration, according to The Washington Post.
“We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined,” the sports network said in a statement to The Post.
In response to a request for confirmation from The Post, White House strategic communications director Hope Hicks stated in an email, “We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the near future.”
It was unclear what that other “opportunity” for the network and White House to work together would be.
The New York Post reported that the news of the presidential bracket tradition ending came as no big surprise to ESPN or their basketball analyst Andy Katz, who had predicted it in December.
“The bracket idea worked because President Obama follows basketball and is passionate about the sport,” explained Katz. “He wasn’t as dialed in to every player or team, but had conversational knowledge to offer his own analysis on the NCAA tournament for the men’s and women’s game.”
There may be some die-hard NCAA basketball fans who will be disappointed in Trump’s not making a big deal of the tournament, but truth be told, the vast majority of Americans are likely not upset at all, as they’d prefer to see Trump remain focused on the task at hand — restoring American greatness — rather than see him waste time filling out and discussing a bracket for a basketball tournament.
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