The XX Factor

Are the Guys Playing Hoops with Obama All Atremble?

About Obama’s hoops game for boys, reader Matt DeBord writes:

One thing that’s been overlooked is how spectacularly, epically terrifying it is for most men to be asked to play any kind of sport with the boss. Sometimes if you’re really, really good-like if you played golf in college or something-they want to have you around as a kind of permanent pro-am staffer. But if you’re a mere mortal … Yikes! It’s psychologically and emotionally draining. In fact, I think the accepted old rule was to always let the boss win, no matter what (the boss understood this and would usually flip for the drinks afterwards to acknowledge the gesture). My question is: Are the boys playing ball and golf with Obama actually having any fun? I suspect they’re trembling …

Hmm, I wonder. They always look like they’re into the game in the photos. But maybe those brows furrowed in concentration match serious performance anxiety.