Monday, December 6, 2010

People Whom I Have Known Part II: Basketball

Whatever shock I might have felt to learn that my former middle school classmate Paul DePodesta would be portrayed in a major motion picture by Jonah Hill was far exceeded on the day after Thanksgiving, when my high school classmate, Rey Deceraga, accidentally elbowed President Barack Obama in the upper lip during a basketball game, causing an injury that required twelve stitches to close.

As I understand it, things went something like this: Rey zigged, the President zagged, zig met zag, and all hell broke loose. And we were left with the conclusion that they play some smashmouth basketball in the Federal government. (At least I think that it is smashmouth basketball. Smashmouth is a word that sports journalists seem to like to use. Of course, Smashmouth was also a catchy/annoying band from the Nineties. Anyway, I am discussing the actual smashing of a mouth, so I am probably right in my usage.)

By this point the story has crested and subsided, but it was briefly big-time news. I cannot hope to recap all the serious coverage; if one wants that, I would recommend a Google search. Instead, I will note a few of the odder references to Rey in the media/entertainment universe.

Over the weekend following the incident, Rey inspired the Drudge Report headline Elbower doesn't say sorry.

On Monday, November 29, Jimmy Kimmel in his monologue referred to Rey as "Roy Deceraga" and identified him as Mexican, although in reality Rey originally hails from Panama.

On Tuesday, November 30, Jay Leno showed footage from a news report concerning the incident, and at the point where Rey's name was mentioned, the real video was replaced with a scene of a man being thrown out of an airborne helicopter. (The helicopter scene was presumably meant to show the retribution exacted against on Rey.)

As a final comment, let me say that no one who knew Rey would have expected him to become involved in a brouhaha, or even worse, a brouhahaha, with a sitting President. In our senior class, Rey was voted both Most Popular and Most Mature, and he is widely known for his natural diplomatic skills.

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