In honor of Presidents Day, I'd like to remind you what exactly a president is good for; leadership, vision and stability. How we might apply a president's role to athletics in general is useful to prove a point, too.
Leaders, no matter what capacity, must have certain attributes about them.
Presidents must have people standing behind them and believing in them. No, they don't know the ins and outs of every bill they sign, but they have overall goals. As such, they entrust their assistants to do their jobs in reaching said goals. Put that to college basketball, or any sport really, and it's easy to find similarities. Coaches want to win, have an idea about how to go about it, and their players must execute on their behalf.
Because we're bored and slightly grumpy about not having today off work, sportswriters are asking which athletes and coaches would make the best presidents. Perhaps we're doing it out of spite, but let's pretend that isn't the case.
At Arizona, Sean Miller has proven he has his players' attention, and his early success makes him a solid choice if we're playing this little game. What exactly is it that makes him tick? Here is a breakdown of Sean Miller's presidential game (with videos!).1. He's good with the media
In the above clip, you'll notice that Sean Miller cannot hear reporter Rebecca Haarlow thanks to some rowdy Cal fans. Furthermore, Miller is perplexed about why the fans are upset about the final two plays in the first half of this game.
Instead of panicking over not hearing the question, Miller gives Haarlow a general answer about the first half -- confidently and honestly. Then, he politely -- and we don't know if it's sarcastic or not -- says the Wildcats will be in good shape should the officials continue their excellence.
This is good because it a) avoids telling us whether he's taking a shot at the officials or the Golden Bear fans and b) really avoids telling us anything at all, all while giving us the sense that he totally knows what's going on, which I'm sure he does.
Such is the game presidents and coaches play.
2. He commands respect in a relatable manner
Here, we see Arizona after last season's Sweet 16 victory against the Duke Blue Devils. This is important on two levels. Firstly, Miller quickly uses a coaching moment to make his players prepare for an oncoming media onslaught. With young guys filled with emotion, it'd be easy for them to have a slip of the tongue that would do themselves injustice or give little credit to Duke.
Being a politician with solid footing all starts with saying the right things all while never being hypocritical. If you've got history that backs up what you say, all the better, and that's what Miller does in this clip when talking about making the Elite Eight.
Secondly, Miller clearly can talk to his players on a level that's both relatable but also commanding. That goes a long way in motivating without losing discipline of his players.
3. In the end, he knows his stuff
So yeah, Miller can motivate his team and look good in the eyes of pundits and writers. But of course, it takes more than a bull-dog mentality to wins basketball games.
Miller knows his stuff, and you can tell when he knows pretty precise percentages of how much motion offense his team will run. In some maniacal manner, Miller also has a weird precision when discussing how many practices each of his players have attended -- every Kevin Parrom injury I can remember comes with an exact number of missed practices.
It's that detail-oriented ability that makes Sean Miller a very good basketball coach. And that's something that (we hope) is part of being a president.