Evaluating Trump’s sports history, as requested by his new … – Washington Post

Anthony Scaramucci, hours after formally accepting a position as President Trump’s new director of communications, offered a fairly unique assessment of why he’s confident in Trump’s ability to get things done: He’s clutch at sports.

“He’s the most competitive person I’ve ever met,” Scaramucci said. “Okay? I’ve seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire. I’ve seen him at Madison Square Garden with a topcoat on. He’s standing in the key; he’s hitting foul shots and swishing them, all right? He sinks 30-foot putts.”

“I don’t see this guy as a guy that’s ever under siege. This is a very, very competitive person,” he continued. “Obviously there’s a lot of incoming that comes in to the White House, but the president’s a winner, Okay? And what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a lot of winning.”

That latter part is something we heard from then-candidate Trump quite a bit during 2016: You’re going to get tired of winning, etc. But those details about Trump’s athletic prowess? Those are … new.

In the interests of fairly evaluating Trump’s ability to pass legislation, then, we must also evaluate Trump’s competitiveness on less consequential fields of play. As a public service, we have compiled what video footage we could find of Trump at play, so that the American people may judge Scaramucci’s assessment.

Football

Scaramucci claims to have seen Trump “throw a dead spiral through a tire.” The closest we could find was video from a 1992 event at Pilot Field in Buffalo, when former Buffalo Bill quarterback Jim Kelly invited Trump to throw a football through a hole to win plane tickets. (“Do you still own your own airline?” the emcee asks Trump. “Oh, they haven’t taken that away from you yet, no? Oh. Good.”) Trump cocks his arm, throws — and through the hole it goes.

From that angle, you can’t see the throw that well. But I remembered seeing footage from that event a few years ago, and, happily, I made a GIF of it at the time.

Notice how the ball sort of dribbles downward through the hole after it passes through? Good accuracy, but not a tight, hard-thrown spiral.

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 6

Basketball

There doesn’t seem to be any footage of Trump draining free throws in an overcoat. In fact, it’s hard to believe that anyone at Madison Square Garden is hitting baskets with any regularity.

But:

Beach volleyball

We do have this footage of him playing beach volleyball, which is like basketball but with a net and sand and no hoop and a different scoring structure. Also no overcoat.

That joyous celebration of the point scored is what Scaramucci was talking about.

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 7

Tennis

Before we get to the third sport Scaramucci mentioned, let’s make room for another popular country-club sport: Tennis.

When the Trump Organization opened a tennis center in northern Virginia a few months before he announced his candidacy, he invited Serena Williams to come help inaugurate it. So they played a bit of a game, sort of.

This is not what Scaramucci was talking about.

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 3

Golf

We are all well aware of the fact that Trump plays golf. He’s played on 31 of the 182 days he’s been president, by our estimate.

Let’s enjoy this shaky video of someone watching a television show in which Trump’s driving is criticized.

Notice, though, that the expert does praise Trump’s putting. “He has a good feel, he has a good ability to read the greens,” expert Hank Haney says. “I don’t know if it’s what you’d try to teach somebody, but you know what? As long as they go in, that’s all that matters.”

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 5

Baseball

Trump’s recent experience with America’s game appears to be limited to halfheartedly attending it and pulling inspirational quotes from it.

But, after this article posted, we found a clip of him throwing out a first pitch.

It’s a good throw. Trump has claimed in the past to have been actively recruited by scouts from the Philadelphia Phillies. So this counts as one of his better efforts.

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 7

But then there’s the sport that will be linked to Trump in a way that we would link it to no other president.

Wrestling

He actually wrestled Vince McMahon once.

You may remember this scene from a recent Trump tweet, where the part of Vince McMahon’s face was performed by the CNN logo.

How impressive is this athleticism and competitiveness (1-10 scale): 6

We close here because professional wrestling offers a theme that wends through each of these snippets. Trump has played a lot of sports, but in nearly every case, it’s not in real competition. All for show.

The one exception is his enthusiasm in that pickup game on the beach volleyball court. If he brings that level of energy to the White House: Watch out.

This article was updated with the first pitch.

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