Saturday, December 13, 2008

Obama Brings Good Cheer to Sidwell Friends

On Saturday, Maret’s basketball boys were leading Sidwell Friends on the road when the home crowd taunted the visitors with a chant ripped from the headlines:

“The Sidwell kids started yelling ‘O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!’ at us,” a Maret parent who attended the game tells me.

The First Family Elect’s first major post-election decision, of course, dealt with where to send daughters Malia and Sasha to school. Most reports had Maret and Sidwell as the finalists in the Obama sweepstakes.

After tours of both, Sidwell landed the kids for next year. So while Malia and Sasha aren’t even enrolled there yet, they’re already cheerleaders. And what the Sidwell fans were telling Maret with their “O-ba-ma!” chant was: “Even if you whup us at hoops, we still beat you in a bigger game!”

The Maret parent says Maret’s administrators looked confused, and Sidwell’s bemused, as “O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!” rained down from the grandstand.

Just words? Hardly.

“On the Maret side, that was insulting and incendiary,” says the Maret parent, who requested anonymity. “How crass!”

Maret’s side eventually responded by yelling “Oatmeal sucks!” — a play on Sidwell’s nickname, the Quakers.

To add insult to insult: Perhaps inspired by the clever nastiness of the home fans, Sidwell came back and beat Maret by a point, 47-46.

A call to Sidwell’s athletic director to get a comment on the fans’ alleged un-Friendly chant hasn’t yet been returned. But we’ll follow this story and do everything journalistically possible to build the Sidwell/Maret rivalry into something that can last two terms.

The big news for now: There’s a Sidwell/Maret rematch tomorrow night at Maret.

Come game time, the Maret kids will have had almost a week to come up with something better, or at least something bitterer, than “Oatmeal Sucks!”

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