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"Good God, he's a Mariners Fan?"

posted Dec 26, 2008, 6:03 AM by Steven Seagal   [ updated Feb 15, 2009, 12:26 PM ]
President Elect Barack Obama met with wounded troops in Hawaii to offer support and gratitude on Christmas Day, but what was intended to be a joyous offering of goodwill and comfort quickly descended into despair, hopelessness, and most of all - paralyzing awkwardness.  Obama was laughing and joking with a group of injured Marines who were enjoying the holiday in high spirits when he was nudged by an aide and pointed in the direction of one Marine standing with his back to the group, staring at the floor, shuffling his feet, and looking downcast.  Obama strode confidently in the direction of  the young man, who turned to face him.  As the man turned and his Seattle Mariners jersey was displayed, Obama became visibly distressed and faltered in his approach before pausing to collect himself, taking a deep breath and resuming the final few steps to meet the man.   Mustering as much positivity as he could, Obama began a misguided attempt to comfort the man, but "failed miserably," according to an onlooker.  "It was the most awkward encounter I have ever seen," said one wheelchair bound Marine, who was overcome with embarassment and had to turn away from the scene.  "Obama stood about 5 feet away from [the Mariners fan] and sort of nodded his head towards him before engaging in conversation.  It was almost as if he was afraid Mariners fandom was contagious.  He put his hands behind his back and shuffled his feet from side to side, apparently trying to appear natural, and that's when I couldn't take it anymore and had to turn away," reported another parapalegic Marine who witnessed the encounter.
The Seattle Mariners had a 61-101 record and a $117,666,482 payroll in 2008.  Experts estimate that Mariners fandom affects literally thousands of individuals in the United States.
Obama leans in for what appeared to be an intended hug before faltering, pulling back gracelessly, and settling for this painfully awkward "shoulder touch."  He then turned, strode immediately out the door, and did not return to the event.