It's not very rare for high school football teams to host guest coaches during preseason training camp. Still, no one at Minneapolis (Minn.) South High expected for their guest instructor to be the vice president of the United States, taking time away from a campaign stop to give words of encouragement to the Minnesota teens.
As reported by CBS Minnesota and noted in a report by Minnesota Public Radio, Vice President Joe Biden took time out from a barnstorming tour of Minnesota to speak to the players at Minneapolis South, offering up words of wisdom from his own time as a prep football player and encouraging them to pursue higher education, with football or without it.
Yes, the act was probably a political stunt, but it was also a touching one. The South players were clearly stunned that one of the two most powerful men in America's political structure (theoretical arguments over the influence of roles in bicameral representative governments notwithstanding) would take the time to meet them in the middle of a campaigning tour.
The benefit the teens received may be mutual, as well. Whoever did the advance political scouting on Biden's behalf picked a heck of a diverse group for the vice president to be speaking to. Just check out any still shot from his speech in the video above.
African-American teen with dreadlocks? Check. Funky white kid with long surfer/grunge hair? You got it. The early stages of potential Kid N Play-level flat tops? Sure. Hispanic representative? There appeared to be at least one.
In short, that is one cosmopolitan football squad, all happily available between campaign events for a busy politician.
Regardless of intention, Biden genuinely seemed to enjoy imparting his wisdom as well. And whether it helps the Democrats carry Minnesota or not, at least the Obama-Biden reelection will know that it successfully won over a collection of Minneapolis teenagers who were all too eager to bond with a bona fide political star and his cherished prep football past.