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Star Mag: Former Cowboys hopeful Reggie Love now works for Obama

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Boyzmamacita, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Boyzmamacita

    Boyzmamacita The Ultimate Cowbabe Zone Supporter

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    The Body Guy

    by Ken Sins

    In the fall of 2005, Reggie Love's dream of an NFL career seemed to be, if not dead, then on life support. The former Duke wide receiver and basketball player was attempting to make a tough transition to outside linebacker with the Cowboys, and the position-switch experiment by Bill Parcells ended with Love's release.

    Early in 2006, Love was looking to begin the next chapter of his life, interviewing for a position on the staff of a relatively unknown senator from Illinois. Love's eventual goal was to return to Duke and perhaps pursue a law degree, so any Washington job he took would probably be short-term.

    Fast-forward more than two years, and we find Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is now President-elect Obama. Love is also headed to the White House as Obama's right-hand man and workout buddy.

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    "I wish I would have had a longer football career, but I came out of it relatively healthy," Love says from his Washington home that's within walking distance of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. "All in all, everything turned out pretty well."

    Now that's an understatement.

    The 26-year-old Love is referred to in political circles as the "body guy" for the Chicago Democrat (he fulfills the same role as Charlie on the TV series "West Wing"). He's a personal assistant who's on hand to anticipate Obama's needs, carrying among other things a cell phone, a BlackBerry, pens, gum, power bars, bottled water and Obama's favorite Forest Berry Honest Tea. If food options for the man he refers to as "the boss" are limited, Love knows that barbeque or a burger (cheddar cheese, no mayo) with salt-and-vinegar chips are reliable lunch choices.

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    On the campaign trail, Obama, Love and other staff members would gather for early-morning workouts. Obama varies his cardio exercises while Love favors weight lifting, sprints and jogging. When they hit the basketball court, they're always teammates. Obama may be more than 20 years older than Love, but the President-elect was a pretty good high school player who still has "game." Obama is wise to include a former college player on his team in matchups against reporters and Secret Service agents.

    "The last couple of games, we haven't been that great," Love says. "I think we've been a little fatigued. But we play to win. We'll do whatever we have to do to win, especially me. I'll screen, I'll rebound, I'll take my shot. There's nothing worse than being on the campaign trail and having to listen to somebody talk smack to you. We played hoops more during the primaries than in the general election. It's tough to play a bunch of basketball before you're going to go on in front of 90 million people."

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    On the long road to the White House, Love watched SportsCenter with Obama as a nightly ritual, and Love sometimes served as a sympathetic ear and sounding board.

    Among his claims to fame: introducing Barack and Michelle Obama to the "fist bump" that was criticized by some pundits, and turning on the President-elect to Jay-Z and other hip-hop artists. Love gave Obama an iPod as a birthday gift. Obama has Love listening to Frank Sinatra and John Coltrane.

    Love recently was offered a permanent position on Obama's staff, a job he quickly accepted.

    "It was a big decision," he says. "But I decided I was going to be around for a while. I'm excited about it and looking forward to it. We're going to change the country."

    Politics was a natural career path for Love, who during a busy college stint carried a double-major in political science and public policy and a minor in history in addition to his commitments to the Blue Devils football and basketball teams.

    Love's been involved in team sports since he was a child, and he says being a member of Team Obama has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    "This campaign was kind of like a sports season except that this preseason was about two years long," he says. "There were a couple of preseason games (the primaries) and one regular-season game (the general election).

    "The Obama campaign was a great team. I was talking to the President-elect earlier and I told him that this was by far one of the best teams I've been a part of and I was happy to have been on it."

    Love played football and basketball at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., a cross-town rival of Latin School, where Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty was a tight end and defensive end.

    Like Canty, Love was highly recruited, ranking as the 10th best wide receiver prospect in the country according to one service.

    Love could have gone to a football-factory college, but he opted for Duke because of its educational opportunities and because he would be given the chance to participate in both football and basketball.

    He went on to play a key role for the Blue Devils' National Championship basketball team in 2001. He was elected team captain for the 2004-05 season after failing to catch on with the Green Bay Packers as a wide receiver. Love was a four-time football letterman and earned three letters in basketball.

    Love left Duke after the basketball season in '05, signing as a free agent with the Cowboys as a "project" player as Parcells auditioned athletic outside linebackers for the 3-4 alignment he was implementing. The 6-4, 240-pound Love agreed to the shift even though he had other offers from NFL teams to try out as a receiver after catching 75 passes for 895 yards and five touchdowns during his Duke career.

    He lasted with the Cowboys through training camp in California and the preseason until he was cut in September. Love remained in Dallas in hopes of being added to the Cowboys' practice squad, and there was an offer to play in the now-defunct NFL Europe the following spring.

    "I struggled with the decision of going to Europe, just because I always played sports," Love says. "(Moving to linebacker) was probably one of the more difficult transitions I've had, but I also remember it being a lot of fun. Parcells was a great teacher, a great coach. The preseason in Dallas was different than the one in Green Bay just in terms of the number of live practices. A lot of the guys I'm still friends with. Chris Canty and I were at rival high schools and we became good friends. I have some very fond memories of being there.

    "The Bill Parcells training camp was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever been through. If you can get through that, you can get through pretty much anything. I was very disappointed that I didn't make it. But at the end of the day, I was prepared for it. I've been in situations before where I didn't make the final cut. That's what life is about. I'd much rather have had the opportunity and not made it than to not have had the opportunity at all."

    Dealing with the end of his sports career required some adjusting.

    "It was weird, the idea that I wasn't going to play anymore," he says. "There was talk about being on the practice squad. But I think I was a longer-term project and I was going to have to spend time honing my skills in Germany. That was definitely a tough time for me. But I think I made a good decision."

    He refuses to second-guess Parcells' experiment to switch him to linebacker, however.

    "If Bill Parcells thinks you'll be a good fit at outside linebacker, he knows a little something about football," Love says. "I didn't think it was a bad idea. It was definitely tough. I learned a lot about the game of football. I enjoyed it in the sense that I enjoyed learning about it. But I don't think I was mentally prepared to be an outside linebacker after spending four years as a wide receiver."

    While he waited for a resolution to his football future, he landed the role with the Obama staff. He moved to Washington, and when Obama declared his candidacy for the presidency, Love became a member of the campaign team.

    Law school will have to wait, although he will take the LSATs in December.

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    "I want to go back to school at some point, hopefully law school," he says. "But I'm not in any rush. I'll probably stay on (with Obama) for two years or so."

    After spending most of the last two years in hotels on the campaign trail, he's happily getting reacquainted with his Washington apartment.

    "I haven't been there in many, many months," he says with a laugh. "This has definitely been the greatest, most monumental experience of my lifetime. It's had a big affect on my life."

    Those life experiences promise to get even bigger in the coming months.

    Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine, November 29, 2008
  2. koolaid

    koolaid Drink Me

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    Wow, i remember when the tuna brought him in. Who would have thought he'd be working for the president of the U.S. only 3 years later?
  3. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Everything is everything... Staff Member

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    It's an interesting story no matter what you think about the prez.
  4. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    he's a smart guy that Reggie Love

    not just that he's pursuing a law degree, but that he used his physical abilities to get a pretty smooth job
  5. BigWillie

    BigWillie Well-Known Member

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    Except when he passes out at a UNC frat party. Good ole Reggie 'Tea Bag' Love. :laugh2:

    If you don't know what I mean, Google "Reggie Love tea bag". You will find out what I mean sooner or later.
  6. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    I know what you mean lol

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