“Earlier this month, my wife asked me for a Christmas list. I suggested a University of Michigan football jersey. This raised an important question: What number should go on it?
“I thought about Anthony Carter’s No. 1 and Rick Leach’s No. 7 because they were conquering heroes of my childhood. Then it dawned on me: I wanted No. 48, for Gerald Ford. After all, he was the man who gave me my first lesson in media bias.
“Ford [. . .] was a very good football player. In 1932 and 1933, his Wolverines went undefeated. In 1934, he was the team MVP. In Michigan’s storied football history — no school has won more games — only five numbers have received the honor of retirement, and Ford’s No. 48 is one of them.
“And yet the media went on to portray this great athlete as a notorious klutz.
“Somehow, the only president who ever tackled a Heisman Tro- phy winner gained the reputation of a lubber. A man who turned down offers from the NFL in order to attend law school — at Yale, no less — became known as a blockhead.”
John J. Miller, writing on “Bold Moves,” Dec. 27 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com