It’s a media rule by now that at the tail end of a campaign, we get the story about the leading candidate’s “body man.” That is, the personal aide who shadows the candidate and anticipates everything he or she needs. And lo and behold, there it was this Tuesday– a New York Times cover story about Senator Barack Obama’s “body man” Reggie Love.

Love the name. Worthy of a character out of Faulkner, Dickens or Morrison.

It seems that Love played football and basketball at Duke, graduated with a degree in political science and public policy and then had summer try-outs with the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys before getting cut. Now he’s the man who watches over Obama as he campaign 36/7.

What struck me is how Love and Obama keep sane on the trail. Playing basketball, out of superstition, every primary day. And here’s the kicker: ” From Mr. Obama: ‘One cardinal rule of the road is, we don’t watch CNN, the news or MSNBC. We don’t watch any talking heads or any politics. We watch ‘SportsCenter’ and argue about that.”

Smart rules of the road.

I participate in some of these cable shows, and when I do, I’m usually glad I have a day job. It’s probably wise for Obama to tune so much of the blather out there. though some of these shows, what with their horserace nature, might just be mistaken for ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”