As you know, we are madly in love with Levi Johnston. We can’t get enough of him. We gave him our own personal pet name. We once posted an entire slideshow of pictures of him from different angles. Our obsession with him is only rivaled by our similar fixation on his brother-in-law-to-be, Track Palin. We’re the kind of fans who would sleep over in their hockey locker room to absorb the stench into our flesh. In other words, we can’t get enough of them.
Or so we thought, until today. The Times sent former Anchorage Daily News columnist Kim Severson back to Alaska to find out more about the lives of these two underage studcrullers. What Severson filed was a thoughtful report about how deeply hockey affects the Alaskan families whose children play the sport. Since Sarah Palin so vigorously touts her status as a hockey mom as one of her qualifications for the vice-presidency, it’s a useful piece of writing. But in it, we learn an awful lot about young Track and Levi that we didn’t know before.
• Track could have earned a college scholarship for his playing, but he couldn’t control his anger on the ice.
• Frequently, his temper would be so out of control he wouldn’t make it through an entire game.
• Last year, a shoulder injury took him off the ice and he didn’t return. Instead, he enlisted in the Army.
• Track’s coach thought he could have continued to play despite the injury, but something else made him want to join the military.
• Meanwhile, Levi Johnston wasn’t as good of a hockey player as Track.
• Levi also wasn’t as good of a student — in fact, he dropped out of high school.
• He used to fight with his father over his performance on the ice.
• The Palins may not have known for over a year that Levi and Bristol Palin, their daughter, were dating.
Of course we are interested in this. But does it mean that the Times should write about it? Do we really need to know that once, during a fight with his father, then-17-year-old Levi “threw all his gear in the burn pile”?
On the one hand, Palin’s constant “hockey mom” mantra makes this seem a little fair game. On the other hand, this is a high-school kid in rural Alaska who happened to get his girlfriend pregnant. He’s not the child of the president, the presidential nominee, or even the child of the vice-presidential nominee.
Sure, we here at Intel fetishize Johnston, but just through the images provided by the McCain campaign, who include him in photo ops. Getting into the nitty-gritty of his grades, and his tense relationship with his father? Doesn’t that seem like a little bit too much information? Or are we just being old fuddy-duddies?