WHEN ASKED by Congress why he didn't remind Roger Clemens that he was speaking the truth during their infamous taped phone call, Brian McNamee said he did. According to McNamee, his response to Clemens—"It is what it is"—meant "the truth is the truth." Some House members were baffled, and rightly so. The tautology can mean many things. Consider:
? Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer, after a clock error contributed to a loss to Tennessee on Feb. 11: "Those great players didn't deserve this, and neither did my great team. It is what it is." In other words: Next game, I'm bringing my own clock.
? Danica Patrick (left), on her lack of stature, in 2006: "It is what it is. Race car drivers are small in general." In other words: I'd run over my grandmother to be 5'10".
? Patriots coach Bill Belichick (above), after the Super Bowl: "I'm not going to sit here and dwell on anything, good or bad, that happened in the past. It is what it is." In other words: I won't stop stewing until training camp.
? New Mexico offensive tackle Claude Terrell, after the Lobos accepted a bid for the 2004 Emerald Bowl: "It is what it is, and we've just got to make the most of it." In other words: I should have gone to USC.
? Suns forward Shawn Marion, on an offensive hot streak in 2004: "I didn't know we were scoring that much, but it is what it is, and we do what we do." In other words: Damn, we're good.
? Reggie Miller, on the '04 Pistons-Pacers brawl: "Obviously you never want to see something like that happen, but it is what it is." In other words: Hey, it's Ron Artest.
? Kobe Bryant, on his feud with Shaquille O'Neal, in '05: "I just moved on. It is what it is." In other words: I hate that guy.