A well-known charity has been forced to double down in the face of a major screw-up committed by the most famous representative of their organization: Jimmy Carter just accidentally built an ESPN Zone instead of a Habitat for Humanity house and everyone had to act like that was the plan all along.
Yikes. Carter clearly meant well, but this is a train wreck by any measure.
Habitat for Humanity organizers received quite a shock earlier this week when they found that the building former President Carter had completed as part of their relief effort for flooding victims in rural Georgia was actually a 35,000-square-foot ESPN-branded restaurant and entertainment center instead of the modest three-bedroom home they had been expecting. Rather than call Carter on his mistake, however, Habitat has so far aimed to spare the 94-year-old’s feelings by pretending that the fully equipped bar and grill area and the enormous array of 100 televisions playing sports at ear-splitting volumes are exactly what they had intended for him to build and were in no way incorrect. Upon seeing Carter beaming with pride at the cutting-edge virtual golf setup he’d assembled all on his own in the restaurant’s sprawling arcade area, Habitat staffers just didn’t have the heart to tell him that it wasn’t what they actually wanted, so now everyone’s just rolling with it as if this sports memorabilia-covered theme restaurant is the same as any of their other houses.
With Carter having already spent over 60 times the original budget for the home on expensive touches like hardwood flooring modeled after an NBA court and game-worn autographed jerseys from Hall of Famers across the four major sports, Habitat couldn’t afford to rebuild the dwelling and have had no choice but to move a family displaced by flooding into the ESPN Zone despite its complete lack of bedrooms or shower facilities. The children were pretty excited that their new home came with its own air hockey table and Big Buck Hunter Pro cabinet, but the parents burst into tears upon learning that the only real place to sleep in the building Carter had made for them was atop the replica SportsCenter desk that serves as a hostess station.
This family faces a real uphill battle settling into a home where the constant din of pop-a-shot basketball games and demo-screen race noises from NAMCO motocross simulators is only out-decibeled by the Monday Night Football theme blaring 24/7 from the central JumboTron with no obvious way to turn off. It’s understandable that Habitat wouldn’t want Carter to get discouraged about the otherwise stellar work he’s done for them over the years, but moving a family into what is clearly a restaurant geared towards diehard sports fans is definitely not their finest moment.
It’s unfortunate to see such a good-hearted man get it wrong like this, and you’ve gotta feel for the family that has to live with the consequences of his mistakes. Here’s hoping Carter can get his form back and keep building homes for needy Americans across the country.