Category Archives: Barack Obama and Sports

Green Bay Packers visit the White House

Barack Obama welcomed the Green Bay Packers to the White House on Friday.

The NFC North blog on ESPN.com has some cool photos of the Packers players at the White House. Linebacker Desmond Bishop wasn’t allowed into the White House because he forgot his ID on the team plane.

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VIDEO: Obama on ESPN for Womens NCAA Tournament

Earlier this week ESPN unveiled President Obama’s bracket for the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Earlier today they officially did the same for his bracket for the Womens Tournament.

You can also find his entry in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge. Will it do as well as his Mens Tournament bracket currently is which finds itself in the 99.9 percentile at the moment.
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Barack-etology 2011

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. 

ESPN College Basketball analyst Andy Katz (you can find his blog post here) was at the White House yesterday to host the segment for SportsCenter and the other ESPN platforms. The video is embedded below. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

You can find Obama’s brackets for both the Mens and Womens tournaments on the White House website. He will appear on SportsCenter again tomorrow morning with Doris Burke to unveil his Womens Tournament bracket. Earlier today on Sportscenter John Buccigross and Doug Gottlieb said that Obama’s signed bracket from two years ago is displayed in the ESPN cafeteria. I’ll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s

Obama’s Mens Tournament Bracket for ESPN

Obama’s Womens Tournament Bracket

From ESPN’s SportsCenter earlier today. 

ESPN has entered Obama’s bracket as an entry into their Tournament Challenge. How well will he do? In a usual year I may have criticized Obama for going chalk with his bracket but in talking with other college basketball fans most of us are coming out with brackets very similar to his.
Andy Katz has had some nice exclusives with Barack Obama over the past few years.

Neil Best of Newsday pointed out, it is worth noting that Obama picked Kansas to win it all again. They are the only one of his Final Four teams that doesn’t play in a battleground state. Reid Wilson noted earlier today that one of Obama’s first round upsets is Marquette over Xavier (the alma mater of Speak John Boehner). I am not a of over analyzing the bracket from a political angle but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

What I absolutely have to laugh at is those who criticize Obama for filling out a NCAA bracket. A large chunk of the people criticizing him are probably in a office pool of their own. Just take a look at this clip from Fox “News”.

Just because Obama spent a small part of his day with ESPN we are to believe he is not paying attention to what is going on in the world? That sentiment is even more ridiculous when Obama asks people to donate to help the victims in Japan as part of his segments on ESPN. How many people do you think Obama reached out with that message by going on ESPN? I just don’t understand the people who act as though just because he is the President he shouldn’t do anything “normal”. I always point people out to this (and this).

One of the things I wanted to do on the show was, as people are filling out their brackets — this is obviously a national pastime; we all have a great time, it’s a great diversion.  But I know a lot of people are thinking how can they help the Japanese people during this time of need.  If you go to usaid.govusaid.gov — that will list all the nonprofits, the charities that are helping out there.  It would be wonderful for people to maybe offer a little help to the Japanese people at this time — as they’re filling out their brackets.  It’s not going to take a lot of time.  That’s usaid.gov.  It could be really helpful.

That is what Obama told ESPN about the events that are unfolding in Japan. What more do people want him to do? Do you have a problem with Obama filling out a bracket? Let me know here.

Houston Chronicle takes a look at just how hard it is to predict the NCAA Tournament. ESPN also takes an interesting look at the NCAA Tournament. I honestly had forgotten that it has been nine years since a #15 beat a #2.
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When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed BasketballNCAA Basketball 10

Obama plays favorites, picks all No. 1 seeds to reach NCAA men’s, women’s Final Four – The Washington Post

Obama plays favorites, picks all No. 1 seeds to reach NCAA men’s, women’s Final Four – The Washington Post

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. I am guessing the clips will air tomorrow on ESPN. I will post the videos when they become available. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

I’ll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s.

Earlier today ESPN’s Andy Katz was spotted in the White House Briefing room by Sam Youngman of “The Hill” who is a big Kentucky Wildcats fan.
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Chicago Blackhawks at the White House

Earlier today President Obama welcomed the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks to the White House. As he mentioned in his remarks he’s welcomed a lot of teams and athletes to the White House but this one was different.

This one is a little sweeter. … It’s the first time during my presidency I get to welcome a world champion from my hometown, Chicago.

President Obama brought attention to Chicago’s history of long championship droughts.

Finally, I want to congratulate all the fans.  We have a proud tradition in Chicago of believing that no matter how long it takes, how much we have to endure, it’s only a matter of time before our team finally wins it all.  (Laughter.)  The waiting builds character.  We have a lot of character.  (Laughter.)   

The Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup in 1961 and that led President Obama to take a stroll down memory lane.

Now, I have to say, even by Chicago standards, 49 years, that’s a pretty long time.  (Laughter.)  To put that in perspective, the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, a movie cost 69 cents.  JFK had just moved into the White House.  I was still in diapers.  (Laughter.)  And when the legendary Glenn Hall played goalie for the Hawks, he did it with a wooden stick and no mask.

To be honest as big a sports fan Barack Obama is I highly doubt he knows who Glenn Hall is. Since become President he has attended MLB, NBA, WNBA and NCAA events but the NHL has not received the same love from him. He hasn’t attended a Washington Capitals game despite them having one of the best players in the league Alex Ovechkin. He even passed up on watching the Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run last year when he was on a trip to Chicago. 






Transcript of Obama’s remarks.


Obama received a #44 Blackhawks jersey as well as a replica of the Stanley Cup.

Photo courtesy of Getty 
Photo courtesy of Getty

Later in the day the team joined First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House lawn for an event that was part of “Lets Move” campaign. She received a Team USA jersey with name “FLOTUS” and the number 1 on the back from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and David Ogrean from USA Hockey. During the event the NHL announced a partnership with the “Lets Move” campaign. The NHL has launched a website to promote their efforts. Mike Memoli had a great line about FLOTUS and Bettman

Gary Bettman standing next to Michelle Obama. At least a 50-point approval gap between the two.

Actually a 50 point gap is being quiet generous to Gary Bettman. 
Getty Images




Hockey and politics mixed later in the day too at the Verizon Center for the 3rd annual Congressional hockey game.
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Patrick Kane Red Reebok Name and Number Chicago Blackhawks T-ShirtChicago Blackhawks 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champions Official Locker Room T-Shirt

Obama welcomes the Blackhawks to the White House

At about 2:50 PM ET today Barack and Michelle Obama will welcome the Stanley Cup champions from their hometown of Chicago. The two will later join NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman outside for an event that is part of Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” campaign.

EDIT: You can can see videos from the events here.

Chicago Blackhawks 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Champions Official Locker Room T-ShirtPatrick Kane Red Reebok Name and Number Chicago Blackhawks T-Shirt
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Barack Obama comments on Michael Vick

Barack Obama approves of Michael Vick’s return to the NFL.

I don’t know if Barack Obama originally intended to have this conversation become public but I like that he holds this position. I don’t know of many other public officials who would voluntarily come out and back Vick. Obama called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and commended him on giving Vick a chance. The conversation was confirmed by White House Spokesman Bill Burton:

The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.

I definitely approve of Vick’s return to the league. He paid his debt to society and then some. It is an amazing comeback story. It is not a stretch to say that he is the best player in the league right now. His jersey has been a hot seller once again. According to Darren Rovell of CNBC earlier in the season you could even customize a jersey for your dog with Vick’s name and number on it.

12/29/10 Edit:
Tucker Carlson is an idiot. He was guest hosting Tuesday night on Sean Hannity’s show so I guess he felt extra pressure to be a fool? Whatever his excuse his statement was absolutely ridiculous.

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances, but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs?”

He went on to call Vick a “creepy rich overpaid football player.” Anyone else find it hilarious that he supports  Sarah Palin who’s a known hunter?

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