A day after President
Again and again, Obama returned to gridiron analogies as he pleaded his case from a
If it felt a little forced, it might be because football is not what comes to mind when one thinks of Obama and sports. He’s known for stealing away to play basketball with friends on courts in Washington — and occasionally, with really famous friends on courts in Los Angeles. “Of course, George and I won,” Obama reported after a May 2012 game at the Cheviot Hills rec center, the George being Clooney. Baseball-wise, he follows the
As president, he has spent hours on golf courses, prompting
Just Saturday he played the elegant Grande Oaks Golf Club in Fort Lauderdale, described on its website as offering “an exclusive atmosphere with some of south Florida's foremost socialites.” More important, it was where the film classic “Caddyshack” was shot. (Among Obama’s foursome was former Miami Heat star
But football has served as a megaphone for Obama as he's strived to connect with a very large and captive audience.
On election eve in 2012, he and Republican challenger
It "has to do with staying focused, and it has to do with not getting distracted by either your own hype or the critics," he said, embarking on a cautionary soliloquy that perhaps also pertains to the healthcare mess. "And the truth is, just like in sports, in politics we are all human. We make mistakes, sometimes we perform well. But the key is to just stay focused on what you are doing. In sports, it's about winning championships. Interesting, in politics, it's not winning elections, it's making sure you are delivering for the folks who sent you."
This year, he used his annual appearance during the
“It is a great sport, I am huge fan, but there is no doubt some of the concerns that we have learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause,” he said. “And as I said before, I feel differently about the
A few months later, in a cosmic payback, the NFL turned down the administration's plea that football stars be enlisted to tout the healthcare plan. (The Red Sox had worked with Massachusetts officials six years ago to promote that state's healthcare program.)
Administration officials had said they were talking with the NFL about touting the plan, which prompted Republican leaders to warn the league against taking sides, which led the NFL to back off.
The league, a spokesman said, as if knowing what would come, has "no plans to engage in this area."