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No more White House selfies thanks to David Ortiz

When the Boston Red Sox visited the White House last week to be recognized for winning the World Series, David Ortiz took a selfie with president Barack Obama. At first, the gesture was seen as a harmless case of Big Papi being Big Papi. When it was later discovered that the selfie was part of a Samsung promotion, White House officials were not pleased.

According to the Washington Post, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Obama was unaware of the photo’s connection to Samsung and that Ortiz’s stunt will perhaps “be the end to all selfies.”

David-Ortiz-Barack-Obama-selfie

Unfortunately, Pfeiffer meant the end of all selfies in the White House. He can’t put an end to selfies worldwide, which would have been fantastic for all of us.

“We’ve had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns,” Pfeiffer said. “We’ve left that conversation between the lawyers.”

Ortiz has not openly admitted that he was working with Samsung.

Photo: Twitter/David Ortiz

Barack Obama bracket reveals president likes Michigan State

Barack-Obama-bracket

President Barack Obama completed his official 2014 NCAA Tournament on Wednesday during a segment ESPN has so cleverly labeled “Barack-etology.” As usual, the president did not go with many shocking upsets or surprise Cinderella stories. He usually sticks to the chalk.

Obama did, however, pick two No. 4 seeds to reach the national championship game. He had No. 1 seeds Arizona and Florida reaching the Final Four but losing to No. 4 seeds Michigan State and Louisville. Unlike Del, Obama does not envision the Cardinals pulling off the repeat. He thinks Tom Izzo is a “great tournament coach” who will work magic with his now healthy Spartans team.

If you are one of those people who hates going with the consensus, you should avoid picking Louisville and Michigan State to reach the final game. Everyone loves the Spartans and Cardinals, presumably because it gives them a reason to predict “upsets” by picking a lower seed. Several ESPN experts picked Michigan State to cut down the nets as well.

Last year, Obama finished in the top 74 percent of ESPN brackets. He’s actually a big college basketball fan, so he seems to know what he’s talking about. You could do worse than taking the president’s advice, but I’d recommend going with your gut.

Irina Rodnina now claims racist photo of Obamas was a hack job

Irina-RodninaFormer Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina is an Olympic hero in her home country. Rodnina was one of the two people who were given the honor of lighting the Olympic torch in Sochi last Friday. In addition to being internationally known for her decorated figure skating career, Rodnina also made headlines back in September for tweeting a racist photo of the Obamas.

Rodnina was criticized at the time, but she defended herself by saying she was simply exhibiting her right to “freedom of speech.” For whatever reason, she decided to apologize on Monday and claim she was hacked.

Hacking is a horrible excuse to begin with, let alone using it five months later after basically refusing to apologize the first time around. If Rodnina was hacked, she undoubtedly would have said that from the start. Since Twitter hacking is pretty damn close to a mythical concept anyway, we know that’s not what happened. At least she finally apologized.

H/T Deadspin

Olympic torch lighter Irina Rodnina tweeted racist picture of Obamas months ago

Irina-RodninaFormer Russian Olympic figure skater Irina Rodnina lit the cauldron along with former Russian hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak during the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic torch on Friday. Rodnina is one of the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, having won three straight gold medals from 1972 to 1980 in pairs skating.

Rodnina is beloved in Russia, but she found herself at the center of a racial controversy back in September when she tweeted the following photo of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama that was captured by The New Republic’s Julia Ioffe:

Irina-Radnina-racist-picture-Obamas

Rodnina deleted the photo, but she never apologized for posting it. Instead, she insisted there was nothing wrong with the photograph and that she was simply expressing herself freely. Michael McFaul, the US Ambassador to Russia, blasted Rodnina at the time for her “outrageous behavior that brings shame to her parliament and country.”

Everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs, but you would like to think someone who is so important to their nation’s people would try not to perpetuate racism. The fact that Rodnina was given such a great honor at the Olympics shows that there are no hard feelings within her own nation.

H/T Deadspin

Mike Ditka: I should have run against Barack Obama in 2004 US Senate

Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka is one of the most famous players and coaches in NFL history. It’s tough to imagine what football would be like without Ditka. However, the Hall of Famer regrets not taking a little less time for football and more time for politics over the past 10 years.

Ditka is what you would call the opposite of a Barack Obama supporter. Not only that, but he believes he may have had a chance to stop him from getting into office. According to The Dickinson Press (via CNN.com), Ditka was speaking to a group of people in North Dakota when he admitted he wishes he had run opposite Obama to represent Illinois in the 2004 US Senate race.

“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” Ditka said of the decision. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”

Had Ditka run against Obama and won, there’s a good chance not enough people would have known who the current president was and he would not have been able to build a successful presidential campaign. And if you think Ditka’s insane for thinking a former football player and coach could have won a Senate race, you obviously don’t understand the way some Americans vote.

But we digress. Ditka did not run, which means we are still graced with his presence and insight every Sunday on ESPN’s pregame coverage. It wouldn’t be the same without him.

Kings F Dustin Penner takes shot at athletes who skip White House visit

Dustin-Penner-KingsThe Los Angeles Kings visited the White House on Tuesday to be recognized for their 2011-2012 Stanley Cup title, and by all accounts it appears all members of the team were able to attend. As you know, there is a growing list of athletes — most notably former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas — who, because of personal/political reasons, have refused to travel to the White House with their team to meet the president.

For the most part, there are two sides to the debate. On one side, you have people who feel that athletes are given a forum most of us do not have and that they should use it to stand up for their political beliefs. On the other side, you have people who feel that it is disrespectful to your team and your country to refuse such a rare honor. After Tuesday, we know where Kings forward Dustin Penner stands.

If you ask me, he’s right. Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion, but going to the White House to be recognized for winning a championship does not mean you support the president. It’s a tradition and something that players should experience with their teammates. You can still take a handshake from Barack Obama and vote Republican. In my opinion, athletes should understand that and cast their personal beliefs aside.

President Obama advises Michael Vick to slide; Vick responds

President Obama is apparently no different from Eagles fans who want their quarterback to stay healthy.

Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha spoke at an event in Oakland on Monday and introduced the President. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Asomugha and Obama talked football afterward, and the President offered some advice.

“He told me to tell Vick to slide,” Asomugha told reporters.

Asomugha was pressed about Obama’s advice and said it happened.

Vick, or whoever runs his Twitter account, read the report and responded via Twitter:

There has been frequent talk throughout the offseason about Vick making adjustments to protect himself. While that certainly would be beneficial for Vick and the Eagles, I wonder how practical it is. Many actions on the field are instinctual, and I don’t know how easy it will be for Vick to adjust after playing his entire life a different way.

And let’s also give it up for Obama. Here I was thinking his staff slipped him the Vick nugget, but maybe I was wrong.