Second time’s a charm? After declining the Nats offer to throw out the first pitch in their season opener last year due to a busy schedule, President Barack Obama has decided he’ll do the honor at the Washington Nationals home opener on April 5th against the Phillies. This event will mark the 100th anniversary of a president throwing out the first pitch to start the season. The first time was in 1910 when President William Howard Taft did so. MLB commissioner Bud Selig seems to be happy with the news:
“I am proud that President Obama will continue the long presidential tradition of throwing out the first pitch of opening day in Washington, D.C.,” Selig said.
I think it’s kind of cool that Obama is continuing the tradition. From fighting for a college football playoff to throwing first pitches, it’s pretty fun having a sports fan in the White House. The only problem is now people are questioning Obama’s allegiance to the White Sox because of it. That’s just stupid — of course he’s a White Sox fan! I’m sure many people who throw out the first pitch at games are not necessarily a fan of that team but they can’t pass up the amazing opportunity (although I’m pretty sure Obama could just tell any team he wants to throw out the first pitch and there would be no argument).
Anyways, I don’t think anyone could sit here and tell me that if a team that you weren’t really a fan of called you up and said “Hey, so we would love if you would throw out the first pitch at the game on Sunday” that you wouldn’t jump at the chance. I would. I won’t reveal who my team is but let’s just say this … I’d do it even if the Cubs asked me.
With the Steelers making their appearance in D.C. to be honored for winning the Super Bowl, James Harrison was missing. President Obama I’m sure was told about his comments but did not address it. Instead, he limited the talk to those in attendance. If you check out the video, you’ll notice that the Steelers all wore white polo shirts with team logos on them because they got down-and-dirty putting together care packages to send to our troops. Obama also admitted that he was rooting for the Steelers. Even though he’s the President, he does come across as just a “regular guy.” Check it out:
It’s nice that Obama actually knows sports so he doesn’t make a fool of himself like that guy from Florida International who called Isiah Thomas Isiah Thompson. And of course, there was a strong presence of Steelers fans in attendance. They are freaking everywhere.
The much-publicized Chris Berman halftime interviews with Barack Obama and John McCain finally aired Monday night. Funny they were promoted as the last one-on-one interviews each would do prior to the election when I saw sunlight behind each candidate and darkness in D.C. for the game. Anyway, here’s the one question Berman asked both men that would interest sports fans in particular: If you could change one thing in sports, what would it be? Obama’s answer regarded the lack of a playoff system in college football, McCain’s pertained to the preponderance of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Here’s video of each interview:
I like the answer given by both candidates. With Obama, if we were to get a playoff, I would prefer a four-team tourney, but eight is fine. McCain’s response should not be a surprise since that attitude is exactly what got him on the radar of sports fans a few years ago. I hope he continues the pursuit of regulating steroids/drugs in sports whether he wins the presidency or not. And could Obama enforce a playoff if he does win? That would be sweet!
Presidential candidate Barack Obama recently sat down with ESPN’s Stuart Scott for an interview that will air next week, I’m led to believe. There was one particular clip from the interview that can be construed as controversial. Eamonn Brennan at the brand new blog over at MOUTHPIECE SPORTS (we’re on strict order to capitalize the name, and make sure to bookmark the page), shares Obama’s remark:
Scott: “Who would you root for?
Obama: “Oh, that’s easy. White Sox. I’m not one of these fair weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren’t watching the game. It’s not serious. White Sox, that’s baseball. Southside.”
I like people who speak their minds, especially when the remark has truth to it. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the demographics of Cubs and Sox fans, but his description fits in with the common stereotype. While I appreciate the honesty, Obama’s not exactly doing himself any favors in terms of gaining the popular vote — everyone knows there are many more Cubs fans than Sox fans. Not sure if the remark was worth the street cred he gained.