Obama Scores Cred With Sports Fans

Prez-elect takes hard line on BCS, Chicago home teams
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2009 8:00 PM CST
Obama is being praised by many fans for his love of sports, eager to see one of their own in the White House.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, FILE)
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(Newser) – A recession, Iraq, and Middle East strife await him, but Barack Obama still lets nothing stand between him and SportsCenter, Politico reports. Many politicians claim to love athletics—Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford actually did—but Obama's opposition to NCAA's bowl system and his love for the White Sox make it clear that this hoops-player is for real. “He could almost be a stathead president," writes sports blogger Will Leitch.

Analysts are debating whether he can actually influence college ball—it "may be as difficult as Gaza,” quips Leitch—but those who work in athletics are clearly happy to have a president who follows sports and stays fit. Some say it will even help his presidency: “One of sanest things he can do is have a diversion that he loves and can throw himself into,” says Ari Fleischer, President Bush's first press secretary.