Today is President’s Day and to honor our country’s former leaders, I thought I would see which Presidents pursued athletics. Specifically, did any of them play sports in college or beyond?
Sports, especially team sports, develop certain traits that I’m sure are very useful as the President. Traits such as leadership (duh), discipline, delegating responsibilities, toughness, hard work, and the list could go on.
A lot of our Presidents went to some of the finest universities this country has to offer. When college sports were really starting to come around, the Ivy League schools were dominating and that’s when our Presidents were attending college.
Now our current President, Barack Obama, is a big time hoopster and he looks like a pretty good athlete. But, there was nothing I found with my research that confirmed he played in college, so I’m keeping this list to college athletes.
How about this fact. Does it surprise you that Teddy Roosevelt was runner-up in the light heavyweight boxing championship at Harvard? For our younger readers, he is the dude who said, “I speak softly, but I carry a big stick!” Still not ringing any bells? Look him up on Wikipedia.
Gerald Ford was portrayed by Chevy Chase as some type of clumsy buffoon. Actually, he was a stud football player for Michigan (I won’t hold that against him). He was on Michigan’s undefeated national championship teams in 1932 and 1933. He had offers to play in the NFL, but he turned them down.
Bill Clinton has become famous for a lot of things, not all reflecting his presidency, but did you know he was a rugby player for the University of Oxford? My roommate was a rugby player. He told me about their parties. Those guys are nuts and that explains a few things for me about Clinton.
Did you know I counted 5 presidents who were male cheerleaders in college. Probably not, but I’m telling you that is what I saw. I’ve changed my tune about male cheerleaders and if you have to ask why, take a look at a picture I posted on my Fanpage of a male cheerleader holding up a lovely female cheerleader.
George H.W. Bush and his son were both part of the cheerleading contingent. But, the elder Bush was the captain of the Yale baseball team. He also played in the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948 with Yale finishing runner-up both times.
I think that gives you guys a taste what the athletic makeup is of our commander in chiefs. Swimming was another popular sport among the Presidents. With that in mind, maybe it isn’t completely unthinkable that Peyton Manning or Derek Jeter will be a President somewhere down the line. [Okay stop laughing, it was just a thought.]