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Tag:Barack Obama
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:16 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 4:49 pm
 

NFL kicks off Wednesday 9/5 to avoid Obama speech

The NFL's popular, but not that popular. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

For the past few years, the NFL's kicked off each season with a Thursday-night game featuring the previous year's Super Bowl champion. This year, though, the kickoff will be on a Wednesday, to avoid Barack Obama's scheduled speech at the Democratic National Convention, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday.

Latest NFL News, Notes

The specific Wednesday in question September 5, 2012 and it will feature the Giants, as expected. It'll take place on NBC, beginning at 8:30 pm ET, with an NFL Kickoff 2012 special airing at 7:30 pm ET.

Currently the Giants are scheduled to host the Saints, Buccaneers, Browns, Steelers, their NFC East division foes and ... the Packers. Green Bay, as the 2010 champion, makes the most sense as a potential opening game for the Giants.

The NFL has yet to announce that however, but made the information about the move from a Thursday to a Wednesday public early on.

So much for the idea that the NFL was more powerful than the President.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 5:08 pm
 

Barack Obama's Super Bowl pick: 'I canít call it'

Barack Obama can't make a Super Bowl pick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

One of the enjoyable things about Barack Obama's presidency (for us anyway) is that he's a big sports fan. (Certainly a bigger fan than his VP anyway.) Barry knows a thing or two about the sports world and he's not afraid to make picks, fill out brackets, whatever.

Except for Super Bowl XLVI, which simply has Obama perplexed.

"I can’t call it. I can’t call it," Obama said in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News. "When the Bears are not involved, I can’t make predictions because I will get into trouble. But both are great teams. Brady obviously one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever seen. Eli Manning playing as well as he’s ever played, and it’s going to be a fun Super Bowl."

Obama's right. It will be a fun Super Bowl. And there probably won't be any mentions of the first time Brady and Manning played.

The reality is, this is a good one to stay away from. All our experts believe the Giants will win. But that means we're inherently betting against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. That makes little sense.

Of course, for Obama it would probably mean he hates the Patriots and therefore hates America. Or something. And although we could look at his recent visit to the University of Michigan as a clear-cut sign that he's backing Brady, the more logical explanation here is that's it an election year, and the choice between making a) the state of New York mad or b) the rest of New England mad, well, it's a lose-lose proposition.

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Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:54 am
 

SNL: NFL more powerful than President

Posted by Will Brinson

No one watches "Saturday Night Live" anymore these days, but that doesn't stop Mrs. Brinson from spending her Sunday mornings finding something other than football to watch. As a result, if there's anything sports-related on the previous night's show, I'm all up on it.

Like last night, when Fred Armison did the open as Barack Obama, breaking down the 12 most powerful things in America. The NFL checked in at No. 4.

How? Well, according to "SNL" you'd never see an NFL game interrupted for a Presidential broadcast ("even if the Cardinals were playing the Jaguars") and no one has a fantasy Congress league.

Both of these things are true, sadly.



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Posted on: October 7, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Not all Bears excited to visit White House

Dan Hampton declined to go to the White House with his fellow 1986 teammates (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the 1985 Super Bowl winning Bears visited the White House on Friday for the first time to celebrate their 25-year-old victory, at least one decided to stay away.

That would be Dan Hampton, a Hall of Famer who texted to ESPN Chicago that he didn’t want to go, in part because his family couldn’t be there with him. But in an earlier radio interview with WSCR 670 in Chicago, he let on there were a few more reasons he had declined the invitation.

"It's my own personal choice," Hampton said. "I don't choose to go. No family, no kids. Honey's going to the White House, and you tell your kids and your wife, 'Oh, I'm sorry. You're not invited.'

"Secondly, I'm not a fan of the guy in the White House. And third, it was 25 years ago. Let it go."

True, it was a quarter-century ago, but the Bears -- of whom President Obama is a big fan and is probably the only reason Chicago is finally getting its presidential visit -- never got their White House celebration because of the Challenger explosion in January 1986. Hampton’s decision seemed to offend another member of that squad, Steve McMichael.

"They said, 'Are you going?' Because there are a couple of my teammates that aren't going to make the trip," McMichael told ESPN Chicago. "But let me tell you something, I don't care who the president is. I don't care what's going on in the government, if I'm against a war or what. If you are somebody that the White House wants to honor, and you're a citizen of this country, it behooves you to show up and look at it like an honor and a privilege.

"I told them I'm going to have bells on."

This has become a trend lately. As CBSSports.com’s Pete Pistone points out, five NASCAR drivers declined a White House meeting last month. Although the reception was scheduled for a Wednesday, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart said they had scheduling conflicts and declined to attend.

I don’t understand the position Hampton is making. An invitation by the president should be an honor, and the one time I had a chance to shake a president’s hand -- a man with whom I disagreed on nearly every issue -- I strode up to him (I still can’t believe the Secret Service guards didn’t see me coming from the backside) and shook his hand.

I was proud to do so. It was an honor, and a moment I’ll never forget. And the next time I’m personally invited to the White House, I won’t care if it’s a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian or a member of the Green Party, I’ll attend. And then brag about it on Facebook.

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Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 2:20 pm
 

ESPN fires Hank Williams Jr. from MNF

Posted by Will Brinson

Hank Williams Jr. was all up in the news this week. That's understandable given his comments involving Barack Obama and a certain German dictator to Fox and Friends on Monday.

Those comments resulted in ESPN pulling Hank's intro from the most recent Monday Night Football game in Tampa Bay and now resulted in ESPN firing the man known as Bocephus from the job he's held for the past two decades.

"We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr." ESPN said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions over the past years.  The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."

Hank Jr. originally issued an "apology" for his comments that came off in an insincere way. Bocephus followed that up with a more apologetic statement, but ESPN clearly felt that the comments were too controversial to make it worth including Williams in the production for MNF.

Also somewhat controversial? Whether or not Williams was fired -- the country singer said on his website Thursday that he was fired.
Bocephus Bounced

"After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision," Hank wrote. "By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First AmendmentFreedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE.  It’s been a great run."

ESPN and Hank were, per his interview, on a one-year contract, so it's not as if a separation would be that difficult, provided Bocephus doesn't feel the need to sue for a violation of his civil rights. It's kind of hard to imagine, though, how anyone -- as Stephen Colbert said on The Colbert Report recently -- will be able to get ready for football on Mondays without Hank.

Given that ESPN recently invested a ridiculous $1.8 billion into the rights for MNF, and given that nearly every single band currently producing music would be interested in producing the theme song, you have to imagine they'll figure out a way to move on without Bocephus and his rowdy friends.

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Posted on: October 3, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 9:05 pm
 

ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr MNF introduction

Posted by Will Brinson

On Monday morning, Hank Williams Jr., who notoriously sings the Monday Night Football introduction, went on Fox and Friends and made some pretty regrettable comments that used the words "Obama" and "Hitler."

As a result, ESPN decided to pull Williams intro for MNF when Indy heads to Tampa Bay this evening.

“While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told CBSSports.com.  "We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast."

ESPN has not decided whether or not the removal of Williams intro -- he's might be more famous for yelling "Are you ready for some football?" than anything else -- will return and are "evaluating" the decision for future telecasts.

UPDATED 9:00 p.m. ET: Williams has released a statement. It reads:

Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President.”

Every time the media brings up the tea party it’s painted as racist and extremists -- but there’s never a backlash -- no outrage to those comparisons… Working class people are hurting -- and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job -- it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change.”


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Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Hank Williams, Jr., compares Obama to Hitler

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (5:50 p.m. ET): We reached out to ESPN for comment and we were informed they are pulling the Hank Williams, Jr., intro from Monday Night Football's telecast for Monday's game between the Buccaneers and the Colts.

“While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told CBSSports.com.  "We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast."

-----
The latest sports-related figure to invoke Godwin's Law -- the act of comparing someone in modern culture to legendary very bad person Adolph Hitler -- picked a pretty bad subject for comparison, as Hank Williams, Jr., voice of Monday Night Football on ESPN, decided to hop on Fox and Friends and compare Barack Obama to the German dictator.

But, no, really, this happened. Williams decided to point out that it was foolish of House Majority Leader John Boehner to play golf with Barack Obama.

"Come on, come on, that would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," he said. "In the shape this country is in?"

Wait! Don't pick your jaw up off the floor just yet. He wasn't done.

Hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson were stunned (and later apologized for the remarks), but Kilmeade managed to point out that he doesn't "really understand that analogy." So Williams clarified it.

"I'm glad you don't brother, because a lot of people do," Williams said. "They're the enemy... Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The Three Stooges."

No, Williams did not list a third stooge, but maybe he was just referring to himself?

It was a gaffe of pretty epic proportions and unfortunately for Hank -- and ESPN -- they managed to shift the conversation directly to his 20th year with the WWL as the guy who screams the theme song at the beginning of the show.

"A one-year deal that keeps on going sure is fun," Williams said of his tenure with MNF.

Of course, that only works if it actually keeps on going.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Obama invites Packers to White House



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Charles Woodson is a man of his word. After President Barack Obama announced that he would attend the Super Bowl if his hometown Chicago Bears beat the Packers in the NFC Championship Game last January, Woodson spoke bluntly.

"The president don't want to come watch us at the Super Bowl, guess what?" Woodson said after the Packers beat the Bears but before they faced the Steelers. "We're going to see him."


And so the Packers will. The President has invited the team to visit the White House on August 12 to honor them as Super Bowl champions. We can only hope that when the team presents President Obama with his very own Packers jersey, Woodson is allowed to do the honors. And given Obama's comments some seven months ago (see video below), it sounds like this will be the latest addition to his extensive Packers jersey collection.
 
Also: it's worth noting that shortly after Green Bay defeated Chicago, Obama, appearing at a technology and clean energy company in Manitowoc, WI, acknowledged that "[The NFC Championship Game] was a tough day for Bears fans. … But even if it didn't go the way that I wanted, I am glad to see that one of the greatest rivalries in sports is still there. And we will get you next year -- I'm just letting you know. Congratulations. In the spirit of sportsmanship, I wish you good luck in the Super Bowl."


As for the "we will get you next year" promise, Wisconsin congressmen Paul Ryan might take issue with that.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com