OT: US Presidents and the sports they played

Submitted by UMProud on January 30th, 2019 at 9:35 AM

Patrick Kiger wrote a nice piece on various US presidents and the sports they played.  Some you probably already know of (President Ford, etc) but others may be surprising.




Dwight Eisenhower

"Long before he achieved acclaim as the leader of the Allied forces who defeated Hitler, Dwight Eisenhower made a name for himself as a halfback and linebacker on the varsity football team at West Point. In November 1912, Eisenhower played in a game against the Carlisle Indian School, whose star was one of the most renowned athletes of all time, Jim Thorpe, who just a few months previously had won the decathlon and pentathlon at the Olympic Games in Stockholm. 

According to Lars Anderson’s book-length account of the game, Eisenhower dreamed of hitting Thorpe hard enough to knock him out of the contest with a hard tackle, and late in the game, took his best shot—only to have Thorpe get up and shake off the hit. Carlyle ended up winning the game, 27-6, and Eisenhower suffered a knee injury that nearly cut short his military career. 

According to Watterson, Eisenhower later become a well-regarded football coach at various Army bases. “He was in great demand,” the sports historian says. “He finally had to stop, because he didn’t want to be known just as a coach.” As President, Eisenhower’s sporting passion was golf, and he actually had a putting green installed on the White House lawn so that he could take a break from working to practice.:

Credit:  History.com, 1/29/2019, Patrick J. Kiger



January 30th, 2019 at 9:58 AM ^

Teddy Roosevelt being a boxer is about as Teddy Roosevelt as it gets, I would think. 

As for the thread, please keep it clean, folks. This article was rather interesting. 

L'Carpetron Do…

January 30th, 2019 at 10:14 AM ^

I remember reading a similar story years ago and thought it was awesome. I also remember him saying Thorpe felt like he was made out of steel when he tried to tackle him or something like that. 



January 30th, 2019 at 10:21 AM ^

Eisenhower also player minor league baseball for cash under a fake name when he was young.

I read that Ford had the best golf average of any US President - Taft being the first president to publicly golf.


January 30th, 2019 at 10:27 AM ^

i think obama was a decent golfer and hoops guy.

JFK was a football player, though that might've been in prep school, not college.

TR roosevelt was a boxer - he was a guy who was physically small and had poor eyesight but by force of will made himself into an outdoorsman, did some cattle round-ups, etc.  read his biography to the kids years back and we all enjoyed it. 


January 30th, 2019 at 10:39 AM ^

My college buddy was close friends with Obama from his early Chicago years.  They played hoop together and he said Barack could play.  

They played quite a bit and had some games during his Presidency.  It’s pretty cool to think a President could still run the hardcourt. 

I guess no hard fouls going to the rack though?


January 30th, 2019 at 11:46 AM ^

One of the best stories about Presidents throwing out the first pitch was W talking with Derrick Jeter before throwing out the first pitch in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.  Jeter asks George if he thinks he'll throw from the rubber or the front of the mound.  Bush says he thinks he'll throw from the front of mound.  Jeter tells Bush that he's thinks that's a mistake and he's liable to get booed, so Bush reconsiders and agrees to throw from the rubber.  Jeter turns to walk out to the field, takes a few steps, turns back around and tells Bush, "Don't bounce it, they'll boo ya", then turns and walks out to the field.


January 30th, 2019 at 11:23 AM ^

Many don't know that President/General Eisenhower was not branched to a combat arms branch, and yet made the rank of Supreme Allied Commander. In this day in age, that would never happen.


January 30th, 2019 at 11:39 AM ^

During WWI he was at Camp Colt training tank crews right on the old battlefield of Gettysburg, which probably started his affinity for the location.  I've read he wanted to go to Europe for the war, but they needed his expertise in continuing on with that camp stateside.


January 30th, 2019 at 11:34 AM ^

Eisenhower also had this great sports-related quote:

“When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing. I told him I wanted to be a real Major League baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish.”

Honk if Ufer M…

January 30th, 2019 at 2:11 PM ^

This post is juuust as long as it needs to be!:

Well I was going to list the current Resident's sport using his own language, before seeing the prior restraint from a moderator admonishing us to keep it "clean."

One wonders what clean might mean in light of the accepted use of so called swear words on this site, as well as in consideration of Nixon's famous proclamation that "well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal" which was echoed verbally by Shrub Dub and in thought and deed by all the Presidents & Residents in my lifetime, JFK to the present.

Therefore, even without agreeing with (un)Presidential thought on it, we have to take the transitive property over here to say that if it's clean enough for the Resident to say it and claim the activity as his own yet be elected anyway even though it was known by all, than both surly and Shirley it should be clean enough for this den of linguistic iniquity, should it not? Well mebbe not, depending,

However this as yet unstated word has been used here undeleted or locked just recently, it's usage in context was protested, correctly, as sexist. That is, pussy, as associated with male mental and physical weakness and lack of courage.

Yet simply as slang for vagina, in a vacuum, (no pun intended) it's not sexist or offensive any more than vagina itself is, nor is dick any diff than penis, depending on context and usage. It's basically a gender identifier in many uses. Man/woman, Ms./Mr., male sex organ/female sex organ.

So if you refer to women in general as bitches, that's demeaning, derogatory and sexist, but if you don't use that word that way, but might call a particular woman a bitch where if a man was doing/saying the same thing in that situation, you'd call the man a dick, it's conveying totally different things. Dick and bitch are simply synonymous with "asshole" in that context, but with the gender, like you would say he or him or she or her rather than "that person.

For whatever reason "asshole" usually only refers to men unless you expressly say she is an asshole, as opposed to that asshole Karen, which sounds confusing and jarring without having warned that you're talking about a female before just flinging the word out there attached to a female!

You need to be able to refer to people as assholes without escalating the description to the level of the C word and since asshole has somehow been basically co-opted into having a male connotation the word bitch is sort of needed, but used correctly.

The P word is the most favored by women in describing their own sex organ and is never used to mean asshole or dick, it's a good word, a nice word defining a nice thing. It's only offensive when used as the weak/afraid insult, equating those perceived flaws with women as a whole, or in the general use of the word as synonym for sex or women.

The point of all that is that in Drumph's use of the word in outing himself as a P grabber his use of the word pussy wasn't actually the offensive part of the sexist statement, it was his feeling and statement that it's OK to grab it without permission and to brag and laugh about your belief and presumably his actions, which if true are criminal sexual assaults.

In any event, in order to keep it clean I will refrain from saying the Resident's sport is pussy grabbing and say that it's the "sport" of Digital Grasping Of Female Genitalia Sans Permission Or Warning But With Seeming Immunity & Impunity. Boy is that a mouthful!... er, little fingerful.

yossarians tree

January 30th, 2019 at 3:01 PM ^

What an idiot. Aside from going against the spirit of this thread, it is just plain unintelligible.

Anywho, Gerald Ford remained deeply proud of his Michigan Football background his whole life and he was good friends with Bo. Apparently after his death his body was laid in state in Washington D.C. before being flown back to Grand Rapids for burial. As Air Force 1 flew across Michigan the pilot diverted the path directly over Michigan Stadium and did a wing waggle salute.


January 30th, 2019 at 3:04 PM ^

This guy isn't a President, or even a candidate for 2020 yet.  But many think he'll throw his hat in the ring.

But before yesterday, I didn't know that Cory Booker made the USA Today All-American team at Tight End as a High Schooler.  Then had a pretty good career at Stanford.