Want To Be President? Play Sports!
The Commander-In-Chief Tends to Possess an Athletic Background
February 15, 2016
One of the great motivators for us here at isplack is seeing all the great youth sports teams and players that connect with us in some form or fashion. Seeing the passion of so many great young athletes across the country who wear isplack helps push us to continue helping athletes, young and old, unite in color. One reason we love youth sports so much is that we believe sports are very influential in the development of our youth. Sports help to make leaders out of all of us, and sports help to give an individual an outlet to find what their true calling is. We likely wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t the connection we had with sports during our youth, and the connection our families continue to have with sports to this day.
One great bit of evidence in the power of how sports play a big role in shaping young people is in looking at the background of several U.S. Presidents. So as President’s Day arrives, and the races for the Democratic and Republican nominations dominate the news cycle, let’s remember that sports have played a significant role in shaping many leaders of our country.
While it’s easy to think back to all the presidents that have thrown out first pitches, or are presented a jersey with their name and presidential number on it, we are looking back at their pre-president days, and even their pre-political days, to see how sports was a part of their lives early on.
Current president Barack Obama is an avid sports fan, particularly of his native-Chicago teams. He is particularly a big basketball fan, and annually completes a bracket for the NCAA Tournament. His basketball roots can be traced back well into his youth, particularly in Hawaii, where he went to high school. Obama was a member of the Hawaii State High School Championship team at Punahou School his senior year, considered one of the best teams in the nation that year.
Of course, the sports ties to President George W. Bush extend much further than his youth sports experiences. Bush had partial ownership in the Texas Rangers Baseball Club for approximately five years from 1989-1994, before he became Governor of Texas and his ownership group sold the team. During his time with the Rangers, Bush was the managing general partner of the club. In his youth, however, Bush played baseball in high school and briefly on the freshman team at Yale University. He also was a member of the Rugby team at Yale. Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush also played as a youngster and was a member of the Yale Varsity baseball team.
It should surprise no one that the jack-of-all-trades Ronald Reagan was an avid athlete during his youth. Reagan played football and was a swimmer during high school. He then played football at Eureka College, before graduating and becoming a sportscaster at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa in his 20’s. That opportunity led to his long acting career before he became a politician and president.
While the presidents of later years become much harder to track, each of Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon played college football, which only was possible due to their dedication to their sport as a youth. In fact, Ford was a member of the 1932 and 1933 National Championship Michigan Wolverine teams, and was the team MVP on the 1934 Wolverines.
It is no surprise to us that the men elected to lead the free world were once the leaders of athletic teams during their youth. Youth, high school and college athletics continue to be a great catalyst for many of the world’s great leaders, and isplack is proud to help those leaders find their passion and unite with their teams.
Get Your Colors On!
Aaron Beach, COO