September 28, 2011
Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Dan Hampton won't be attending the team's visit to the White House next month. The Hall of Famer told WLS-890 in Chicago that his decision is based on a "personal choice."
President Obama invited the 1985 Super Bowl championship team to visit Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The Bears had been scheduled to meet with President Reagan in January of 1986, but the Challenger disaster forced the White House to cancel the planned meeting.
Hampton gave three reasons for not attending:
1. Wives and children of the players weren't invited.
That does seem like an oversight by whoever planned the meeting. Granted, children of the players are most likely adults by now so it's not like a 5-year-old is getting snubbed, but surely the White House could have pulled out some more folding chairs for the event.
2. He says he's "not a fan of the guy in the White House."
A frequent reason given by those who decline White House invites, whether it be for Obama or any president who came before him. This sounds lame and takes a tremendous lack of perspective. Declining an opportunity to go to the White House and shake hands with the President of the United States because you don't like the guy's opinion on health care seems petty. Does Hampton not have any friends who are Democrats?
3. "It was 25 years ago. Let it go."
I'm sort of on Hampton's side on this one (though not enough to make it a valid excuse for declining). It's not like every Super Bowl team was going to the White House back then; the Bears were only the second team to get the invite. The 25-year-old canceled visit is a thinly veiled excuse to invite the team from Obama's adopted hometown for a visit. What about other championship squads? Where's John Riggins' and The Hogs' invite? The 1974 Dolphins can't get any love?! (And Florida's a swing state, Barack!)
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