January 24, 2011
Barack Obama won't be attending the Super Bowl, but that doesn't mean he won't get a chance to see the Green Bay Packers in person.
The president said he would go the Super Bowl if the Chicago Bears won the NFC championship (like he predicted), but his travel plans were altered when Charles Woodson(notes) and the Packers got the win at Soldier Field. No matter, says Woodson. The Packers will see Obama when they make their visit to Washington, D.C., as Super Bowl champions.
In a locker room speech following the team's 21-14 victory, Woodson said referenced how the team altered Air Force One's itenirary. "The president don't want to come watch us win the Super Bowl?" he said. "Guess what? We'll go see him." (You can watch the clip at Packers.com.)
The assembled Packers team responded with hoots and hollers before joining together to do a "1-2-3, White House" cheer.
Good thing Tom Jackson isn't the president, or else he'd have come out today and said he only picked the Packers to inspire them to victory.
[Rewind: Obama talks some trash with Kobe]
In retrospect, Obama announcing his intentions to go to the Super Bowl may have been the kiss of death for the Bears. The president has been a sort of sporting albatross to his adopted city since taking the oath of office. His last-minute speech to the IOC failed to deliver the 2016 Olympics, despite the fact that Chicago was a heavy favorite. The Bulls lost when he attended one of the team's games against the Washington Wizards in 2009, and the South Side White Sox were overpowered by Stephen Strasburg when Obama attended a Nationals game last June. It wasn't until the president left his seat that Chicago scored the game-winning run.
Woodson's locker-room comments appeared to be in good fun, yet there was definitely a hint of "I told you so" in his words. He may get another chance to prove the president wrong in two weeks. Obama has said in the past that he's a Steelers fan. Can another anti-Packers pick be far behind?
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