Barack Obama, Sports Fan In Chief

President Obama talks sports with Bill SImmons.

President Obama appears on The BS Report this morning. BS standing, of course, for Bill Simmons.  And, rather than talking about trivia such as jobs, conflict in the Middle East, and nuclear proliferation, they stick to important topics.

Bill Simmons: Welcome to the White House. Very proud to have the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on the B.S. Report. This is your first podcast?

President Barack Obama: This is — well, I used to have my own podcast.

BS: What?

Obama: When I was U.S. Senator I was way ahead of the curve on the podcast thing.

BS: Really?

Obama: So, yes. I mean, I don’t think it had as many listeners as you.

BS: What was this podcast called?

Obama: I really don’t remember. [Laughter.] “A Podcast with Barack Obama.” Something like that. It was a catchy name.


BS: It’s funny, because I always pictured you in bed pretending you were working but watching League Pass on your iPad — [laughter] — watching some West Coast game — [the] Sacramento Kings or something.

Obama: I do have League Pass on my iPad.

BS: You do?

Obama: Of course.

BS: Do you pay for it yourself or do you charge it to the White House?

Obama: No, I’ve got to pay for it myself. [Laughter.]

BS: So you’re catching up, obviously, on the fact that you had been surpassed as the most famous person who was a Harvard graduate.

Obama: Jeremy is —

BS: Jeremy Lin.

Obama: — doing good. And I knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my Secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team. And so way back when, Arne and I were playing and he said, I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard. And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while.

BS: Are you taking credit for “Linsanity”? It kind of feels like you are a little bit.

Obama: I can’t take credit for it, but I’m just saying I was there early.

There’s quite a bit more to the interview. Quite clearly, Obama is a passionate and knowledgeable fan of sports–particularly basketball, of course, but also Bears football. No word on how many NASCAR owners he’s friends with, however.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Sports, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    There’s a difference between trying to act like a regular guy and actually being a regular guy.
    Well…as regular as you can be when you are THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD!!!!

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    No word on how many NASCAR owners he’s friends with, however.


  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    Quite clearly, Obama is a passionate and knowledgeable fan of sports–particularly basketball, of course, but also Bears football.

    Since many Americans are sports obsessed it probably accounts for a lot of his personal popularity. It’s pretty popular with the crooning fraternity too I hear.

  4. PJ says:

    “The news of Mr. Breitbart’s death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope through this very difficult time.”

    I wonder how, in a alternative universe, Breitbart would have reacted to Shirley Sherrod’s death.

  5. PJ says:

    Crap. Too many tabs open.
    I miss the edit button.

  6. Herb says:

    Man, I wish I had League Pass on my iPad. I wish I had an iPad!

    (I had League Pass last year and was going to renew but didn’t due to all the black out restrictions. As an addition to a cable package, I’m sure it’s great. As an alternative to one, not so much…)

  7. Jr says:

    @Herb: I used to have League pass then I realize I only watch Laker games and I can watch them online.

  8. Herb says:

    @Jr: Where? Just the Lakers? How much? Tell me more.

  9. CB says:

    pandering for all important sports vote?

  10. I’ve got League Pass on my phone (Sprint discount). It’s nice if you’re on WiFi. The only problem is that 3G/4G streaming is awful as expected, and you can’t even watch archives of your local team (mine would be the Knicks). Other than that, it’s awesome, and I only paid $32.

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    He’s a fan of basketball? I thought he would be a bigger fan of more socialisty sports….like soccer…

    or Jalai….


  12. Brummagem Joe says:

    I’ve actually watched this entire interview now and there he is, not exactly a regular Joe, but pretty close, chatting affably about three major sports about which he obviously knows a lot (he has the lingo off pat), making jokes about himself, a bit of jock boasting about his own prowess, a killer smile, he’s a natural. Can anyone conceive of any of the Republican candidates (particularly Romney) pulling off such a effortless performance?