Obama-Packers play call
February 7th, 2011
07:03 PM ET

Obama-Packers play call

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In keeping with post Super Bowl tradition President Obama placed a phone call not to a head of state, but to a head coach.

The president “congratulated” Coach Mike McCarthy of the winning Green Bay Packers and commended him “on his leadership in guiding the team through a rash of injuries both throughout [the] season and during the game,” The White House said in a written statement.

While Obama didn’t speak directly with Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, he did ask his coach to “pass on how impressed he was” with the quarterback’s “game and season.”

It was a tough pill to swallow for the president, who would have rather been toasting his hometown Chicago Bears. But alas, they never made it to the Super Bowl. “Look, the president was hoping for a meaningful process that resulted in his Bears being in the Super Bowl,” White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs lamented.

However, the president didn’t let a friendly state rivalry get in the way of his sportsmanship. “Even a Bears fan can appreciate what the victory means to the people of Green Bay and Wisconsin,” he told McCarthy.

In what was a competitive game, the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25. Ouch! Another blow for the president. His close friend and long-time supporter Ambassador Daniel Rooney is owner of the Steelers.

As they say in sports, “there’s always next season,” but until then, the president will have to celebrate with the Packers.

He “looks forward to hosting the team at the White House, just as Charles Woodson predicted,” the statement said.

Woodson, the Packers star cornerback had signed his number 21 jersey, along with this prediction: “See you at the White House. Go Packers.”

The jersey was presented to the President during a recent trip to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. “They’re rubbing it in,”  Mr.Obama said at the time.

The bravado worked! On Sunday, the proof was on the scoreboard


Topics: President Obama • Super Bowl • The Buzz

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lisa P

    Actually $810 million dollars for high speed rail would mean a lot more to the people of Wisconsin, but it's not President Obama's fault that Governor Idiot wasn't smart enough to figure that out.

    The Packers know how to build for the future; Governor Walker, not so much...

    February 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jake

      Oh Lisa step away from the Kool Aide. Walker saved the state from a multibillion dollar fiasco. If rail made sense it would not need government subsidies to exist.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
      • Bobby

        Subsidies go toward a lot of things, and in the state of Wisconsin, a lot of it goes toward agriculture. I suppose we could let them fend for themselves too?

        February 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Too bad that money would have been wasted on useless expenditures, and not actually produce a worthwhile "high speed" rail at all. Note that the "high speed" rail would actually not even be considered high speed at all by any modern standards. It would take multiples of that measly 800 million to then RETROFIT the BRAND NEW "high speed" rail in a few years to actually make it worthwhile. Get rid of it before it causes more headache. Come back when there's actually enough money to do the job right, and do it well. No more of this halfway, "we're working towards the future", bull. Do it all and do it "high speed" or don't even waste our money, or our time.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  3. Backer of Packers

    Right on Lisa P! I think the Governor believes in a different kind of railroading...

    February 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  4. Jay in NC

    I never understood why tax payers should foot the bill for sports stadium especially when players are paid so much (not to mention advertisers willing to spend.)

    February 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • blaqmajik

      becuase sports bring big money back to the states.

      February 8, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  5. Tosco

    The NFL is a Fox franchise sucking tax payers dollars.
    A football player is a person without a brain same goes for a boxer.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  6. Mark

    Tax payers vote on new stadiums and the officials that approve them. Not the president. I thought CNN moderated the comments. This article has nothing to do with high speed rail or stadium funding. Why are these comments here?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      You sound like the kind of guy that wants to control what other people say. I will also bet that you feel free to post your own opinion.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  7. Gaylon Barrow

    No political business going on so why shouldn't sad sack take in the Super Bowl. He doesn't have any decisions to make thank the Lord. We can't stand any more of his wild schemes. They only cost us trillions of dollars. I wonder if he's figured out how to get money to the Muslims yet?

    February 8, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Joe B

      Gaylon, you sound like a person of infinite wisdom.

      February 8, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  8. Doancha Knowit

    I'll bet Obama had his fingers crossed.

    February 8, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  9. phoenix86

    Obama calling a NFL head coach, after the game, suits Obama just fine. Where the president has trouble is calling a leader during a crisis.

    February 8, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • JoeyTx

      Wow! And you the jackass with brains know about the phone calls the POTUS makes and don't make. Why don't you go get a real job and quit disrespecting the man and the office.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  10. clearcut1

    CNN, why did you not mention Charles Woodson and how he rallied his team behind the chant "White House".

    The President said he would go watch the Super Bowl if the Bears made it. After defeating the Bears, Charles Woodson from the Packers used this to rally the team, behind the chant 'White House.' Since the President was not going to come to see them play, Charlie told his team "Obama is not going to come and watch us play, well then we are going to the white house."

    CNN you guys should edit the article above with my comment (after edits of course) :)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  11. Allen

    I ‘m a Packers fan and I’m ecstatic the Packers won the Super Bowl! At least the President has the courtesy to show good sportsmanship...something the GOP and its minions have lacked for years. When they lost the election in 2008 they decided to quit, take their toys, and go home. Instead of working with the Administration (like the Democrats worked with Bush Jr. – yes – he got over 80% of what he asked for from the Democrats! Look it up it is FACT), the GOP played obstructionist and tried to railroad our country, our people, and our President. Now we have the Tea Party, a bunch of extremists that will do even more damage to this great country. We have the GOP and Koch brothers to blame for that as well…

    February 11, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  12. Jim

    First of all, the reason the PEOPLE pay for the stadium is because the fans are willing to. It's like if someone (who made less money than you) offered to pay off your house for you. Are you going to say no because you make more? Even though they're willing and able? Hmm.

    Second thing, for all of the Obama bashers that have nothing better to do with there time, go do something else. Obama congradulated the Packers, he can't do everything that ever single person wants him to do as soon as you want it done.

    February 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  13. luvdonald

    Did I miss something? Did the Packers actually get their trip to the White House or was Obama too busy? Seems like every other team that won the SB got to take that trip to meet the pres. but I haven't heard ANYTHING about it. And if they didn't go, why not?

    April 13, 2011 at 4:30 pm |