Earlier this week the World Champion Chicago Cubs brought their victory parade to the White House. President Obama took a break from his packing duties to show the team around. It’s tradition for the nation’s champions to be celebrated at the White House but why?
Curious like a cat,
The Last Night’s Game Team
Five Things to Know About Championship Celebrations at The White House
- The tradition of sports teams visiting the White House began in 1865 but it wasn’t until 1924 that the World Series Champion Washington Senators (baseball) were celebrated by President Calvin Coolidge. Although the NBA (National Basketball Association) champs didn’t make their first visit until 1963, NFL (National Football League) in 1980 and NHL (National Hockey League) 1991.
- Since you never show up to a party empty handed, teams typically bring along their winning trophy and a gift for the president, usually a team jersey. Not sure he has enough wall space for all of those.
- It’s not all pomp and circumstance. When the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) visited the White House, the team and the president packed over 3,000 care packages for troops serving overseas. During their time in the capital, the San Antonio Spurs (NBA) visited wounded veterans and the U.S.A. Women’s Soccer Team put on a youth soccer clinic.
- It’s not always warm and fuzzy as some players boycott the visit and use it as an opportunity to speak out against the president’s policies or the government. Others simply can’t make it. President George W. Bush said "I guess his grandmother died again" about the absence of Boston Red Sox (MLB) player Manny Ramirez.
- When the New York Giants (NFL) visited in 1987, the team dumped a cooler full of popcorn on President Reagan to honor the traditional merriment of pouring Gatorade on the head coach to celebrate a victory.
- Extra credit: It’s not only the professional athletes who visit, college champions and Olympic athletes have graced the Rose Garden with their presence.
- Pittsburgh Steelers’ (NFL) Antonio Brown violated the sacred space of the locker room after the team’s big playoff win this weekend. Brown streamed postgame locker room talk of head coach Mike Tomlin making not so nice comments about the Patriots, their next opponent.
- When Brown took to Facebook, he violated the NFL’s social media policy. The policy prohibits social media activity 90 minutes before kickoff as well as after game through the postgame press conferences. Brown is certainly going to be fined by the league for that one.
- College football is a year-round grind and that became apparent when three players on the University of Oregon Ducks football team were hospitalized after an off-season workout. The Ducks’ strength and conditioning coach has been suspended. Phew and we thought working out with Jane Fonda was tough.