In honor of President’s Day, Sports Crackle Pop presents a thorough study of Sports and Politics. Below is a list ofÂ everyÂ Chief Executive in American History and their closest sports equivalent.
George Washington-Babe Ruth. The first president set the stage for 235 years of democracy. The first major sports star sets the stage for 100 years of professional athletic coverage
John Adams-Casey Stengel.Â John Adams was a far more successful political philosopher than he was president. The all time baseball philosopher was a far better tactitian than he was a player.
Thomas Jefferson-Jim Thorpe. Thomas Jefferson was a writer, scientist, politician, and statesman. Thorpe was a baseball player, Olympian, football player
James Madison-Tony Parker. James Madison was a decent president who helped write the Declaration of Independence, but he’s best known for having a hot ass wife. Tony Parker is an above average point guard who helped author three NBA championships, but he’s best known for having a hot ass wife.
James Monroe-Dick Fosbury. James Monroe is a President best known for the Monroe Doctrine, a policy against European aggression since enacted by numerous chief executives. Fosbury invented a flop, since used by nearly every high jumper.
John Quincy Adams-Ken Griffey Jr. Adams was the first son of a president to ascend to the highest office in the land. Ken Griffey Jr. was the first son of a major league all star to ascend to the American League Most Valuable Player award.
Andrew Jackson-John Kruk. Andrew Jackson was the first populist president and the first man to rise to the white house without an elite upbringing. Kruk once said, “I’m not an athlete, lady. I’m a ballplayer.”Â His scruffy appearance and corpulence made him a popular player among average Americans. (corpulence means he was fat)
Martin Van Buren-Nate Archibald. at 5’6″, Martin Van Buren was known as theÂ “Little Magician.” Nate Archibald was known as “Tiny”, and is the only player to lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season. kind of like a little “Magic”
William Henry Harrison-Len Bias. William Henry Harrison caught a cold while delivering his inaugural address. It killed him 32 days later. Len Bias celebrated his inauguration as Celtics savior by using cocaine. He died less than 32 hours later.
John Tyler-Lou Gehrig. Â John Tyler was the first Vice President to ascend to the Presidency, following the death of his successor. Essentially, he was the first injury replacement.Â Gehrig famously took over first base for the Yankees as an injury replacement for Wally Pipp, who was suffering from a headache.
James K Polk-Walter O’Malley. U-S territories expanded to New Mexico and California under James K Polk. Major League Baseball expanded to Los Angeles when O’Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn.
Zachary Taylor-Rick Helling. Years before the Civil War, Zachary Taylor warned of trouble if the South was not dealt with. In recent weeks, Helling has emerged as the baseball player who first rang the bell of alarm over steroid use, years before the issue exploded.
Millard Fillmore-Hideo Nomo. Fillmore sent Commodore Matthew Perry to open Japan.Â Japan sent Nomo to open the 95 All Star game.
Franklin Pearce-Barry Melrose. Franklin Pearce is considered failure, who wasn’t even renominated by his own party following his first term. Barry Melrose was seen as a failure who was replaced almost immediately by the Tampa Bay Lightning as coach, after just 16 games.
James Buchanan-Gene Orza. Buchanan underplayed the possibility of civil war, referring to the problems between north and south in his inaugural address as “happily, a matter of but little practical importance.” Gene Orza made a similarly shortsighted comment. “Let’s assume steroids are very bad to take, but I have no doubt that they are not worse than cigarettes.”
Abraham Lincoln-Jackie Robinson. One was the Great Emancipator. The other freed the slaves.
Andrew Johnson- Alex Karras. Andrew Johnson was the first President ever impeached, though after his Presidency he returned to the Senate. Karras was suspended by the NFL for gambling, but found fame as an actor after his playing days were done, in both Blazing Saddles and as Webster’s dad.
Ulysses S Grant-David Wells. Grant was a Civil War hero who was also a drunk. David Wells threw a perfect game while drunk.
Rutherford B Hayes-Park Si-Hun. Hayes was named President, following a disputed election. Park Si-Hun was named gold medalist at the 1988 Olympics, following a disputed boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.
James Garfield-Nancy Kerrigan. Garfield was assassinated by an angry lawyer who wanted a Consulate post. Kerrigan was attacked by an angry white trash figure skater who wanted an Olympic post.
Chester A Arthur-Cory Snyder. Arthur was a very boring, run of the mill President. Cory Snyder was the same kind of athlete.
Grover Cleveland-George Foreman. ClevelandÂ is theÂ Â only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Foreman is the only heavyweight champion to take a massive break in between his two victorious title fights.
Benjamin Harrison-George Steinbrenner. Harrison was the first President to expand the federal budget to a billion dollars. Steinbrenner was the first professional sports owner to expand player contracts into the million dollar range.
William McKinley-Steve Olin. McKinley was killed by an anarchist, making his death far more interesting than his life. Olin was an average Major League Pitcher who has killed in a spring training boat accident, which made far more headlines than his fastball ever did.
Teddy Roosevelt-Karl Malone. Roosevelt was born and raised in New York, yet somehow became a cowboy who delivered help to American soldiers as a rough rider. Malone was born and raised in Louisiana, yet somehow became a cowboy. He also delivered help. He was the Mailman.
William Howard Taft-Stanley Roberts. Taft was so fat they had to install a special bathtub in the White House. Stanley Roberts was so fat he ate his way out of the NBA
Woodrow Wilson-Curt Flood. Wilson ended years of US neutrality by entering World War IIÂ World War I. (edit: obviously Wilson entered us into WWI not WWII, good catch in the comments) He then tried to establish a League of Nations, a precursor to the UN, which failed during his lifetime, but ultimately changed the way international diplomacy was conducted. Flood challenged the reserve clause and essentially destroyed his own career in order to earn free agency rights for Major League Baseball players. It didn’t help him, but changed the way players were treated forever.
Warren Harding-Allen Iverson. Harding filled his cabinet with questionable characters, which essentially destroyed his credibility with the American people. Allen Iverson surrounded himself with a posse of questionable characters, which made much of American uncomfortable with him.
Calvin Coolidge-Tim Duncan. They called him Silent Cal. Coolidge was more concerned with getting things done, than commenting on policy to the press. I think that pretty much sums up the Big Fundamental.
Herbert Hoover-Brooks Robinson. One is named for a vacuum. The other played like one.
Franklin Roosevelt-Muhammad Ali. FDR was the greatest leader in American history, though he may have hung on a bit too long, dying a few months into his fourth term. Ali is the greatest American champion who held on a bit too long, and lost to some crappy fighters in the early 80′s. Also, FDR had polio and Ali has Parkinson’s.
Harry Truman-Bruce Sutter. Truman dropped the H bomb on Japan, fundamentally changing the way war was waged throughout the world. Bruce Sutter introduced the splitter, fundamentally changing the way baseball was played.
Dwight Eisenhower-Bill Walton. Ike was a great military leader but only a decent President. Bill Walton was an amazing college player, but had a relatively unimpressive NBA career.
John F Kennedy-Joe Namath. Kennedy is held in far greater public esteem than his Presidential accomplishments warrant. Namath threw more interceptions than touchdowns in a career which included one amazing moment.
Lyndon Johnson-Bill Buckner. LBJ was a great President who accomplished amazing things during his time in office, though he will always be remembered most for the failure of Vietnam. Buckner was one of the great hitters of the 70′s and 80′s, but will always be remembered for letting that ball get through his legs.
Richard Nixon-Barry Bonds. Nixon was a crook and a liar. Bonds is a crook and a liar.
Gerald Ford-Kevin ONeal. Ford was a seat filler who never made much of an impact on his own. Kevin O’Neal is a perennial interim coach in both the NCAA and NBA who barely lasted once he was officially given a job. He was fired after one year on the Raptors sideline.
Jimmy Carter-Kenny Smith. Jimmy Carter saved his best accomplishments for his post-presidential life. Kenny Smith has become far more famous as a broadcaster than he was as a player.
Ronald Reagan-Joe Torre. Reagan was a California Angels broadcaster who eventually became the Great Communicator and managed to turn a number of traditionally Democratic groups into consistent GOP supporters. Torre was an Anaheim Angels Broadcaster who was a great communicator and managed to turn Yankee haters around the country into pinstripe supporters
George HW Bush-Bobby Bonds. President Bush was overshadowed first by his ticket-mate Ronald Reagan, then by his son, George W Bush. Bobby Bonds was overshadowed first by his teammate, Willie Mays, then by his son, Barry Bonds.
Bill Clinton-Mike Krzyzewski. Bill Clinton was loved by some, and vilified by pretty much everyone else. Coach K gets pretty much the same reaction.
George W Bush-Manny Ramirez. George W Bush is an ass and a retard. So is Manny.
Barack Obama-Lebron James. It’s too early to tell exactly what either of these men will ultimately accomplish, though at this point, the sky’s the limit.