Friday, February 27, 2015

Joe Biden, Eagles fan

Has a candidate for national office ever rooted for a Philadelphia team?

Joe Biden, Eagles fan

Last year, Time magazine did a Q&A thing with the spouses of Democratic presidential candidates and Jill Biden was asked to name the TV show that she and her husband tried not to miss. She said, "Philadelphia Eagles games!"

Which makes you wonder, now that Joe Biden is preparing for the adventure of an eventful life, a vice-presidential run at Barack Obama's side:

Has a national political candidate ever been a fan of a Philadelphia sports team?

Bill Clinton liked Arkansas basketball -- in 1994, he was the first sitting President ever to attend an NCAA Tournament game when the Razorbacks played in a regional final game in Dallas. (I remember thinking what a pain the metal detectors were; simpler times.) George W. Bush used to own the Texas Rangers, so you assume some loyalty there. Gerald Ford played football at Michigan. I'm sure there were others.

But did FDR ever root for the Steagles? Did Truman like the Whiz Kids? Did LBJ think Joe Must Go? Did Dan Quayle like the Crazy Eights? Did anyone ever have a Philadelphia rooting interest?

In his day job, as senior Senator from Delaware, Biden has not always been the NFL's friend. About 10 years ago, he co-sponsored a bill along with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, that would have forced the league to kick in more money for stadium construction and protect local municipalities from extortion. (It didn't pass.) About 20 years ago, he got into a dance with the league on anti-trust issues -- a dance that the NFL felt was a little bit too close.

But on Sunday, he apparently roots for the Eagles. Which raises the question, given Biden's new running mate: do Super Bowl aspirations for the Eagles this season qualify as the audacity of hope? Or just audacity?

(Oh, and given the size of those mitts, has he ever played wide receiver?)

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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