Entries in ESPN (5)


Obama Golfs with ESPN Hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Able to play golf with pretty much anyone he wants, President Obama is spending his Saturday on a military course with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, co-hosts of Pardon the Interruption.

Saturday is Kornheiser’s 65th birthday, as was mentioned on the ESPN show Friday.

They’re playing at Fort Belvoir, a military base off I-95 about 30 minutes south of the White House. Wilbon and Kornheiser did not ride with the president in his motorcade, which arrived at 10:15 a.m., according to pool reports.

On Friday, Wilbon, Kornheiser, and Tony Reali — host of ESPN’s Around the Horn and PTI’s longtime on-air fact-checker — ate lunch at the White House and visited with Obama in the Oval Office.

Reali described the visit in a YouTube video posted to the Around the Horn channel.

“Coolest experience of my life,” he said.

Two years ago, Obama told Reali and frequent guest Kevin Blackistone that Around the Horn is the only TV show he watches, Reali said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama, Romney Court "Monday Night Football" Vote

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHICAGO) – Just a few short hours before Election Day 2012, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney made a late appeal to viewers of ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

While the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles paused for halftime, and the candidates themselves were still on the road holding final swing state rallies, both men appeared in pre-taped interviews with host Chris Berman during the network’s halftime show.

Comparing politics to sports, Berman asked Obama how he planned to “repeat” – one of the most difficult feats for a “championship” team.

“It has to do with not getting distracted, by your own hype, or the critics,” Obama said. “It’s interesting, political reporters are a lot like sports reporters. And, you lose a game, and you’re a bum. You win a game, you’re a god."

“Just like in sports, in politics, we’re all human. We make mistakes. Sometimes we perform well,” he said, seeming to allude to the 2012 presidential debates. “But the key is just to stay focused on what it is that you’re doing.”

Berman asked Romney about the most valuable lesson he could apply in the Oval Office he learned from shepherding the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games. He cited a greater appreciation for the human spirit.

“I think most people watch the Olympics not just because of the interest in the sport itself. I mean how many people were avid fans of women’s bobsled for instance before the Olympics? But they watch the bobsled event because they get to see the character of human beings if you will … the crucible of sport,” he said.

“It’s a place where you see what is beneath the surface of an individual human being and you come away inspired.”

Both men were also eager to show off their “everyman” by talking casually about professional sports and their affinity for American football.

“You don’t go to any place where folks don’t talk about some football,” said Obama, a loyal Chicago Bears fan, reflecting on his weeks on the campaign trail. He said his team has a good chance of winning the Super Bowl this season.

Obama also jokingly took credit for the new college football playoff system. “This was something I said needed to get done, and this is the kind of change you can believe in,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.

Romney revealed his pro football loyalties lie with the New England Patriots, joking to Berman that he takes “personal, full responsibility for their two Super Bowl wins (in 2003 and 2004), as well as the Red Sox winning the World Series (in 2004)" during his stint as governor between 2003 and 2007.

“Hey look as a governor, you get blamed for everything that goes wrong. You might as well get the credit for what goes right,” he joked with a grin.

The Election Eve interviews underscored the view of both campaigns about the importance of the ESPN crowd, particularly in the battleground states, as a pivotal swing constituency in Tuesday’s race.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Singer Hank Williams Jr. Compares Obama to Hitler

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood,” singer Hank Williams Jr. said in a statement issued Monday evening.

Williams was responding to ESPN pulling his song “All My Rowdy Friends,” from the Monday Night Football broadcast, featuring the Indianapolis Colts facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in response to some rather pointed language about President Obama that Williams used earlier in the day.

On Fox & Friends, Williams expressed chagrin that Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, played golf with President Obama, which he compared to “Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu … In the shape this country is in?”

One of the anchors, Brian Kilmeade, responded that he didn’t understand the analogy.

“I’m glad you don’t, brother, because a lot of people do,” Williams said.  “They’re the enemy.”

When asked who the enemy was, Williams said, "Obama.  And Biden.  Are you kidding?  The Three Stooges.”

Williams went on to bemoan how “polarized” the country is.  On that note, anchor Gretchen Carlson pointed out that he had just compared the president to Hitler.

“Well that’s true.  But I’m telling you like it is,” Williams said.

In a statement, ESPN -- a sister organization of ABC -- said: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football.  We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”

“All My Rowdy Friends” has been the theme for Monday Night Football since 1991.

Williams said in his statement Monday evening: “My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point.  I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was.  They’re polar opposites and it made no sense.  They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will.  I have always respected the office of the President."

“Every time the media brings up the tea party it’s painted as racist and extremists -- but there’s never a backlash -- no outrage to those comparisons,” Williams said.  “Working class people are hurting -- and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares.  When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job -- it makes a whole lot of us angry.  Something has to change.  The policies have to change.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pawlenty Runs into Trouble with 'Miracle on Ice' Footage in TV Ad

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his new TV ad "The American Comeback," Tim Pawlenty hoped to position himself as a tenacious underdog by using footage of the famous U.S. hockey victory in the "Miracle on Ice," but so far he's only run into problems.

ABC, which owns the footage, reportedly will send the Pawlenty campaign a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that they stop using the footage.

Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant says in a statement: "All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions.  The campaign's "Miracle on Ice" advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the "fair use" doctrine.  We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."

According to a statement issued by ESPN: "Neither ABC nor ESPN has asked the Pawlenty campaign to remove any footage from their video, although neither ABC nor ESPN licensed the video to them or authorized its use."

In addition, Pawlenty's ad features the U.S. team's captain Mike Eruzione.  Eruzione, though, doesn't support Pawlenty -- he supports Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump to Get Behind the Wheel at Indy 500

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump may not have announced a bid for president in 2012, but he’s about to amp up his exposure among conservative auto racing fans at one of the sport’s biggest events of the year. 

The real estate mogul and reality show star said Tuesday that he’ll be behind the wheel of a Chevy Camaro convertible pace car during the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

“The first thing I said to myself is, ‘Hey, do they pay me for this or not?’” Trump joked about the invitation to drive. “I called a couple of friends of mine and they said, ‘No, Donald, this is a great honor. They don’t pay you.’”

Trump, who said he has a driver’s license and considers driving a “great luxury,” could top speeds of 140 miles per hour whipping around the Indiana racetrack.

And what about that famous hair?  “It is as you know, it is my hair. It will be messy,” The Donald told ESPN’s Jamie Little.  He also said he’d probably have to wear a hat.

But the bigger question about Trump’s appearance at Indy may be whether he’ll also have started the ignition on a 2012 presidential campaign. Trump told ABC News last month that he would make a final decision on a run “prior to June” -- a message he echoed Tuesday.

“I hate what happening to the country. I see the other nations of the world, whether its OPEC as group or China, just ripping this country to shreds, they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re doing things we do nothing about,” he told Little. “So I will make a decision sometime prior to June.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio