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Entries in Monday Night Football (2)

Monday
Nov052012

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

Tuesday
Oct042011

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







ABC News Radio