Barack Obama and Our Most Athletic Presidents

Wasn't exactly Cortland Finnegan vs. Andre Johnson, but The Prez got into a scuffle last Friday. On the basketball court. With an elbow.

Barack Obama received 12 stitches to a cut on his lower lip after an errant elbow during a pick-up game by Rey Decerega, the Director of Programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Apparently Obama, who loves his hoops, was playing chest-to-chest defense when Decerga cleared some space with the rip-through move.


In an office that sorta recently has seen Jimmy Carter faint while jogging, Bill Clinton tear up a knee falling down some steps at golfer Greg Norman's house and Dubya Bush choke on a pretzel, Obama seems a relative Jim Thorpe. His personal assistant Reggie Love, for crying out loud, played college ball at Duke.

Obama is a White Sox fan who threw out the first pitch in Chicago before Game 2 of the '05 ALCS. He led Occidental College's basketball team in scoring. He once played with North Carolina All-American Tyler Hansbrough and ESPN's Stuart Scott and can, for some reason, ID former Celtics' towel-waver M.L. Carr. He can make 3-pointers. He's been on HBO's Real Sports. Dude even has his own signature sneaker.

Though it's difficult to trust a man who bowls a 37, Obama is one of the most athletic presidents in U.S. history.

Well, isn't he?

10. George W. Bush - His first-pitch strike - in a bullet-proof vest -- before Game 1 of '01 World Series at Yankee Stadium remains the best sports moment ever for a U.S. President.

9. Woodrow Wilson - Played center field for Davidson College.

8. Richard Nixon - Scrappy linebacker at tiny Whittier College.

7. Jimmy Carter - Played baseball and ran cross country at Navy.

6. Ronald Reagan - Played football at Eureka College and portrayed "The Gipper" in Knute Rockne.

5. Teddy Roosevelt - Boxed at Harvard and played tennis on the White House front lawn.

4. George H. Bush - Left-handed first baseman led Yale to baseball's College World Series in '48.

3. Dwight Eisenhower - A linebacker/running back at Army, the "Kansas Cyclone" hurt a knee tackling Jim Thorpe in 1912.

2. Barack Obama - Lanky lefty led Occidental College's basketball team in scoring in '79.

1. Gerald Ford - All-American center led Michigan's football team to National Championship in '33.


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