With President Obama’s farewell speech on Tuesday night it all but brought an end to his second and final term as President of the United States of America.
Obama has been leading our nation for the past eight years and our country has changed greatly. Oddly enough, though, the national sports landscape hasn't been altered too much. In 2008, the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games featured the New England Patriots taking on the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants playing the Green Bay Packers. Starting to sound familiar? Well, the Patriots would go on to win the AFC Championship handling the Chargers in a 21-12 victory and the Giants would claim the NFC Championship on game winning field goal in overtime to beat the Packers 23-20. The table was set for Super Bowl XLII with the undefeated Patriots squaring off against the underdog Giants and it would be an unforgettable game.
In a low scoring game through three quarters the Giants found themselves down 14-10 with a little over two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter when lightening struck. With the pocket collapsing around him Eli Manning slipped out of the grasp of a Patriots defensive lineman and heaved a pass downfield. From the looks of it the Giants season seemed to be all but over and then the football Gods reared their heads. In a last ditch effort to catch Manning’s prayer David Tyree fended off Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and with one hand came down with the ball pinned against his helmet. The Tyree catch would extend the drive which ended with Manning finding Plaxico Burress for the game winning touchdown with 35 seconds left. The Giants would go onto to win their first Super Bowl since 1990.
Since Obama lit up the campaign trail in 2008, LeBron James has won three NBA Championships and has been climbing up the list of all-time leaders in points, rebounds and assists. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have continued to churn our winning season after winning season. Obama’s hometown Chicago Cubs snapped their 108 year world series drought and the “Cleveland Curse” was broken with the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship.
For one thing, Obama has been the most sports savvy President in recent memory. For the past eight years we have seen the President fill out the “Presidential March Madness Bracket.” During his campaign prior to taking the Oath of Office, Obama showed up to scrimmage with the University of North Carolina men's basketball team and in 2010 he played H.O.R.S.E. with CBS Sports’s Clark Kellogg. And whether it be good or bad, Obama was always a big fan of playing golf during his Presidency.
Obama also had some memorable interactions with teams and players at the White House. In the words of Kevin Durant, President Obama - “you the real MVP.”