Reagan and Sports Coincidences

Discussion in 'Sports' started by swaimj, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
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    I was really rooting for Smarty Jones on Saturday and hoped he would win the Belmont race. Now that I think of it, perhaps it is fitting that he lost. An outpouring of celebration would not have been appropriate on the day--just hours after--Reagan died. Instead, the reaction to the Belmont race was subdued with the winning jockey almost apologizing for his victory.

    Also, if my memory serves me, the 1981 NCAA basketball championship game was played on the night following the afternoon assasination attempt on Reagan. I remember thinking that playing the game was inappropriate while the President's life was in jeopardy.

    On a happier note, there is one other sporting event that I remember in which Reagan was involved in the celebration. In 1984, at the Firecracker 400 in Daytona, on July 4th, Richard Petty won his 200th race. In attendance, and there to congratulation the King was the President, Ronald Reagan. Reagan was the first sitting president to attend a NASCAR race. He was amazed at the side-by-side finish in which Petty nipped Cale Yarborough at the line! Thanks for being there Mr. President.
     
  2. Glory Bound

    Glory Bound
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    That race was Petty's last win, too. A special moment for all involved.
     
  3. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs
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    Reagan was also a football fan, Joe Gibbs relayed a story from 1983, the first time the Redskins visited the White House following Super Bowl XVII. He stood inside the Oval Office waiting for the ceremony to begin when President Reagan started talking football with him.

    "The president leans over to me and says, 'I played football, you know,'" Gibbs said. "And I just said, 'Yes, sir.' He said, 'I played guard. I still sign things as number 33 [his jersey number].' And I said, 'Yes, sir.' Then he says, 'I remember we were playing Lehigh and the lineman across from me was about 180 pounds. I still remember cross-blocking him on outside plays.'

    "So the president and I walked all the way down the hallway as he was relaying this football story, all the way into the Rose Garden, where we had this little presentation for the team. I think that's the longest conversation I ever had with him.

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