The contentious nature of politics drives even the best of politicians to the brink.
It’s at this point when sports often are brought up as a topic to bring levity to a broad audience and show a more human politician. Sports, at many moments, are the light among all of the dark, heavy topics of the day.
Either on the campaign trail or while in office, like Presidents before him, President Obama has used sports to buy political points and to show a side rarely seen, the sports fan in him.
He has already referenced a college football playoff and has made his picks for college basketball during March Madness. He is a consummate sports fan, throwing out the first pitch at baseball games and frequently mentioning his passion for the Chicago pro teams.
Obama has been a supporter of soccer and pushed hard to get the World Cup for the U.S. in 2022, though it didn’t work out. Also, he has been known to attend his daughter’s games.
With MLS 2012 season around the corner, it’s time for a sitting President to attend a game and do some kind of ‘First Kick.’ Obama would do well to attend a D.C. United game and at least sit through the first half.
He could generate a lot of good press with soccer fans and maybe steal some votes for November’s reelection campaign.
MLS can surely use the press if he were to attend. Even though soccer’s popularity is gaining on the other Big 4 and MLS is setting records with attendance, it could still use all facets of the mainstream media to broadcast that they are open for business.
Obama will more than likely throw out the first pitch for MLB, so it seems unfair he can’t lend a hand to MLS. Obama likes to take pride in being the first President to do things; Clinton and W. Bush never attended an MLS game, here’s a first opportunity for the current Prez to do so.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com