Bears fan Obama banters with Green Bay Packers


President Obama played host to the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, and their “cheese head” fans, at the White House Friday. (David Nakamura/TWP)

Partisanship returned to the White House Friday afternoon.

Only this time, it was between the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and the nation’s No. 1 Chicago Bears fan: President Obama.

On a beautiful summer day, Obama, who is from Chicago, welcomed the Packers to the South Lawn for the customary visit for the Lombardi Trophy winners. But the president couldn’t contain his envy that the Bears’ chief rival had taken the title.

“This hurts a little bit,” Obama told the players, coaches and a couple hundred fans. “Not hurt as much as NFC championship game hurt. But it still hurts, you guys coming to my house to rub it in.

“What are you going to do, go to Ditka’s house next?” he added, meaning legendary Bears player and coach Mike Ditka.

Singling out Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, Obama explained that he had inadvertently given the Woodson some "bulletin board material” to motiavate him when the president said he didn’t want to watch the Packers in the Super Bowl.

Woodson, Obama went on ruefully, had told his teammates: “If the president doesn’t want to come watch us ... we’re going to him.”

“Charles, you’re a man of your word,” Obama said.

For his part, Woodson handed the president a framed piece of paper. The Packers are on the only team in the National Football League that is owned by the fans through public shares. The paper from Woodson transferred one share of the team to Obama.

“It hurts us a little to give you this, as well,” Woodson said.

“Well, if I’m part owner,” Obama said, pointing to Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, “I’m thinking we should initiate a trade to send Rodgers down to the Bears.”

The crowd booed as Woodson returned to the microphone.

“Minority owner,” he clarified.

Here’s the video:

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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