View Full Version : Change is coming to sports, too, under Obama

ralph wiggum
11-05-2008, 04:33 PM
It will take some time, maybe 1,000 days, to measure the full impact that President-elect Barack Obama will have on the world of sports, but we can already circle a couple of upcoming dates and make some educated guesses about his role in the games we play and watch.

On the afternoon of the 76th day of his presidency (Monday, April 6), Obama will be back on Chicago's South Side to join fellow White Sox fans at U.S. Cellular Field for Opening Day against the Kansas City Royals.

And on the 255th day of his presidency (Friday, Oct. 2), he will be in Copenhagen, Denmark, telling the members of the International Olympic Committee why the 2016 Summer Olympics must be in Chicago.

Obama's allegiance to the Sox (he does not hesitate to express his scorn for fans of the Chicago Cubs) and his support for an Olympics in Chicago are absolute. In an interview with ESPN's Stuart Scott that aired on "SportsCenter" in August, Obama was asked who he would root for in a Cubs-White Sox World Series. This was his answer: "Oh, that's easy. White Sox. I'm not one of these fair-weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer; beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. South Side."

On other issues facing the sports industry, Obama views are a bit less certain. However, a review of his campaign statements and position papers as well as ESPN.com interviews with his friends and former colleagues at the University of Chicago indicate that an Obama administration is likely to:

produce major tax increases for team owners and players;

slow sales of professional teams;

increase the powers of player unions;

more vigorously enforce the requirements of Title IX;

and begin to resolve the serious clashes between sports cable networks such as the NFL Network and the Big 10 Network and cable providers such as Comcast.

Obama's views on other critical sports issues, including performance-enhancing drugs and stricter controls on the powers and the finances of the NCAA, are unknown.

More at LINK (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3683722)