If the Chicago Bears win this weekend, President Obama is going to the Super Bowl on February 6 in Dallas. That's what he told a reporter earlier today after a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the Oval Office, according to CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry. Football, you see, is much more important to us than any goings on with that rising superpower on the other side of the world. Us being me -- and other Midwesterners who have relocated to Washington, D.C., where talk of China is too easy to come by and talk of football too difficult. Redskins who?
Was there ever any doubt that Obama would be there? He has to go.
If he doesn't, Obama would be scorned by his one unwavering fan base. No, I'm not talking about the union of community organizers or blue-collar liberals. I'm talking about Chicago, his hometown. The Bears are, arguably, the most beloved franchise in the National Football League. They haven't won a Super Bowl since 1985 (hey, Mike Ditka!) and their play is disappointing more often than not, but they've sold out every single game for more than two and a half decades. ("Thanks to the most passionate and dedicated fans in the NFL, we've been sold out for 26 years," Bears senior director of sales and marketing Chris Hibbs told ESPNChicago.com.)
There's only one more team to conquer before the Bears head to Dallas: Wisconsin's Green Bay Packers. The two teams, one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports, haven't met in the playoffs since 1941. (The Bears won and went on to beat the New York Giants 39-7 for the title.) That game took place on December 14, only one week after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.
No matter what, the game must go on.