SI's History of Politics

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Throughout its 54-year history, Sports Illustrated has covered all angles of sports, even those rare times it delves into the world of politics. Here is a collection of some of SI's political-related stories over the years:

The President Who Loved Sport By SI Staff, December 2, 1963He was not the only President to throw out the first ball of the baseball season, or the only one to attend faithfully the Army-Navy game. But John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the few Presidents to participate in such events -- and countless others -- out of a consuming, lifelong dedication to sports and fitness.

The Governor Talks Of SportBy Alfred Wright, June 26, 1967In an informal chat at his Los Angeles home, California's Ronald Reagan -- whose outdoor interests have ranged from The Gipper to broodmares -- reveals his thoughts on conservation, racing and the need for room to relax. Strange BedfellowsBy William F. Buckley Jr., September 25, 1972Is there any way such disparate personalities could fit into an analysis of the recent cataclysmic transfers of sporting power-hockey from Canada to Russia, basketball from the U.S. to the Soviets, but chess from Them to Us? Only this noted conservative thinker could find it.

In Defense Of The Competitive UrgeBy Gerald Ford, July 8, 1974The Vice President reflects fondly on his "halcyon days" as a Michigan football star and Yale coach, and ponders the current state of sport, arguing that winning is a necessary goal; that international athletic victories serve nations well; and that the preoccupation with money may end up alienating the fan.

Aspiring To Higher Things By Bil Gilbert, April 5, 1982All-America, Rhodes scholar, NBA player, Tom McMillen is emulating Bill Bradley. Next, elective office

In Washington, Even Ronald Reagan Is On The Emil Verban BandwagonBy Ivan Maisel, May 24, 1982The members, by unanimous agreement, hold no meetings and pay no dues. Two of the three qualifications for membership are residency in the Washington, D.C., area and a sense of humor, and the former may be waived. It's the third prerequisite that gives the club its raison d'être: To join The Emil Verban Memorial Society, one must be a diehard fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Bunning (Republican, Kentucky)By Steve Wulf, February 23, 1987Close your eyes -- whap! --and you can hear -- whap! -- batting practice -- whap! -- in Connie Mack Stadium. Open them, though, and you're not in Philadelphia in 1964, but in Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives, in 1987, and the sound you hear is the sergeant at arms banging his mace, trying to restore order to the first session of the 100th Congress of the United States of America.

On To The White HouseBy Craig Neff, November 16, 1987A result of nays on stadiums: President Bill Bradley

Get A New Game, BubbaBy Rick Reilly, November 16, 1992Bill Clinton has a presidential sporting image to uphold -- and jogging just won't do it.

The First FanBy Alexander Wolff, March 21, 1994President Clinton is hog-wild about the Arkansas Razorbacks and their chances of going all the way.

It's A Real Horse Race!By Steve Rushin, August 14, 2000In this election year it's abundantly clear that politics and sports are changing places in American life.

Electoral DysfunctionBy P.J. O'Rourke, July 15, 2002With so many athletes contemplating a career in politics we should all be worried, very worried -- because our heroes are wasting their talents.

The Rights Of BillBy Don Van Natta Jr., March 24, 2003In the tradition of so many U.S. presidents. Bill Clinton loves golf, and to this day he plays the game with passion, joy ... and a flair for rule-bending that can only be described as Clintonian.

Black SundayBy Charles P. Pierce, November 23, 2003Forty years ago this weekend, as America grieved for President John F. Kennedy, stunned NFL players were told to take the field.

Playing on the HillCompiled by Bill Syken, July 12, 2004These seven esteemed jocks have all shown serious game in the halls of Congress.

Lynn Swann Goes DeepBy Michael Bamberger, February 27, 2006In his first try at politics, the Hall of Fame Steelers wideout won the Republican endorsement for governor of Pennsylvania. Now he has to catch up on the issues in his race against a rabid Eagles backer.

Quarterback OptionBy Jon Wertheim, October 9, 2006Heath Shuler fizzled as a top Redskins draft pick. Now he wants to return to D.C. as a congressman.

Change AgentBy Michael Bamberger, March 3, 2008Has Tiger Woods helped clear the way for Barack Obama?

When Sports and Politics CollideBy Austin Murphy, September 5, 2008Those of us who toil in journalism's toy department do so under orders never to breach The Firewall. As a sportswriter, we are told, you must never allow your politics to seep into your prose. Readers come to us seeking respite and escape; surcease from the cares of the world. So it simply won't do to cause them discomfort by bringing up the policies and peccadilloes, the wide stances and extramarital romances of our elected officials.

More Athletes are Taking a Stand During this Political SeasonBy Jon Wertheim, September 8, 2008When a hundred or so well-connected, well-heeled Barack Obama supporters attended a Silicon Valley fund-raiser for the candidate at the home of Symantec CEO John Thompson and his wife, Sandi, in June 2007, they were a bit shocked by the figure greeting them at the door. There was the smiling face of Los Angeles Clippers point guard Baron Davis, who later emceed the event and did everything that night but serve the hors d'oeuvres.