Publish date:

They Could Be Contendahs

...but how deep do the Democrats' sports connections really go?
Author:

JOHN EDWARDS
Before he tossed political footballs as a North Carolina senator, Edwards was a walk-on safety for Clemson's freshman team in 1971 (below). (He gave up football when he transferred to N.C. State after a semester.) Some ACC fans might be turned off by his flip-flopping allegiances. A North Carolina law school alum, he's an unabashed Tar Heels fan, and he has spoken of his "hate" for Duke basketball. Good luck with that Durham vote, John.

HILLARY CLINTON
Does the former First Lady see both sides of an issue? Or can't she commit? You decide. During the 2000 New York Senate campaign Clinton told Katie Couric she had "always been a Yankees fan." That was news to Chicagoans, who had seen her throw the first pitch at a Cubs game in '94 and sport a cap signed by Sammy Sosa in '98. Asked in 2003 whom she'd root for in a Cubs-Yanks series, she said, "It's like a no-hit game, you don't talk about it."

BARACK OBAMA
If someone asks the candidates to showcase their foul-shooting skills, the Illinois senator is a shoo-in for the nomination. As a senior Obama helped the Punahou School win the Hawaii state hoops title in '79 (left), and at Occidental College he played in faculty-student games. (One prof recalls him "as better as an offensive player than a defense player.") Obama is a rabid Bears fan—before the NFC Championship Game he said, "I am happy for New Orleans, but this fairy tale ends [now]."

The Pop Culture Grid

<p>How do sports stars fit in?</p><p>Britney's shaved head looks like</p><p>TV show you'd like to guest star on</p><p>_____ just isn't funny anymore</p><p>Randy, Paula or Simon?</p><p>How many TVs do you own?</p><p>Favorite sports announcer</p>

DANNY GRANGER Pacers F

An egg (above)

24

Dane Cook

Paula (left)

Eight

Charles Barkley

DOMINIQUE ARNOLD USA Track & Field

A cute Gandhi

Seinfeld

John Madden

Simon

None

Stuart Scott

RENEE MONTGOMERY UConn G

Her short stay in rehab didn't do much good

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Kramer (left)

Paula

One

Dickie V (left)

ANDREW BRUNETTE Avalanche LW

Charles Barkley

The Office

Michael Richards

I guess Simon, but I am not a fan of the show

Six

Vin Scully

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JIM YOUNG/REUTERS (EDWARDS THROWING)

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JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (CLINTON)

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JOHN GRESS/REUTERS (OBAMA THROWING)

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CRAIG HACKER/AP (VITALE)

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NBC/PHOTOFEST (KRAMER)

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STEPHAN SAVOIA/AP (BARKLEY)

TWO PHOTOS

STEPHAN SAVOIA/AP

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KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP (ABDUL)

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BETTMANN/CORBIS (GANDHI)

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GARRETT ELLWOOD/WIREIMAGE.COM (BRUNETTE)

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RICK BURNHAM/ICON SMI (MONTGOMERY)

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ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/AP (ARNOLD)

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JOHN SCIULLI/WIREIMAGE.COM (GRANGER)

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CLEMSON UNIVERSITY/AP (EDWARDS IN UNIFORM)

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COURTESY PUNAHOU SCHOOL (OBAMA ACTION)