Site Title

Presidential Candidates Might Talk on Monday Night Football Next Week


November 5, when the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints hook up on Monday Night Football for Week 9, there may be some added intrigue at halftime. Both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have expressed interest in appearing on ESPN‘s halftime show on the night before the election. More, from the Sports Business Journal:

Both presidential campaigns have approached ESPN about appearing on “Monday Night Football” the night before the election. ESPN has not made a final decision yet, but appears likely to have its longtime NFL studio host Chris Berman interview President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney during halftime of the Eagles-Saints game Nov. 5, according to Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news. The campaigns also have expressed an interest in appearing on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” morning radio show. “We’ve been approached and are strongly considering doing it again,” Doria said. “If we do those, we will try to treat the candidates in a fair manner and try to find some questions that have a sports connection but have a substance to them.” The Obama and Romney camps’ interest in appearing on ESPN is not new. Four years ago, Obama and Sen. John McCain sat for separate three-minute interviews that ran during halftime of the Steelers-Redskins “Monday Night Football” game that took place the day before the election. The interviews were taped well before opening kickoff. In 2008, both candidates also separately called into the “Mike and Mike” radio show a few weeks before the election for roughly 10-minute segments that were filled with light banter about sports. The “Monday Night Football” interviews were kept light, too, with McCain, at one point, parroting two of Berman’s catchphrases. When asked what personal qualities he wanted viewers to remember as they went to the polls, McCain said, “I want them to think: He. Could. Go. All. The. Way. To the White House.” He followed that by saying, “Even though some pundits have written me off, that’s why they play the game.” Berman conducted the “Monday Night Football” interviews and almost certainly would conduct ones this year, too. “Chris Berman does halftimes on ‘Monday Night Football.’ Given that’s going to be the vehicle, we’re going to use Chris there,” Doria said. “We’ve come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t necessarily knock our batting order out of place here to accommodate. We believe Chris handled it very well.”