Today is the day of the big game. Super Bowl 51 is just about here and all the talking and speculating will finally give way to actual football.
Back in 1985, the Super Bowl and President Reagan had an interesting connection.
Here’s a Super Bowl flashback courtesy of the White House Historical organization.
President Ronald Reagan was an especially busy man on January 20, 1985. Not only was he being sworn into a second term that day, he was also scheduled to conduct the coin toss for Super Bowl XIX.
Because the 20th fell on a Sunday, the public inauguration was postponed and Reagan took the oath of office in a private ceremony at the White House.
Later that afternoon, President Reagan appeared via satellite at Stanford Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers were about to face the Miami Dolphins. Reagan flipped a commemorative Super Bowl X medal from the White House.
Miami called heads, but the coin landed on tails. After the toss, the President gave a short speech. “May everyone do their best, may there be no injuries, may the best team win. May no one have regrets.” The Dolphins may have ended the night with regrets, however—they lost to the 49ers 38-16.
Of course, the coin toss was not President Reagan’s introduction to football. Reagan was a starting guard for the Golden Tornadoes of Eureka College near Peoria, Illinois. After graduation in 1932, he worked as a part-time announcer of University of Iowa home football games for Davenport, Iowa’s radio station WOC.
In the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American, he portrayed Notre Dame football player George Gipp. The character’s nickname, “The Gipper,” stuck with Reagan throughout his career and presidency.
Posted by The White House Historical Association on Sunday, February 5, 2017
Gotta love “The Gipper”!
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