From The Big Lebowski to Alice on The Brady Bunch, depictions of bowling abound in American pop culture. The recreation’s actual-lifestyles adherents blanketed Richard Nixon, who mounted bowling lanes in the White House and turned into known to play among seven to 12 video games overdue at night time. Characteristically, he played by myself. This is certainly one of many athletic money owed from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a new ebook, Power Players: Sports, Politics, and the American Presidency, by the longtime political journalist Chris Cillizza.Bowling solo personified “Nixon the loner”, Cillizza says. “He didn’t play tennis or golfing with friends. He did enjoy bowling by way of himself. It’s a powerful photo, a telling picture.”
Tricky Dick’s love of bowling additionally helped with a crucial balloting bloc: “Nixon viewed it as the sport of the Silent Majority – white, blue-collar guys who form of made up his base. He became very aware of this.”
A Washington journalist for four a long time, maximum currently for CNN, Cillizza pitched the e book as approximately “the sports activities presidents play, love, spectate, and what it tells us approximately who they’re and the way they govern. That turned into the germ of the concept, the seed getting into.”
Power Players surveys thirteen presidents of the current era, from Dwight Eisenhower to Joe Biden. Some of its narratives are famous – suppose Ike’s massive golfing-gambling, John F Kennedy’s contact soccer games or Barack Obama’s pickup basketball at the campaign trail. The e book explores less-remembered facets of those stories, which include a horrifying moment on the hyperlinks for Eisenhower.While golfing in Colorado in 1955, he fielded more than one worrying smartphone calls from his secretary of kingdom, John Foster Dulles. After ingesting a hamburger with onions and getting but any other name from Dulles, Ike felt too angry to hold gambling. Chest pains followed that night. The White House to begin with claimed indigestion but an electrocardiogram discovered some thing greater critical – a coronary heart attack. At the time, there was no 25th modification specifying the chain of command if a president became incapacitated. Fortunately, Ike by no means lost attention all through the episode.
Golf turned into a popular sport for many presidents, as pondered in a preceding e-book approximately White House athletics, First Off the Tee via Don Van Natta Jr, whom Cillizza interviewed. Yet the listing of presidential pursuits is lengthy and various, from Nixon’s bowling to Jimmy Carter’s fly fishing to George HW Bush’s horseshoes. Yes, horseshoes. In addition to Bush’s famous prowess at the Yale University baseball crew, he turned into a pretty correct horseshoes participant who installed his personal league inside the White House, with a commissioner and tournaments. The White House everlasting workforce fielded teams; Queen Elizabeth II even talented Bush a quartet of silver horseshoes.
In the greatest-presidential-athlete dialogue, Cillizza lands in Gerald Ford’s corner.