Which Sports Teams Do Get to Visit the White House?


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Angel Reese, a nationwide champ with LSU; Jill Biden, an overeager inviter.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture. Images: Getty Images

Girl Jill Biden rankled sports traditionalists this week when she extended a since-retracted welcome to the NCAA females’s basketball runner-up, Iowa, to sign up with the champ LSU Lady Tigers for a White House see, pointing out the Hawkeyes’ great sportsmanship in defeat. The walk back of that deal restated what American sports fans currently understand: Losers do not get to shake hands with the president of the United States. The heated conversation made us question this: Who all does?

Baseball Champions: The custom of sports groups checking out the White House started on August 10, 1865, soon after the Civil War, when then-President Andrew Johnson hosted the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Washington Nationals of the National Association of Base Ball Players, an amateur league. (The Atlantics won the league title in 1864, while the Nats scored a welcome since Johnson was a fan of the regional group.)

The very first MLB champs thought to go to the White House were the 1924 Washington Senators, who took a trip 2 miles from their house ballpark to shake hands with Calvin Coolidge the following season.

The Toronto Blue Jays ended up being the very first Canadian group to check out the White House when they accepted George H.W. Bush’s invite after winning the World Series in 1992. The group decreased to go once again when they duplicated in 1993, however no MLB group has actually declined the deal because.

Little League World Series: When an American group wins the Little League World Series, they’ve been welcomed to the White House given that a minimum of 1992, when a group of 12-year-old young boys from Long Beach, California, were commemorated in a joint event together with heaven Jays. The kids later on stated the Jays tossed them a celebration the night prior to and signed autographs.

NBA Champions: The Celtics ended up being the very first champ hoopsters to go to the White House when fellow Bostonian John F. Kennedy welcomed the group to go to in January 1963 after they won their 4th successive title. The custom of NBA champs checking out the White House was strengthened throughout the Ronald Reagan period and continued apace up until Donald Trump presumed workplace in 2017, when Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry stated he didn’t wish to satisfy the sitting president. Trump required to Twitter the following day and disinvited the Warriors, who later on ended up socializing with previous president Obama when they went to D.C. NBA champs continued keeping away from the White House throughout the Trump age, however the custom resumed when the Milwaukee Bucks went to Joe Biden in 2021.

WNBA:The 1999 Houston Comets ended up being the very first expert ladies’s group to be welcomed to the White House after winning the WNBA champion– which occurred to be their 3rd in a row. Each WNBA champ was welcomed every year up until Trump took workplace in 2017 and welcomed no groups throughout his period. Champions resumed checking out the White House when Biden presumed workplace in January 2021.

NFL Champions: The Super Bowl has actually been played because 1966, its champ was not welcomed to a White House fête up until Jimmy Carter extended the honor to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980. The catch? They needed to share the event with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were likewise coming off a World Series success. (Pittsburgh mayor Richard Caliguiri talented Carter with both a Pirates cap and a Terrible Towel).

Reagan made inviting Super Bowl winners a yearly event in the mid-’80s, though wars and other catastrophes preempted lots of groups’ sees. The Opposition surge 2 days after the Bears won the Super Bowl in 1986 prevented a White House drop in that group, though the team later on got to commemorate in D.C. when Chicagoan (and big Bears fan) Obama extended a welcome in 2011. The New York Giants likewise lost out on a West Wing swing after winning Super Bowl XXV in 1991; the U.S. had actually gotten in the Gulf War 10 days previously, making a White House football fête politically illogical.

The 2000 Super Bowl– winning Rams had their White House invite rescinded, as Bill Clinton was too hectic at Camp David attempting to broker a Middle East peace offer in between Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The 2003 champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, didn’t go to the White House either that year due to the fact that the 2nd Iraq War started 2 months after their Super Bowl triumph.

The yearly custom resumed in 2004 and continued every year up until 2018, when the Philadelphia Eagles were unwanted to the White House by then-President Trump after reports swirled that just a handful of gamers would appear to shake his hand. The 2019 Super Bowl champs, the New England Patriots, didn’t participate in, either. When Joe Biden took workplace, the White House gos to resumed.

Enjoyable truth: The 1972 Miami Dolphins– the only group to ever go unbeaten all season en path to a Super Bowl success– were lastly welcomed to the White House by Obama in 2013.

NHL Champions: The very first time hockey gamers were welcomed to the White House to commemorate winning the Stanley Cup was when extremely sports fan Reagan invited a handful of New York Islanders in 1983. It didn’t end up being a yearly custom up until George H.W. Bush toasted the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991.

What takes place when among the NHL’s Canadian groups wins? Well, our buddies from the Great White North have not recorded a Stanley Cup considering that the Montreal Canadiens performed in 1993, which group avoided the journey.

Big League Soccer: After winning the very first 2 MLS Cups back-to-back in 1996 and 1997, D.C. United got a White House invite from then-President Clinton in April of 1998. After an unusual nine-year lack, winners of the MLS Cup have actually gone to the White House yearly considering that the Houston Dynamo went to George W. Bush in 2007. Victors remained the Trump years, however resumed the custom when Biden was chosen.

Olympians: If you win a gold medal for Team USA, there’s a likelihood you will be welcomed to satisfy the president. In 1961, Wilma Rudolph checked out the White House to talk with then-Vice-President Lyndon Johnson about physical conditioning. Rudolph was coming off an efficiency at the 1960 Olympic video games in Rome that saw her win gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and the 4×100 meters relay.

Figure skater Peggy Fleming and her mom, Doris, were dealt with to a personal audience with Lyndon Johnson 2 months after she won the gold in figure skating in 1968 in Grenoble, France. Johnson even plucked a flower from the White House’s Rose Garden and pinned it to Fleming’s lapel, then talented her with a gold appeal bracelet.

By the time Carter was president, he started welcoming Team USA members in big groups, consisting of the “Miracle on Ice” hockey group that won gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

NASCAR champs: When NASCAR fan Carter was guv of Georgia and a long-shot governmental prospect, he informed members of the racing neighborhood that he would welcome them to the White House for the very first time must he get chosen. Carter kept his guarantee and even tapped Willie Nelson to play the occasion in 1978. Unfortunately for Carter, he missed out on the celebration as he got stuck at Camp David working out a peace arrangement with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin.

NASCAR champs and their groups started making routine journeys to the White House to commemorate while George W. Bush was president. That custom has actually continued every year throughout the Obama, Trump, and Biden presidencies.

Trip de France winners: Just 3 Americans have actually ever won biking’s greatest occasion: Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong, and Floyd Landis. Armstrong was fêted in the Oval Office by George W. Bush in 2001 and even went on a bike trip with the president on his cattle ranch in Crawford, Texas. Landis got a call after winning, however never ever got a check out after he was busted for doping weeks after his win. (Armstrong was later on busted and removed of his titles, too, however White House gos to last permanently.) LeMond– who won the Tour in 1986, 1989, and 1990– lastly got his flowers when Trump granted him a Congressional Gold Medal in 2020.

Department I college football champs:Constantly welcomed, and no group has actually ever denied the deal. The champs throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons were not able to check out the White House due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FCS college football champs: It’s taken place two times: Bill Clinton welcomed Youngstown State in 1995, and Trump welcomed North Dakota State after they won in 2018.

Male’s and females’s Division I college basketball: Indiana’s males’s basketball group ended up being the very first college champ to get a White House welcome from Gerald Ford in 1976. When UConn’s females’s head coach Geno Auriemma won his tenth nationwide title and checked out the White House for the 3rd successive year in January 2016, then-President Obama joked that Auriemma had actually existed many times he ‘d keep a space with a cot open for him. The welcomes to college ballers vaporized when Trump presumed workplace later on that month. Just one champ out of the 4 significant basketball associations in the U.S. (NBA, WNBA, and males’s and ladies’s college basketball) was welcomed to the White House throughout Trump’s 4 years in workplace. That group? The Baylor Lady Bears, helmed by none aside from LSU’s present head coach, Kim Mulkey.

College champs who do not play football or basketball: George W. Bush started the custom of welcoming the champs of the non-basketball and -football Division I sports to one big event each year. Even Trump’s 2017 occasion was a hit, bring in 18 champion groups, consisting of Maryland’s males’s lacrosse group, Penn State’s ladies’s rugby group, Texas A&M’s females’s equestrian groups, and West Virginia’s co-ed rifle group.

Which Sports Teams Do Get to Visit the White House?

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