Jill Biden doesn’t shy away from her “Philly Girl” sports fandom.

WASHINGTONJill Biden won’t even let a White House gala come between him and the Philadelphia Eagles.

After a late night conversation between the governors and the president Joe Biden The First Lady was out and about at a gala dinner on Saturday super bowl in Arizona on Sunday with hopes of watching “the birds” Defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and claim the NFL title.

First Ladies have been involved in the sport in a variety of ways over the years, from first pitches at baseball games to representing the United States at the Olympics. But Jill Biden’s unabashed public statements of support for Philadelphia’s teams — she grew up in suburban Willow Grove — are a rare kind of devotion.

“The First Lady is a proud Philadelphia girl and avid sports fan and is excited to cheer on her hometown team for the Super Bowl,” said her spokesperson Vanessa Valdivia.

At a time when national politicians often avoid taking sides in sports competitions, Jill Biden, a community college professor, wears her Eagles and Phillies gear in public and tweets photos of herself playing games in the private cabin of a government plane.

She and her grandson, Hunter, were at the stadium in Philadelphia on Jan. 29 when the Eagles won the NFC championship. The 16-year-old will rejoin her on Sunday.

“I’m going. I’ll wave you at the game,” the first lady was overheard telling two girls about the Super Bowl while visiting California last weekend.

No incumbent president has attended a Super Bowl, largely because of the stringent safety requirements that authorities would have to impose on the tens of thousands of fans. President Biden will be at the White House on Sunday.

Tammy Vigil, a communications professor at Boston University, said first ladies aren’t typically viewed as outspoken sports fans because many of them aren’t, although they often participate in the ceremonial aspects of some sports. Timing could also be a factor for Jill Biden, she said.

“Her teams are doing very well at the time she is occupying the White House,” said Vigil, author of “Melanie and Michelle,” a book about first ladies, in an email.

Biden also uses her interest in esports to highlight one of the causes she promotes as First Lady: cancer awareness. She has performed at home Eagles and Phillies games, including the world seriesin recent months to cheer on patients and kick-start league efforts Promotion of early detection.

There is a long one History of the First Ladies and their involvement in the sport, especially baseball, according to the National First Ladies’ Library. And for some, their interest continued or even deepened after they left the White House.

Grace Coolidge enjoyed baseball more than President Calvin Coolidge. “He didn’t share my enthusiasm for baseball,” she once said. Within months of becoming First Lady, she made her first game appearance, taking the President to a 1924 World Series game between the New York Giants and the Washington Senators.

After leaving the White House, Grace Coolidge became a regular at Boston’s Fenway Park, cheering on the Red Sox from a reserved seat just above their dugout.

Best Truman joined President Harry Truman for the opening day of the Washington Senators games, but also went alone or with her daughter and friends. When the Trumans returned to Missouri after his presidency, she divided her allegiances between the Kansas City Athletics (and later the Kansas City Royals) and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pat Nixon became the first First Lady to throw the ceremonial first pitch for a major league team at game two of the 1971 World Series in Baltimore. For a while she watched a soccer game on weekends.

“However, I’ve followed teams once and then of course I never missed a game,” Nixon said in a 1971 television interview.

Nancy Reagan threw the first pitch before the first game of the 1988 World Series and took the opportunity to promote one of her causes, the anti-drug program Just Say No.

Barbara Bush was the first First Lady to officiate the ceremonial pitch for a Texas Rangers game in May 1989. She later attended Rangers games after her son, future President George W. Bush, became the team’s executive general partner.

Hillary Clinton threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Chicago Cubs, her hometown team, at Wrigley Field in April 1994. But years later, while running for a Senate seat from New York, she shared her allegiance and adopted the Yankees.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, then Second Lady of the United States, did one joint appearance at the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium for their Joining Forces military initiative. In 2010, Mrs. Obama pitched the first pitch at an Orioles game in Baltimore.

While President Biden opened the White House to celebrate Olympians And championship sports teams, including those who have turned down invitations from his predecessor, Biden has yet to attend any sporting event, including the annual Army-Navy soccer game.

With that, his wife takes on the role of Sports Ambassador of the White House. She led the US delegation to the delayed Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, and she and Doug Emhoff, the vice president’s husband, drank beers in the stands at Minute Maid Park after attending a Houston Astros-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he’s excited that so many Philadelphia fans, including the first lady, will fill State Farm Stadium in Arizona with Eagles chants on Sunday.

“We are very proud to have her as part of our diverse, passionate Eagles fan base,” Kenney said in a statement.

President Biden says he’s also a sports fan in Philadelphia, out of necessity, and often jokes that “otherwise I’d be sleeping alone.”

But in a 2011 interview with a Wisconsin radio station when he was vice president, Biden pledged allegiance to the Green Bay Packers.

Biden told WTMJ that the Norbertines, the order of priests at the Catholic school he attended in Claymont, Delaware, had their abbey home in De Pere, Wisconsin. On Sundays, when the Packers were winning, the principal, Father Justin E. Diny, would announce that the last class had been cancelled.

“He turned every one of us into Packers fans, so I have a sentimental place,” Biden said. “Also, I’m scared I’ll go to hell if I don’t cheer for the Packers. Maybe Father Diny will come back. I can’t go against Father Diny. He’ll come out of his grave if he knew I was cheering for someone else.”

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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2023/02/11/jill-biden-not-shy-about-her-philly-girl-sports-fandom/ Jill Biden doesn’t shy away from her “Philly Girl” sports fandom.

Sarah Y. Kim

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