Today's Tidbit... Happy Birthday, FDR, A Second-String Lineman
The first future U.S. President known to play football was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, born 141 years ago today. Although young FDR achieved the highest score among his Groton classmates on Harvard's entrance exam, he was not a gifted athlete. He tried out for the baseball team early in his Groton days but did not make the roster and became the team manager instead.
FDR also played football as a second-string lineman and rowed crew at the Groton School.
After Groton, he entered Harvard, graduating in three years when the football team went 10-1, 12-0, and 11-1, losing only to Yale. Although Harvard won a retroactively-awarded national title during his time in Cambridge, FDR does not appear to have become a football fan. However, he made occasional appearances at games while holding various government positions.
The next football-playing president was Ike, who had an injury-shortened playing career at West Point and went on to coach a small college team and several active-service Army teams following graduation.
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