Obama Gives College Football Playoff Thumbs Up

Published March 1, 2012 2:36PM (EST)

President Barack Obama gives his seal of approval to a college football playoff, plans to welcome his hometown Chicago Bulls to the White House as NBA champions sometime in the next "five years" and says he's "been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while."

In an interview at the White House set to be posted as a podcast Thursday on Grantland.com, Obama was asked how often he hoped to welcome the Bulls as NBA champions.

"Every year," Obama said. "And it hasn't happened yet, but it will happen."

Asked if that was meant as a guarantee, Obama replied: "Well, I've got another five years here," causing interviewer Bill Simmons to note the implied guarantee that Obama would be re-elected in November.

Called on it, the president laughed and said: "Somewhere along the line, my Bulls are going to come through here. Absolutely."

The President also said he would prefer to see an eight-team major college football playoff rather than the four-team one that is being considered, but called four "a good place to start."

As for Lin, Obama says Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tipped him off while the two played basketball together.

"He said, 'I'm telling you, we've got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard,'" said Obama, himself a Harvard alum.

"And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I've been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while."

By Salon Staff

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