Super Bowl of Interviewing

Patrick McCorkle
2 min readFeb 12, 2024

On Super Bowl Sunday, I find myself wishing for a presidential interview. President Joe Biden declined for a second year in a row. For his part, Donald Trump offered to take his place. The seeds were planted for the tradition when presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton had a post Super Bowl interview with 60 Minutes in 1992. 12 years later, sportscaster Jim Nantz and President George W. Bush had a pleasant 4 minute chat, mostly about football.

Considering the recent tone of this blog, in which I bemoan the state of U.S. politics, you may consider my desire surprising.

I’m surprised too. At first, I didn’t know why I wanted it. Today is about two teams competing for the NFL championship and (hopefully) entertaining commercials and a halftime show.

Upon further reflection, I’ve decided on a couple of reasons why a presidential Super Bowl interview, either before or after the game, is important.

1. The President has to address those who may not be his/her constituents. Since the Super Bowl audience is so vast, odds are that a fair number didn’t vote for the sitting president. Instead of preaching to the choir, the chief executive has an opportunity to persuade the unconvinced or, in an era of incredible divisiveness, help patch the divide between the country’s main political parties and philosophies.

Parts of America society need to be safe from the corrupting touch of partisanship. Notice that I didn’t say apolitical- it’s truly difficult to remove every trace of politics. Rather, conservatives, liberals, socialists, Objectivists, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and so on should be able to enjoy something together. That doesn’t mean they have to agree. The president addressing the entire nation gives credence to the idea that we can function as a nation despite our differences. Perhaps the best way to do this would be to mimic the 2004 interview, focusing on sports with a few questions about politics and policies.

2. You might get people to watch who otherwise wouldn’t. The Super Bowl boasts incredible ratings, with over 100 million viewers across all platforms from 2009 to the present. That’s to be expected from the premier sporting event in the U.S.A. In comparison, the premier political events don’t compare. Recent State of the Union speeches get less than 50 million, while presidential inaugurations hover around 20–30 million, with Trump reaching nearly 31 million in 2017 and Biden reaching nearly 34 million in 2021.

Therefore, the political apathetic or burnt out (I consider myself as part of the latter) might learn something about politics in a non-demanding manner. Presidential Super Bowl interviews are 15 minutes or less, making them more digestible than rambling, movie length debates or talk shows.

In conclusion, the Super Bowl presidential interview tradition should continue because of the potential to unite the country through sports and to get otherwise politically disengaged individuals involved in our political system.

If we get an athlete-president, we might even have an interview on the field!

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Patrick McCorkle

I am a young professional with keen interests in politics, history, foreign languages and the arts.