By Tessa Berenson
January 5, 2015

When Chris Christie hugged Jerry Jones after the Dallas Cowboys’ victory Sunday night, he was roundly mocked and criticized for being disloyal to the anti-Cowboys members of his constituency. But this was hardly the first instance of an uncomfortable meeting between politics and sports.

Here are seven of the most awkward times the two worlds collided.

Chris Christie’s Three-Man Hug

We’ve all had that moment when our favorite team wins and we feel compelled to jump up and hug the nearest person. Unfortunately, Chris Christie’s celebration with Jerry Jones wasn’t a hug so much as an awkward groping. Even more unfortunately, there is a man stuck in the middle. And worst of all, it was on national television.

Barack Obama’s First Pitch

Barack Obama’s opening pitch at a Washington Nationals baseball game got off to a bad start when the crowd booed him for putting on the wrong hat, and it only got worse from there. The pitch is so bad that it literally went out of the camera frame, let alone the strike zone.

George H. W. Bush’s Bowling Blunder

You wouldn’t think anyone could possibly fail this hard at bowling, especially a former college athlete. But then vice-president George H.W. Bush proved that it was possible.

Martha Coakley’s Red Sox Gaffe

If you’re trying to win over Massachusetts, here’s what not to do: claim that Curt Schilling, famous Red Sox pitcher, is a fan of the Yankees. Martha Coakley could only meekly say, “I’m wrong” in the face of the radio interviewer’s disbelief.

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John Kerry’s Green Bay Packers Fumble

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (D-MA) plays football with his staff in Dayton, Ohio on Oct. 31, 2004.
Spencer Platt—Getty Images

If you’re campaigning in Wisconsin, you better make yourself an expert in the Green Bay Packers. Or at least just know the name of their field. John Kerry committed the ultimate Milwaukee faux pas when he referred to the venerable Lambeau field as “Lambert” field, and was immediately pilloried by his opponents.

Hillary Clinton’s Baseball Cap Split

Getty Images (2)

Only Hillary Clinton’s choice of baseball cap would spur a media frenzy about her political ambitions. Clinton grew up a Chicago Cubs fan but said she would split allegiance with the New York Yankees once she became a resident and Senator of New York.

Mitt Romney’s Attempt at Normal Speech

Leave it to Mitt Romney to talk about sports in the most awkward way possible. Or rather, as he says, “sport.”

Write to Tessa Berenson at

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