The controversy: As millions of Americans place their bets on Sunday's Super Bowl, one high-profile sports fan is refusing to make a prediction. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, President Barack Obama clammed up when asked whether he thought the New England Patriots or the New York Giants would win this year's big game: "I can't call it. I can't call it," the squirmy president said, even though it's something of a tradition for POTUSes to do just that. "When the [Chicago] Bears are not involved, I can't make predictions because I will get into trouble." (Watch the video below.) Of course, as pundits point out, Obama has made predictions in the past. In the 2010 Super Bowl he picked the New Orleans Saints; in 2009, he sided with the Pittsburgh Steelers; and in 2008, Obama backed the New England Patriots — who went on to lose to the New York Giants.
The reaction: How "exceedingly lame," says Chris Chase at Yahoo. The president doesn't shy away from calling a first-round NCAA basketball tournament game between Baylor and Sam Houston State, but he cops out on "making a pick for the biggest sporting event of the year?" Perhaps he really wants to go with the Giants, says Dan Amira at New York, but "doesn't want to alienate Patriots fans in New Hampshire, a tough swing state for him in 2012." Judge for yourself: