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President Trump publicly adores the New England Patriots and perhaps above all else, Tom Brady. Fortuitously for the new president, the team and its star quarterback are set to make a Super Bowl victory lap through the White House on Wednesday, a welcome reprieve from the turbulent behind-the-scenes politics and infighting that have plagued the administration.
But at least one person with experience around Trump and sports says Trump's fandom amounts to being "fake news."
"You know how there is fake news? Trump is a fake sports fan," producer Mike Tollin told The Boston Globe. Tollin's production company had exclusive rights to the now-defunct United States Football League's games; Trump owned one of the league's teams, the New Jersey Generals, from 1983 to 1985.
Trump has additionally skipped a chance to throw a pitch on baseball's opening day, he did not fill out a March Madness bracket, and he seems to greatly prefer Fox & Friends to SportsCenter. Yet "throughout [Trump's] career, he's liked to be a celebrity among other celebrities," said John Sayle Watterson, who wrote The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency. "If it happens to be a sports celebrity, all the better."
Fred Bullard, who owned the United States Football League's Jacksonville Bulls at the same time Trump headed the Generals, was more forgiving about Trump's fandom. "He liked the competition, he enjoyed watching the players and interacting with everybody," Bullard said.
But Tollin added: "[Trump's] short attention span makes it difficult for him to really understand the ins and outs of a sport. And what goes on in between the plays. Or strategy. Or the nuance."