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The Most Athletic Presidents in DFW, and in the White House

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    GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 11: Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, stands on the sidelines in the first quarter of the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    If Nolan Ryan was around, this’d be a no-brainer. In his absence, who’s atop our local list of pro sports head honchos on this President’s Day?

    Ryan, of course, lost a tug-of-war with Jon Daniels in the Rangers’ front office and has taken his Hall-of-Fame talents (back) to Houston. We’re left with ranking – by athleticism, not acumen – our major sports teams’ leaders: Daniels, Jerry Jones and Terdema Ussery.

    While Daniels grew up playing some catcher and third base in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., I think it’s safe to say his best sport is Fantasy Baseball. It’s Ussery – surprise, not Mark Cuban – who is the Mavs’ actual President and CEO. He grew up playing hoops in the L.A. suburb of Watts and has taken me to the hole during pick-up games several times through the years. And of course Jones was a starting guard on Arkansas’ National Championship football team in 1964.

    Even without Nolan, this is still a fairly easy task. Among our local sports prez’s, give me 1. Jones; 2. Ussery; 3. Daniels.

    But what about a ranking of the most athletic presidents to ever bound around The White House?

    10. George W. Bush - His first-pitch strike – in a bullet-proof vest -- before Game 1 of ’01 World Series at Yankee Stadium is best sports moment ever for a U.S. President.

    9. Woodrow Wilson - Played center field for Davidson College.

    8. Richard Nixon - Scrappy linebacker at tiny Whittier College.

    7. Jimmy Carter - Played baseball and ran cross country in the Navy.

    6. Teddy Roosevelt - Boxed at Harvard and played tennis on the White House front lawn.

    5. Ronald Reagan - Played football at Eureka College and portrayed “The Gipper” in Knute Rockne.

    4. George H. Bush - Left-handed first baseman led Yale to baseball’s College World Series in ‘48.

    3. Barack Obama - Lanky lefty led Occidental College’s basketball team in scoring in ’79, but really sucks at bowling.

    2. Dwight Eisenhower - A linebacker/running back at Army, the “Kansas Cyclone” wrecked his knee tackling Jim Thorpe in 1912.

    1. Gerald Ford - All-American center led Michigan’s football team to National Championship in ’33.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.