Every March for eight years, Barack Obama filled out a “presidential bracket” on ESPN. It had the feel of the beginning of a tradition. President Donald Trump, however, has ended the tradition before it could get going.
Trump declined the opportunity to fill out a bracket on ESPN, despite the network offering him the chance to do so. The Washington Post was the first to report the news Wednesday. According to an ESPN spokesman, “We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined.”
Obama filled out a men’s NCAA tournament bracket every year of his presidency, and his selections were broadcast on ESPN. He added a women’s NCAA tournament bracket in his second year, and made selections for the women’s tournament over the final seven years of his presidency just as he did for the men’s tournament.
Obama is a noted basketball fan, and enjoys watching and playing the game. He didn’t exactly offer nuanced analysis as he made his picks with ESPN’s Andy Katz, but he knew what he was talking about. He even correctly picked North Carolina to win the national championship in his first year, 2009, though his national title picks were incorrect in his final seven years.