Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

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President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney talked to ESPN's Chris Berman at halftime of the Monday night game. Obama predicts the Chicago Bears can win the Superbowl.

Obama is ready for a Bears Super Bowl. And while both men have had their share of fumbles with political football in this election, he knows who the real commander in chief is when it comes to getting the ball on the ground:

"Best defense in the league right now," Obama said at halftime during the New Orleans Saints win over the Philadelphia Eagles. "You saw (Sunday's) game. (Charles) Tillman may be defensive player of the year the way he's playing."

Tillman forced four fumbles Sunday in the Bears 51-20 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans and has already been defensive player of the month once this season.


If the most recent Bears Monday Night game is any indication, more Chicagoans might be tuned into the contest against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field tonight than into that other contest in Boca Raton, Fla., which Lynn Sweet writes is a "make or break" moment for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

For the week of Oct 1-7, (which also included the first presidential debate on Oct. 3) the Bears-Cowboys game on ESPN was the second highest rated broadcast (just ahead of the same game's broadcast on WGN and just below the Bears' Sunday, Oct. 7 game vs. Jacksonville.)

The Wednesday night debate made just 3 of the top 20 broadcasts for that week in Chicago (ABC with 500,000 viewers, NBC with 415,000 and Fox with 356,000).

This being the Bears first game off a bye week versus a division rival, and the fact that Illinois is one of the least "swinging" states, in terms of the presidential election, could lead to another big evening for Monday Night Football in the Chicago market. But at the national level, if recent trends continue, tonight's debate could potentially break the latest viewership level of 69.9 million in 1992.

Prior to that, the presidential debate ratings record was set in 1980, when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan faced off before 80.6 million Americans.

In Chicago, we root for the Bears and Bulls. Fight over the Cubs and Sox. Hang our pride on an Original Six hockey team, support the Fire, Sky and myriad other pro and college teams.

But for many, the only real full-contact sport in Chicago is politics.

It's fitting, then, that New York public radio station WNYC has done the digging to find out which sports team owners are donating the most to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and other political campaigns and organizations.

As for Chicago owners? Much like playoff dynasties for the home teams, the pickings are slim. Only William "Rocky" Wirtz of the Chicago Blackhawks, and a partial investor in the Chicago Sun-Times, donated to a presidential campaign - $1,000 to Tim Pawlenty according to records.

Times were tough for the Romney home team according to the WNYC post. The former Massachusetts governor and senate candidate, was not only snubbed by Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who gave $17,900 to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, he also got no rooting from Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca. Pagliuca, who also happens to be a managing partner at Bain Capital, gave more than $66,000 to Democrats.