The time has arrived for past and present U.S. presidents to come together on the volleyball court.
Despite no president setting up a volleyball court on the south lawn of the White House or advocating for NCAA Tournament expansion, it’s pretty clear a good volleyball teams could be formed from U.S. presidents.
In honor of President’s Day, Off the Block has compiled its starting lineup of U.S. presidents for a volleyball team.
Setter: Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt may be the most athletic and energetic president in U.S. history. He’s also likely to the only president to hold boxing matches in the White House. This energy and makes him an ideally setter. Plus, his square deal policy will transcend to the volleyball court, and he will be able to run a balanced offense.
Opposite: Barack Obama
Obama’s basketball skills can transfer to volleyball court making him potential offensive option at the pins. Despite there being no vertical data because the vertical jump is not part of the annual presidential physical, our guess is his time on the basketball court helped Obama’s vertical. Seriously if you had to pick one president to hit over the block, who else would you rather have but Obama.
Outside attacker: Gerald Ford
Sure, Ford was portrayed as a klutz because he tripped and fell down the steps of Air Force One. However, in his youth Ford was a center and linebacker for Michigan and helped the football team win back-to-back national titles. That type of competitiveness and athletic ability is needed on the volleyball court. Putting Ford in the starting lineup does break with tradition. President Richard Nixon should start and then get subbed out for Ford midway through the match.
Outside attacker: George H.W. Bush
Bush at 6-foot-2 is among the tallest presidents in U.S. history. As first baseman, he helped Yale twice reach the College World Series and hit .354 during his senior season. Plus, it’s easy to envision him saying something motivational on the court during the match such as, “Read my lips, no bad passes.”
Middle attacker: Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln remains the tallest president in U.S. history at 6-foot-4 — and that’s not counting his top hat that he’ll wear during matches. Along with his height, Lincoln showcased his athletic ability as a wrestler in his youth. If his blocking skills are as efficient as his blockade of the south during the Civil War it will cause major problems for the opposing team.
Middle attacker: Dwight Eisenhower
Eisenhower while in college was a running back for Army. In addition, Eisenhower showed while in the military and throughout his presidency that he could successfully execute a defensive gameplan.
Libero: James K. Polk
Polk is going to spend a lot of time before the match talking about how it’s manifest destiny that the team will win. We’ll just assume that confidence will transfer into strong play on the back row.