If Shaq Can't Get Into White House, Who Can?

Shaquille O'Neal may not be the most famous athlete on the planet, but he has to be close. And Shaq might be the downright most likeable big fella out there. Size alone makes Shaq hard to miss, and when you add that signature smile, he's even harder to impersonate. So when Shaq told a D.C. radio station last week that he was going to stop by the White House when he was in town for tonight's RAW wrestling show, you had to believe he'd get in, right? ↵

↵ ↵Dan Steinberg was all over this story last week, as Shaq asked Mike Wise of D.C.'s new sports talk radio station (106.7 FM) if Wise thought he could do just that. ↵

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↵⇥"Hey Mike, question," Shaq began. "Your show is based in D.C., right? All right, check this out, I got on a nice suit, I'm in D.C. paying a visit, I jump out of a cab in front of the White House, I don't use none of my political/law enforcement connections. If I go to the gate and say, 'Hey, I'm in town, I would like to see the President,' do I get in, or do I not get in? Give me your answer. ↵⇥

↵⇥"I say yes," Wise said. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"What about you, Tony Robbins?" Shaq said to show co-host Bill Rohland. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"Shaq, you don't even have to be in a suit, I'd let you in the front door, it's not a problem," Rohland said. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"For real, you think so?" Shaq replied. "A lot of people think I won't get in." ↵⇥

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↵He's Shaq after all. The Big Aristotle. The Diesel. Shaq Fu. ↵There's no way he'd be turned away at the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, even if the Obamas weren't available at the time. One has to figure the guards would let him in, take a few TwitPics lounging on the bed the Lincolns once called home and get back to whatever Shaq does when he invades a town to host a random wrestling event. ↵

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↵It turns out, ↵if Shaq's Twitter is to be believed, he was, in fact, turned away. Quoteth the Big Witness: “The white house wouldn't let me in, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” ↵

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↵Did they think Shaq couldn't be trusted? The man is a former law enforcement official. He's a pillar in the community. So if Shaq can't get into the White House unannounced on a ‘hey just stopping by' trip, who can? ↵

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↵We discussed this topic on our podcast this morning and came up with a quick list, and asked our listeners to help as well. The best answer will win a swanky On the DL Podcast mug. The list below includes some of the names we think could get into the White House unannounced. Please add your suggestions in the comments. (Note: Obviously you can't just go to the front door and ring the bell – Best. Halloween. Ever. – but we wonder who could go to the security building and with a few phone calls be walking up the South Lawn in short order. ↵

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↵Heads of State: Let's get this one out of the way. Yes, any head of state could show up and the White House and be let in. It would be an international scandal the U.S. does not need if a head of state was turned away at the White House gate. That said, no head of state would do that. Is the King of Jordan just hanging out for drinks at Old Ebbitt Grill without telling the Obamas he's in town, then popping by for some Scrabble and a nightcap? No, he is not. ↵

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↵Oprah: One has to think that if Oprah wanted to be in the White House, Oprah would be in the White House. You read that right. ↵

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↵Tiger Woods: Is there a house in the world Tiger Woods couldn't get into? One has to think that if there were any current athlete on the planet who had a better shot to get into the White House than Shaq, it'd be Tiger. And unlike Shaq, who would be Tweeting away the entire time, Tiger is a vault. You could trust that guy with national security secrets and his expression would never change. For all we know, he might already know them. ↵

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↵Michael Jordan: With his Chicago ties, there is no way Obama doesn't have a standing order to let his Airness into the White House -- especially on poker night. ↵

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↵The Jonas Brothers: This was Nick Tarnowski's suggestion on the show. Sometimes it's more about making the kids happy. Stupid scarves stay outside no matter what time of year, fellas. ↵

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↵Mark Buehrle: But only until his next scheduled start. ↵

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↵Ozzie Guillen: I would love to be a fly on the wall of the conversation between Ozzie and the security guards. ↵

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↵ ↵Mike Wilbon: Credit to Steinberg for thinking of this one. If you think we're joking, ask anyone in D.C., or Chicago, or any NBA player how much pull Wilbon has. If Shaq ever wants to get into the White House unannounced, he should probably tag along with Wilbon. ↵

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↵After all, Obama may be president, but it's ↵Wilbon's America we're living in. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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