He was also a hell of a College Football player, in the era before Professional Football seemed like much of a career option. According to Wikipedia:
Ford lost his battle to win a real election to the Presidency, at least in part, when he claimed that Poland wasn't behind the Iron Curtain during a debate with Jimmy Carter. Already battling claims that he wasn't intellectually capable to hold the post, and facing severe backlash for pardoning many of the major Watergate figures, including his appointer, Richard Nixon, he lost the Presidency in pretty good fashion.
Attending the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, Ford became the center for the school's football team and helped the Wolverines to undefeated seasons in 1932 and 1933. His number 48 jersey has since been retired by the
At Michigan, Ford was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and washed dishes at his fraternity house to earn money to pay for college expenses.
While at Michigan, Ford turned down contract offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League following his graduation in 1935 in order to attend law school. As part of the 1935 Collegiate All-Star football team, Ford played against the Chicago Bears in an exhibition game at Soldier Field.
While we here at I Dislike Your Favorite Team don't hold to the notion that Football Players are somehow more manly than other types of men, it does seem appropriate to remind everyone that our current President was once a buffoon with a bullhorn, mindlessly cheering for his side (and yes, this was before he was elected! ZING!)
Also not to draw comparisons, but Gerald Ford, when war broke out, volunteered for service in the Navy in 1942, and then asked for combat work in 1943, in the Pacific.
But the Texas Air National Guard was important in the Vietnam War. Just as important as carriers in the Pacific in 1943, we're sure.
What a beautiful boy, that Mr. Ford. I'll always remember him fondly. He was the first Republican I campaigned against. I was seven and sold on Carter -- a beautiful man. Sleep well, Mr. Ford.
I think it should also be noted that this gives temporary new life to those old S'N'L skits featuring Chevy Chase falling down all manner of things. Also, Ford blazed the trail for Bush the Retarded to be able to spend the entire duration of his post-presidential life doing nothing statesmanlike. Seriously, does anyone remember this guy even making a speech even implying that dying children might be a sad thing? Kudos on pardoning the crook that preceded you, and thereby solidifying the pervasive sense of cynicism in the country... and I'm particularly glad that you never regretted it.
The book my father is working on right now is called After the Ball. It's an analysis of what presidents did with their lives after they left office, and how that reflects upon their presidency.
The much-malinged malaise-mongering Jimmy Carter, for example, won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Gerald Ford played golf.
Bill Clinton will be paid $650,000 to speak at the graduation ceremony of a Big Ten University this year.
Reagan watched cartoons. Allegedly.
Ford's greatest political ambition was to be Speaker of the House or Majority Leader of the Senate. Instead he was a safe appointment after Watergate because, despite a lack of intellectual rigor, he wasn't a terrible human being.
George W. Bush, consider this your final warning.
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