From the Museum

FDR Quarterback Postcard (MO 1976.47)


Like other presidents, FDR sometimes used sports analogies to help explain his political and economic agenda. During a press conference on April 19, 1933—just six weeks after he entered office— FDR likened himself to a football quarterback when he responded to a question about his administration’s evolving policy on inflation:

“It is a little bit like a football team that has a general plan of game against the other side. Now, the captain and the quarterback of that team know pretty well what the next play is going to be and they know the general strategy of the team; but they cannot tell you what the play after the next play is going to be until the next play is run off. If the play makes ten yards, the succeeding play will be different from what it would have been if they had been thrown for a loss. I think that is the easiest way to explain it.”

The image of FDR as a quarterback became a popular metaphor in political cartoons and presidential ephemera. Seen above is an example—a postcard made by Hilborn Novelty Advertisement entitled, “Our President” showing FDR’s head superimposed over a football player’s body. The player is aptly given the number 32, for the 32nd president.


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