Nobama for Hampton: Ex-Bears great skips White House visit

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  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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When President Barack Obama hosted the 1985 Chicago Bears at the White House on Friday, one member of that Super Bowl-winning team wasn't present. That had the rest of the fellas hot and bothered.

"Family can't go, I don't want to go, that's it," Hall of Fame defensive lineman Dan Hampton told ESPNChicago.com on Monday, via text message.

But Hampton's more recent comments to WSCR-AM were more revealing, illustrating his displeasure with both the player-only invites and the president's politics.

"It's my own personal choice," Hampton said. "I don't choose to go. No family, no kids. Honey's going to the White House, and you tell your kids and your wife, 'Oh, I'm sorry. You're not invited.' Secondly, I'm not a fan of the guy in the White House. And third, it was 25 years ago. Let it go."

Obama, a die-hard Bears fan, did the team a solid after its White House visit in January 1986 was canceled when the space shuttle Challenger exploded two days after Super Bowl XX.

Former Bears tight end Tim Wrightman viewed it as unique chance to reunite with his former teammates, and he criticized Hampton's decision on his Facebook page.

"Out of all the players from the '85 Bears arriving on October 7th I would probably say I am the most conservative," Wrightman wrote, via ProFootballTalk.com. "This is the Bears' once in a lifetime opportunity that has been given a second chance. ... I think it was a classy thing for Obama to right the misfortune of our team. Besides, the White House is not President Obama's house it's the people's house."

The 1985 Bears have been through a lot in the years since they massacred the Patriots 46-10 in the Super Bowl. Their heart and soul, Walter Payton, has passed. Dave Duerson left us in tragic fashion. And the lovable William "Refrigerator" Perry has endured chaos and personal struggles since being lifted up as a national sports icon.

It's Hampton's choice -- but it's understandable why his teammates want this to be a day of unity, not division.

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