A celebration of Reagan, with pigskin
President Ronald Reagan throws a football toward the press January 11, 1988 as he boards Air Force One to return to Washington, D.C.
August 22nd, 2011
08:27 AM ET
11 years ago

A celebration of Reagan, with pigskin

(CNN) - The 100th anniversary of the late President Ronald Reagan's birth is getting the football treatment in September, with teams across the country kicking off their games by flipping a Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin.

Games played during the weekend of September 23 through 26 will commence with the coin flip, followed by a loudspeaker announcement and Reagan football tribute video, according to the Reagan foundation. Reagan was born on February 6, 1911.

Forty major universities have signed up to participate in the weekend events including the University of Alabama, University of Southern California and University of Texas.

Football legends Lou Holtz, Doug Flutie and Lynn Swann will serve as co-chairs of the coin toss festivities as part of a year of celebration honoring the 40th president.

"If all my players had the heart and the drive on the field that the Gipper showed in the Oval Office, we would have won every game," said College Football Hall of Famer Holtz in a statement. "I want to encourage every football organization in the United States to stand together and honor the legacy of this great American, Ronald Reagan. We all could learn a thing or two from his example."

Reagan, who served two terms as president after two terms as governor of California, was an avid football fan, playing for his high school team in Illinois and serving as his college radio's football broadcaster. He later acted in pigskin movies, including "Knute Rockne: All American," during which he famously said "Win one for the Gipper!"

Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration, said the toss embodies the principles Reagan held.

"The National Football Coin Toss celebrates the values that football teaches such as leadership, teamwork, and drive, which Ronald Reagan embraced and exemplified throughout his life," McLaurin said in a statement.

"For a twenty-one year old fresh out of college, broadcasting Big Ten games was like a dream," Reagan wrote in his autobiography "An American Life."

- CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: Ronald Reagan
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    Good grief! All over some B movie that I would waste my time on. I still don't see what everyone liked about Reagan. President may have been the best acting job he ever did, but I never cared for him in the role. The golly-gee-whiz shucks act didn't fool me.

    August 22, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Indy

    Reagan would be very embarrased by the current Republican party that is controlled by the Tea Party. The Republicans priority is to make Obama a one term President and they have taken the country hostage in order to wreak havoc on the economy in order to make Obama look bad.Reagan would never stand for what the Republicans have become and where they are going.

    August 22, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Dave

    Reagan was never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he looks like a Rhodes Scholar compared to the right-wing whackos in the GOP now...

    August 22, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. patNY

    Our record defecit spending and borrowing spree that generated our current national debt has its gensis in the Reagan Admin. He's becoming the GOP's Patron Saint and is a testament to what they do best...elevating myth as reality...re-writing history...the Grand Old Revisionist Party knows that if you same something over and over again people accept it as truth even if its really a lie...the Mystification of Reagan is their greatest accomplishment of this goal.

    August 22, 2011 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Sylvia Saint

    The perfect example of arrogance and TONE DEAFNESS was the campaign by the outside loyalists of Reagan to rename NATIONAL AIRPORT!

    Reagan does not deserve this honor and their are generations of people that WILL NEVER call it "Reagan National". You can`t force people to love & respect your hero, neocons.

    Want to name something for him, then do it in California with LAX or John Wayne or Ontario airports. Alternatively, create something "new" in DC and name it after him. Hell you neocons wasted a few BILLION to build and named an a/c carrier battle group after the man, isn`t that enough?

    I enjoy torquing Reagan revisionists refering to it by its original name, NATIONAL. I and thousands of others will continue to do so.

    Please syop the force diefication of the king of "Voodoo, Trickle-down, Economics". Many of us are not buying it.

    August 22, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    There is nothing to celebrate about Reagan. His trickle down economics produced only crumbs for many Americans. The GOP economic policies created the "Me Generation" and culture of greed.

    August 22, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. lynn

    Shocking as it may be to some tight-lipped Republicans, the world does not all love Raegan. I'm still waiting for my share of the trickle down, but not being a high-roller am sure my check's is still in the mail.

    August 22, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. SuperD

    How dare these vile posts on our great President. The reason Reagan was great is that he simply loved America and knew Americans could achieve anything. He had core beliefs and the country prospered under them. I pray when we dispose of this imposter who currently sits in the White House, we can return to those roots that made us great. Freedom and Liberty win, not the fat govt. nanny state Odumbo wants.

    August 22, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |