The president is a fan of basketball.

The president is a fan of basketball. White House file photo

Obama Watches ESPN While Pretending to Work

He told ESPN Radio he may turn on the game at night if he's got "a really fat briefing book."

Even presidents need a distraction from homework.

After a long week of negotiations with Congress to keep the government from shutting down, President Obama had a reprieve Friday morning. On ESPN Radio's The Herd With Colin Cowherd, he talked about the intersection of politics and sports and the Chicago Bears' crappy season, and he even admitted that he sneaks in time to watch the game when he's supposed to be studying.

"There are times, I will admit, at night, when I've got a really fat briefing book, where I might have the game on with the sound on," he told host Colin Cowherd.

Presidents: They're just like us!

In an especially cheesy moment, he noted the biggest difference between politics and sports. Despite what partisan shouting and a severe lack of compromise in Washington may lead people to believe, the president suggested that Republicans and Democrats aren't as acrimonious toward each other as Cubs and White Sox fans.

"In politics, sometimes people forget, we're actually all on the same team," Obama said. "And that's the American team."

Not everything the president touched on was lighthearted. Bringing up Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back whose contract was terminated after a video of him punching his then-fiancée surfaced earlier this year, Obama said athletes can't be immune to consequences for their mistakes.

"I'm so glad that we've got more awareness about domestic violence," he said. "Obviously, the situation that happened in the Rice family was unfortunate, but it did lift up awareness that this is a real problem that we've got to root out, and men have to change their attitudes and behavior, and it has to start young."

Obama said the NFL had been behind the curve in sending a clear message that domestic violence is not acceptable.

"The fact that policies have now been established will be helpful in sending a message that there's no place for that kind of behavior in society," he said. "Whether it's in sports or anyplace else."

With open enrollment for Obamacare set to end Monday for coverage by January 1, Obama twice fit in a pitch for sports fans—especially young men who "seem to think they're indestructible"—to get covered. People need to sign up for health care, he said, so if you're playing pickup and "suddenly you got something broken or something pops," you won't have to pay out of pocket.

And although the massive spending bill keeping the government funded already passed the House Thursday night, Cowherd, the radio host, had a specific request for additional funds.

"You don't need any of my advice," he said, "but I think you could increase defense spending for the Lakers backcourt."