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Joe Biden claims wife encouraged violence at hockey game, threatened to make him sleep alone if he didn’t support team

By Sarah May on
 February 4, 2023

Whether it's football, baseball, or hockey, first lady Jill Biden is reportedly such a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan that unless President Joe Biden joins in rabidly backing her hometown favorites, he will end up sleeping alone, as the Daily Mail reports.

According to the president, his normally pacifist wife's enthusiasm for her chosen squads runs so deep that she once egged on those involved in an on-ice professional hockey brawl.

“Self-assured” fan

The first lady's intensity when it comes to sports was a topic of discussion at an appearance the president made in Philadelphia on Friday to discuss an administration lead pipe replacement initiative.

Referencing the city's Democratic leader, Jim Kenney, Biden began, “As the mayor knows, [Jill Biden] is one...self-assured Philly fan, pausing for dramatic effect to diplomatically select the right adjective for his wife's ardor.

Biden acknowledged the Philadelphia Eagles' upcoming appearance in next week's Super Bowl, assuring Kenny and those in attendance of the first couple's allegiances.

“Go Eagles – fly Eagles fly,” Biden said, adding, “Now the good news is I happen to mean it, but even if I didn't, I'd say it, you know why? Otherwise, I'd be sleeping alone.”

“Get 'em!”

Though Mrs. Biden was born in New Jersey, she was raised in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, a town situated to the north of Philadelphia, and as such, has always been steeped in local sports fandom.

According to the president, his wife's devotion to Philadelphia teams is so strong that it can sometimes supersede her calmer natural instincts.

As he told the crowd on Friday, “My wife hates violence. We went to a [Philadelphia] Flyers [hockey] game a couple years ago. And the Secret Service is in a box, next to us, anyway. And a fight breaks out.”

Marveling at the transformation the scene sparked in his spouse, Biden continued, “And my wife who hates violence goes, 'get 'em, get 'em,' jumping up. The Secret Service looks, 'where the heck did that come from?”

“Virulent” following

For any die-hard of Philadelphia sports teams, the past several months have been full of thrills and suspense, given the success of not just the city's football team, but its baseball club as well.

As the Associated Press noted back in October, Mrs. Biden had the opportunity to attend Game 4 of the World Series in which her beloved Phillies faced the Houston Astros.

A month prior, when the previous year's World Series champion Atlanta Braves were hosted at a celebratory White House reception, the president joked about his wife's baseball obsession, “Like every Philly fan, [Jill's] convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else.”

During a campaign event in Florida around the same time, Mr. Biden declared jocularly, “Philles fans are the most virulent, obnoxious fans in the world,” but that characterization did not stop the first lady from proudly sporting the team's jersey when disembarking from Air Force One amid the team's World Series run, as the Washington Post noted.

“Fly Eagles Fly”

Not bashful about showing up to support her teams, Mrs. Biden was in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field in October to cheer the Eagles on to victory against the Cowboys, according to the Post.

The first lady played a prominent role in the on-field pre-game festivities, taking part in the coin toss and joining a group of cancer survivors in the singing of the home team's fight song, “Fly Eagles Fly.”

The Post described Mrs. Biden's demeanor as that of any rank-and-file fan, “in her Eagles shirt drinking a beer, eating a pretzel, wrapping herself in an Eagles blanket when it got cold, and taking selfies with people in her section.”

Numerous media reports and tweets from fans in attendance suggested that Mrs. Biden drew loud boos from the crowd, and whether that reaction was due to political rancor or simple team rivalry, it appears that the first lady's dedication to Philadelphia sports is unlikely to fade anytime soon.