The Arizona Cardinals are hoping to visit the White House as a team to celebrate a Super Bowl win, but we all know that's a long shot...a 65/1 long shot according to the Las Vegas odds makers for this season. But one Cardinal at least, received a personal invitation from President Obama himself (delivered via email through the team's media relations department) this week.â†µ
Safety Hamza Abdullah and his brother (Vikings safety Husain Abdullah) will be guests of the President of the United States on Wednesday, August 10. The occasion is an Iftar dinner which is part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.â†µ
Observant Muslims such as the Abdullah brothers don't eat or even drink water during Ramadan and Iftar is the evening meal to break the daily fast.â†µ
Hamza and Husain made news after a New York Times story described their religious sacrifice that precludes them from eating during daylight hours of Ramadan which happens to fall during NFL training camp.â†µ
Muslim Player Thrives With Nourished Spirit - New York Timesâ†µ
Abdullah credits the whole idea of Ramadan with helping push into the background all the distractions from daily life that might interfere with his concentration while playing.
Hamza received permission from coach Whisenhunt to fly to Washington for the Wednesday visit to the White House. He will return to meet the team in Oakland in time for Thursday's preseason game. According to this report, he was thrilled when he was given the news:â†µ
Abdullah Heads To White Houseâ†µ
"I was sitting there like, ‘Wow,’ " Abdullah said. "It’s truly a very humbling experience. Just at a loss for words. It’s an honor, a once in a lifetime opportunity. You never know who is watching, or who you can touch from afar."
Congratulations to Hamza for this honor. We fully expect to hear about the Sports Fan In Chief asking about Adrian Wilson's biceps injury and how it will impact Abullah's role in the secondary.