Jocks Blanket Congress

Current and retired athletes — along with one of the winningest National Football League owners in recent history — Tuesday claimed home-field advantage on Capitol Hill, fanning out across the campus to dazzle feds and fans alike. Opportunities for hero worship abounded, no matter what pastime one might be into. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., teed up a little viewing party for those most interested in gawking at the Vince Lombardi Trophy — a conversation-starter currently in the possession of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who spent part of his morning in the House chamber digesting visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s thoughts on international affairs, was scheduled to show off the fabled award in H-122 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. .@Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the House gallery for #Netanyahu pic.twitter.com/hijqUBcI6O — Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) March 3, 2015 An event organizer said the room can accommodate around 50 to 75 guests at a time, but noted that the idea was to circulate folks through so everyone got a shot at snapping a pic with football’s Holy Grail. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association elected to bring along living legends for its annual lobbying day, corralling celebrated Olympians (gymnast Shannon Miller, sprinter Carl Lewis), baseball vets (pitcher Tommy John, outfielder Darrell Miller), NFL royalty (Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker, two-time Super Bowl champ Matt Stover) and others for a two-day blitz of socializing and legislative hardball. Team SFIA’s pro-fitness cheerleaders were slated to hang with time-crunched pols during a special “meet and greet” session in H-137 from 5-6 p.m. Congressional aides hoping to score some face time with the all stars were welcome to do so during the general reception, scheduled to take place in the Capitol Visitor Center from 6 to 8 p.m. The athletics supporters were expected to spend March 4 poking their heads into congressional offices to press for consideration of a trio of industry-led initiatives. Game on, autograph seekers! The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.