In an effort to pollute every network with politics, in case you happened to somehow miss the Presidential campaign that has been going on for the past two years, the U.S. Presidential candidates appeared on ESPN at halftime of last night’s Monday Night Football game to not answer questions and mention football.
During the first half of the game, I learned that ESPN’s Chris Berman would have brief interviews with each candidate at halftime. I envisioned Obama explaining in detail, like a coach, some plays he’d draw up for his Chicago Bears against the Houston Texans next week, utilizing their talents and/or exploiting the other team’s weakness. Then I figured Mitt Romney would be seen saying something along the lines of: “Football? I like football. My friends own football teams!”
Instead, Obama politically did not answer the first question (about what he knows now that he didn’t know four years ago). Perhaps Obama should have said “I learned that Tea Party people are crazy and that the GOP knows how to block a Job Bill,” but that’s not his style.
Obama affirmed that yes, he thinks his Chicago Bears could win a Superbowl. He proudly stated that he thinks they have the best defense in the league and that Eric Tillman (who forced 4 fumbles on Sunday) is on his way to being Defensive Player of the Year. He smiled with pride when talking about his team.
Chris Berman asked Obama how repeating as President is like repeating a championship. Even winning as the incumbent against one opponent (who may be the reluctant nominee of party who has lost their identity since trying to include the craziest, trashiest people in the nation), is not nearly as difficult as repeating as a champion in sports, Obama handled the question well. He said that in politics and sports, when you do well, you’re a god (slight stab to the evangelicals? Tebow comment?) and when you don’t perform, they rip you a new one. But if you stay focus, the President said, then you can win… though, winning an election isn’t the same as winning a championship because the point isn’t to win an election, it’s to serve the people… which is a
noble thought cheesy sentiment nice little way to tie up the chat.
Thirty-second commercial break (because any longer and people would notice they got tricked into watching more campaign) and Berman returned to speak with the opponent Mitt Romney.
Romney sat in front of a sign that said “Real Change” because when people think of Mitt Romney, they think of a real guy. Berman’s opening question was “what have you learned about yourself through this process?” Romney, who has no idea who he is, answered with a lame “I learned I could stay awake through two years of campaigning! Even with all those flights! Did you see the first debate? I was awake when Obama wasn’t!”
Though he tried to play it politically neutral, Chris Berman honestly asked, “do you have a favorite football team?” Before he could have Romney answer, he gave Romney a clue as to his choices, saying something that sounded like “you grew up in Michigan, but you’ve been in Massachusetts and the Patriots won two championships while you were Governor there, but ya know, the Lions are better now than they were at least.”
In perfect bandwagon voice, Mitt Romney claimed to be a fan of the New England Patriots and tried to jokingly take credit for their titles since, as Berman pointed out, he worked there when that happened – and when the Red Sox won! He knows about the Red Sox, you guys! How about that!?
Somehow sometime in the interview, Romney was sure to remind the viewers that he was involved with the Olympic games (a business man’s venture). Unprovoked, Romney was sure to mention that people watch the Olympics despite not really caring about the events. I mean, women’s bobsled? Ha! “But when they watch,” he said, “the human effort or spirit or whatever humans have, and yay, the crucible of sport… as well as loyalty and sometimes patriotism.”
Um… right. Saying “the crucible of sport” is how you relate to the Monday Night Football Audience.
Finally, Berman asked Romney if there was one thing he could change about sports, what would it be? Romney said that sports needs to solve the performance-enhancing drug problem: which is clearly code for getting rid of immigrants.
So yeah, it was actually a pretty good reflection of the entire campaign: American sports fan who is accused of being unAmerican, versus sexist horse owner who is a fan of whatever team you think he should be a fan of.