Monday, August 25, 2008

Returned: Thoughts on Football & Barack Obama

A RAMBLING POST to catch up on a few bits of the everything I've forsaken since heading off at the beginning of this month to drive aimlessly among Italian towns. The food on the trip was memorable to say the least, so expect a recap in the days to come.

In today's Times, however, I caught this article, which refers to an item I had also seen mentioned a few days ago and further leads me to believe:

Barack Obama will be elected in no small part thanks to America's seasonal obsession with football.

I make this ridiculous claim with meager scraps of supporting evidence to back me up at present but will hopefully put together a better argument and report back. In the meantime, if you'll remember, Sen. Obama (D-IL) first announced his "candidacy" in 2006 on Monday Night Football:

Okay, I understand that's hardy an official campaign kick-off, but it's only funny 'cause it's true, right? And if you want to point to the beginning of the media's so-called infatuation with Mr. Obama, you might as well start here. I mean, how many U.S. Senators are given the lead-in to what is weekly one of America's most highly-rated television programs for a political inside joke?

Fast-forwarding nearly two years, the Obama camp decides to move its nomination acceptance speech to Invesco Field, formerly known as Mile-High Stadium, home of the NFL's Denver Broncos. Before you scoff at the pigskin connection--obviously the attendance capacity is higher at Invesco Field than Pepsi Arena, reason alone to move the venue--let's consider an entirely football-connected item: Skycam.

This fly-over camera, which, by the way, aside from being Emmy award-winning was developed for televising football games, won't be at the GOP convention in St. Paul, and would hardly have had the same effect inside Pepsi Arena as it will soaring over Invesco Field.

Think Kennedy-Nixon: the pragmatic Nixon shrugged off makeup for his debate with the upstart Kennedy in front of those newfangled television cameras and Kennedy shrugged off Nixon. The power of an image is well-established in our political culture. Don't think for a second that spectacular, never-before-seen aerial footage of Saint Obama ministering to tens of thousands won't inspire more than a few doubters.

And blame it
partly on football.

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