Vote through sports

Torrin Thatcher

My friend called me on Tuesday morning to ask me whom I would have voted for if I actually voted. Since I know nothing about the candidates’ plans or ideas, I decided to use the one thing I’m passionate about to help me decide who I would have selected — sports. I read articles from ESPN, the newspaper and other various outlets to give me an idea and to allow me to go through two sources. By the time this is read, the new President will be decided. So, let’s see how sports determined my “vote”.
The first deciding factor were their appearances on Monday Night Football. When the touting of the appearances of the two candidates was obviously not put on a pitch count, I was intrigued to see what Chris Berman could possibly have to say to Obama and McCain.
Berman asked each candidate what each would change in sports, and Obama’s response was much better. Obama said that it’s time to make a playoff format in college football, and McCain beat a dead horse by mentioning performance-enhancing drugs. Obama’s response actually sounded sincere, while McCain’s seemed uninterested and bored me to tears. There was much more zest in Obama’s voice compared to McCain’s monotone.
The format to decide the champion of college football is always under scrutiny, and is something that will eventually be changed because people will never be completely satisfied with the current system. Leaving the decision of a champion up to formulas on computers that are under continuous tweaking is dissatisfying to many – make it a playoff. People are getting very tired of the talk about steroids. Sports fans know there are always chemists out there trying to create masking agents and new drugs. Athletes are always looking for an edge, and it’s never going to change — the college format can change. Point for Obama.
Looking at the cover of the sports section in the USA Today on Election Day, Obama was destined to land my vote. There were two images: McCain at a rally with Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn, and Obama sporting a Steelers jersey.
Let’s first tackle why this was doom for McCain. Thomas and Quinn were each first round picks in 2007, not 2008. If McCain wanted to have success, he should have been shown with the Browns’ first round picks in 2008.
Also, as any sports fan could tell you, the Browns didn’t have a first round pick — they traded their first pick to the Cowboys to get Quinn in the latter part of the first round in 2007. We all know that Thomas, a Wisconsin native, has been a strong player for the Browns since day one, but the appearance of Quinn shows that McCain isn’t ready. Quinn has been a backup to Derek Anderson, but Romeo Crennel made it known that Quinn is now the starter. Should we interpret this as McCain is now ready to start for our country? I think not. This means that I see McCain as an unproven individual.
Obama’s image with the Steelers jersey clearly displays his status as a knowledgeable sports fan. To show that he’s ready to run the country for four years, he decided to support the team that has won the most Super Bowls — five. A minor side note is that the Cowboys and 49ers each have won five, but it’s a moot point when McCain wasn’t shown wearing a Staubach or Montana jersey.
If McCain had been seen supporting one of these teams in Tuesday’s paper, I would have had a hard choice in front of me. But since Obama went with a proven winner, it showed to me that he is a winner and knows what it takes to get to the top. It should also be noted that the Steelers play in Heinz Field, as in the ketchup. I love ketchup with fries and burgers, so this definitely helped sway my vote.
What we should take away from the decision of my vote is that the publicists for each of these candidates should be very aware of his knowledge about sports. If they’re not, they could lose votes from people who don’t know a damn thing about politics.
Final score: Obama 2, McCain 0. That’s a solid win at a hockey game.