It’s Going to Be One Heckova Political Year in Football

Just a few weeks away, too! I can’t wait to turn the satellite back on.

It’s going to be an interesting year in football. Not only have the Patriots loaded up on targets for Tom Brady. But the following issues have arisen since the end of last season:

  • Keith Olbermann will be returning to sportscasting in NBC’s Sunday night prime time slot. He’s not likely to be overtly political–though I do hope it’ll get Joe Sixpack to consider tuning into his show. Olbermann will be accompanied by the conservative but very very pretty Tiki Barber, so the show has something for every … woman, at least.
  • A number of veterans are trying to get the NFL to help get documents relating to Pat Tillman’s death. In any case, the ongoing controversy with the Administration’s cover-up of the real reasons for Tillman’s death might begin to attract some Joe Sixpack  attention as the season gets into gear.
  • George Bush has appointed the gay-hating (but brilliant) Tony Dungy to a Presidential Council.

Hopefully, that last item, tied to Bush’s disappearing support, will convince Americans everywhere that the Colts are not America’s team.

Which is my way of warning you all that there might be an undue amount of football posts this fall, as we all hope the Patriots take away the title from George Bush’s team.

  1. Anonymous says:

    You clearly need a giant triangular chunk of foam cheese to cover your tin foil chapeau. Go Pack.

  2. William Ockham says:

    I keeping hoping that NBC will let Olbermann do a story on the Tillman case for the Sunday night broadcast. That would do more to undercut the Bush administration than almost anything else in the world.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is a guy with a name like bmaz doing routing for the Packers? Did you escape?

    I’m actually pretty promiscuous with my football fandom: I love the Pats, Lions, Bengals, Chargers, Saints … and so on.

    And in a testament to the boundlessness of human faith, there are even folks here who think the Lions might do well this year.

  4. P J Evans says:

    I think most people root for the Pack, just because (I love the idea of the city owning the team, and I’mo sure I’m not the only one). It’s the other teams that make the difference. (I’m a Niner fan myself.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, it is a bit of a non-sequitur for a native of the west. No explanation; been a Packers fan since I was a little kid; never stopped just because they sucked for a long time. Also pretty big on the Broncos from my time in grad school at UC-Boulder. Of course, we have the Cardinals here; but unless Bidwell agrees to sell the team to Colangelo, they are destined to continue their historic run of futility that makes teams like the Lions look like the Patriots of the last ten years. So don’t be belly aching at me about the Lions!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of a city owning a team, too. And I love that part of WI. I just wish they had figured out a way to send Favre out on a high note, before it was too late.

  7. Anonymous says:


    Oh, I don’t know. At least you’ve got a quarterback.

    Besides, there’s something especially pathetic about a city investing hope that the family that has ruined one of the city’s most important companies could, at the same time, redeem that city’s football team. [comment fixed]

  8. Anonymous says:

    They have had tons of excellent players in the past. They always leave to go other places, become allpro and win SuperBowls. You almost have to be here and see it over the long haul to really understand how bad it is. Keep in mind also that the Lions are the genuine deal in Detriot. Love em or hate em, they are yours. The Cardinals are such habitual losers that they got run out of St. Louis on a rail; only in order to come here and exhibit exactly why. If they ever turn the corner and really win consistently, they will be a huge hit. That corner has proved more elusive than even the one Bush keeps saying we have turned in Iraq.

  9. MarkH says:

    This isn’t some round-about way of talking about ’political footballs’ or ’THE football’ or something, is it?

    Go Herd!

  10. george washington hayduke says:

    ahem, Marcy, I loved your book and am a proud Michigander like yourself. But when it comes to rooting for the Patriots…. I don’t think so. Now I am not a blind Lions fan. I do not give old Wm Clay Ford my dough or anything, but, they are my hometown team, and win or lose and lose and lose and lose some more, I still pull for them. Now this is not to say there is no pain or cognitive disconnect from the realities of success in the NFL in saying â€I am a Lions fanâ€. There is. Probably there will be (dang this sounds like a preacher atalkin). But never the less, like an ugly kid to a parent, they are still mine.

    Don’t tell me it is the Brady/ U of M connection. That would make me very sad…. go Green…

    Keep up the good work, when you gonna do a book signing in Birmingham, MI?

  11. ABreen says:

    I would hope that all that talk of Libby’s and Scotty’s favorite team would turn anyone away from the Dolphins. New coach, new quarterback, same great defense. Oh well, they all have the same record now.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Marcy, here’s a clip from Leahy’s invite to Bush, â€to talk about itâ€

    â€shows that the list of those to be fired was compiled based on input from the political ranks in the White House and that the reasons publicly given for these firings were contrived as part of a cover up.â€

    Remember our discussion about Rove’s odd dual manifestation as a walking Hatch Act violation?

    I think we might have been looking at the â€crux†of the issue, not so much that moment itself in the whole scheme of things, but the question â€Which Rove came first?†The Political Rove or the Deputy Staffer Rove?

    And the question we begged then, in wondering which â€Rove†responded to Domenici’s call, may be the very question Leahy has for Bush.

  13. Anonymous says:

    george washington hayduke

    Well, there is a bit of that Brady UM thing, yeah.

    But see, my real problem is I wasn’t raised properly. I was raised in NY, and loved the (gulp) Yankees, until Thurmon Munson died. Then, to make it worse, Greg Nettles and Goose Gossage and someone I forget moved to San Diego at the same time I did–and they pretty much sold out the ugly culture of the Yankees for the pastel love of San Diego, which pissed me off. I developed a great admiration for Tony Gwynn (who lived in my neighborhood). But the only constant in much of my life was that you rooted against the Dodgers. I stopped watching baseball and moved to MI, but my promiscuity on rooting for teams has only gotten worse now that I’m married to mr. emptywheel, who only started watching football after he moved in with me. I once tried to make him roote for some team–any team. Just to shut me up, he picked two teams outtahisarse–those were the Titans and the Rams. That was very early in the 1999 football season, mind you, and I’m fairly certain he was the only one in creation rooting for the two eventual Super Bowl teams all season. So I don’t make him choose teams anymore, on account of how intolerable it made him that year.

    Sorry. I’m a traitor to my adopted state. And I never even learned to love hockey…

  14. Anonymous says:


    Do someone call you up and leave you messages saying, â€Hey, Peregwyn, It’s Joe from the Brown backers here. Yeah Browniesâ€?

    Because I lived with a guy from Cleveland for a while, and those Browns backer people are downright creepy. In a nice way, of course.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What the puck? Don’t worry about hockey; no one’s watching. We have a team named the Coyotes here. Some dude named Gretzky runs runs them. Nobody cares; they might as well be in Tibet. Back off the Dodgers though sister. Until they ran Lasorda off, they were quite the scene in LA, and a lot of fun.

  16. Ishmael says:

    EW – long time Patriots fan from before it was cool, loved Steve Grogan, and I still remember confidently predicting that Mosi Tatupu would score the winning TD over a vastly-overrated Bears team in the 1986 SB. But here is what I want your take on –

    Randy Moss to NE – thumbs up or down?

    PS It was difficult to read the Yankee fan confession – I’d almost rather that you admitted to being a Bircher at some point in your early days. Thanks for the sports diversion, your reference to the Goose made me think about the greatest baseball game of all time, the 1978 playoff between the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Goose should be in the Hall of Fame, there was nothing more disheartening to me than the Goose coming into that game with the lead – he was that fearsome.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ishmael – what? were you out on vacation or something for a while? I agree on the Goose, but the greatest game had to be the bottom of the 9th Game 7 come from behind win by the Diamondbacks over the Yankees in the 2001 World Series. Granted, I may have a slight bias…..

  18. John B. says:

    Speaking of the Patriots…when are they gonna bring back the great logo of the Patriot hiking the ball…I love that logo and I hate the new Bill Parcells version 2.2 logo they currently have…
    I think it’s funny to have professional teams to root for in this day and age of free agents and everything…I mean it really is rooting for laundry, but having said that I grew up in Lexington KY and the closest teams were the Reds (Go Reds) and the Bengals…well, this was during the gerat Red Machine of the 70’s and while I still root for the Reds, (as terrible as they are) the Bengals, not so much anymore. I just like professional football and root for the teams that are fun to watch, but I admit to an east coast bias to the black and blue color teams from the NFC east and the NFC central…

  19. Ishmael says:

    Bmaz – yes, I was away, required to be on strict radio silence by a watchful family, no email, computer, cellphone, nada! That was a great game, beating the Yankees and Rivera in the 9th, and Johnson and Schilling were the best combo since Koufax and Drysdale. But IMHO, the 1978 game was essentially a one game World Series, the two best teams in baseball that year, winner take all after an amazing season, full of Hall of Famers from Yaz to Fisk to Jim Rice (eventually) and Reggie and company for the f****** Yankees. And it is difficult for me to watch the Great Gretzky essentially fronting for the real-estate speculation that is the Phoenix Coyotes. I know that there are a lot of Canadians in Phoenix, but they apparently left Canada because they hate hockey!

  20. Ishmael says:

    John B – I hear you on the Pats logo! Im retro all the way on that, still have a real Pats hat with the old one.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ishmael – Understand completely the family vacation drill. I was right in the middle of exactly that, under the same blackout rules, when Shrub announced he was pardoning Libby. I had to purloin my wife’s laptop and find all night internet cafes in Victoria and Vancouver. Pretty interesting lot you run into at such places in the middle of the night. Seems there is a huge worldwide phenomenon known as â€World of Warcraft†that attracts a lot of folks with piercings and tatoos. They turned out to be mostly very bright and well informed people as interested in what I was doing as I was in what they were doing. Wasn’t hard to find the middle aged balding lawyer in the group though…

    Hey, I have a question. What does it take for an American attorney to get certification to practice in Canada, both pro hac vice and full time?

  22. Boo Radley says:

    FWIW, this is a great NFL writer, Bob McGinn, who covers the Packers for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It’s behind a subscriber wall, but imvho, if you don’t want frills, just first class and very unsentimental analysis of how the Packers played, McGinn is worth it.

  23. Ishmael says:

    Bmaz – depends on the jurisdiction, and each province is different depending on how much of our lunch we think the lawyer from the American jurisdiction across the river is going to eat! I looked into what it would take to get admitted in New York, and they are surprisingly open to Canadians, if you write and pass the Bar Exam and have gone to an NY approved Canadian law school (which is most of them), you’re in. And then you can get reciprocal admission to lots of other American bars. This is the best backdoor for Canadian trained lawyers. For occasional appearances, some bars require you to have a local lawyer sponsor you for that particular case (for insurance purposes). Generally, if you write the Bar Exam and went to an ABA law school, and want to pay the fees, you can get a Canadian admission.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I would as soon not have to take another bar exam, thank you. I was hoping there was some kind of reciprocity agreement or procedure, at least for limited practice.

  25. Neil says:

    If you squint at the Patriot’s flying Elvis logo, it kinda looks like John Kerry. An important distinction to make is that the Belichick Patriots always have great defense and John Kerry didn’t. Many veteran sports fans know that defense wins championships.

    Almost thirty years ago, the Patriots ran their training camp at Umass-Amherst. My dad took me there to watch #1 draft choice and Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett. I was a big fan of Jim but not so much a fan of the Pats until much later.

    Football at home growing up was more than entertainment; it was dad’s profession. As soon as I was old enough to stay out of the way, I had a job at practice after school everyday and a job on game day. Dad was a head football coach who, on eight consecutive Saturdays in the fall, got to measure his success. Every season ended with the big game against archrival Williams. Year round, everything pointed to beating Williams and we did a good job of it most of the time.

    Four of dad’s players played in the NFL. One was an All Pro Tight End with the Cowboys and Redskins. One played for the Colts and Lions, and was recently inducted into the college football hall of fame. And one won a super bowl as strong side linebacker on the Dolphins, the only NFL team to play a perfect season. I watched them play four years in college from my perch as ball boy, and then I watched them play in the NFL from my perch on the couch in the home I grew up in. Lucky kid.

    The Patriots looked good against Tampa last Friday even though they lost by 3. It’s early. I’m concerned about their depth at running back. The Pats have to establish the running game to create options on offense. When they can get the defense guessing, they’re hard to stop.

    Can Mr. Emtywheel replicate that handicapping success? I’m not a gambler but if he keeps striking gold, I’d consider it.

  26. Sara says:

    Well I adopted my adopted home town teams about 40 years ago — the Twins formerly known as the Washington Senators (yep, two World Series since I have been their fan) having traded in the 1948 Cleveland Indians (which had become hopeless) on the Twinkies. Then I had to think long and hard about the Vikings. You see I totally HATE FOOTBALL, and always have. But when the Vikings got competitive in the 1970’s I watched a few games so as to know the names of the players. I decided to like football (vikings style) when it occurred to me that they were named after some world champ rapers, pillagers, murderers, and occupiers of someone elses lands. Seemed very American during the Vietnam years.

    Add insult to injury. I just decided, (because I have new wheels hot to hit the highway) to attend my 50th High School Reunion in late September. The attraction seems to be that we will be honored guests at a Dragon Football Game, and we are expected, individually, to limp from under the goal posts up to the 50 Yard Line, all to the tune of our High School Fight Song, with the announcer introducing each of us individually. (and yea, there are several more days of celebrating 50 years being out of High School). But how could one miss such an event?

    One reason I hate Football is because it was so important in High School. My love of history was frustrated by too many History Teachers who really were Football coaches, just making their chits by taking sections of History. I actually had the experience of being told to flub a scholarship history test so as to not ace out the captain of the team, who they wanted to promote as big HE MAN. (I did not cooperate). Me — I don’t do much sports. A little golf and lots of watching my acquired interest in my favorite sport, Sled Dog Racing. I am glad that ESPN II, searching hard for new sports, finally found Sled Dogs and Mushers. I don’t do competitive, but love the chance to stick one of my dogs in a pack, and mush a little. Every dog I have ever had takes one look at it, jumps for joy in being hitched up, and then licks your face for weeks for the opportunity you organized. Only sport I know of where the participants cuddle up in your bed on cold nights, and offer facials and washcloth service.

    So now, having said I would come because I have highly reliable wheels (this is a two day drive) and having pretty much secured a super kennel space for Elwell, and having yet to send in my history and all — I am contemplating what to wear. What does one wear while marching (limping) 50 yards down field 50 years after one graduated High School?

    By the way, this is one of the most solidly Republican Districts in Ohio — in our 1956 play election, Ike got 90% of the vote, and Stevenson got a little less than 10%. My Stevenson Button plus my decision to attend Antioch makes me the Class Radical.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sara – Wow. I dunno. Make sure it has pockets appropriate for alcohol containers though. Maybe all black, with a black beret; SLA style….

  28. Sara says:

    Oh no bmaz — never something so obvious. I have some lovely British wool in hunter green that would make nice slacks, and some coordinated green and a few other colors plaid that would make a nice 3/4ths length coat, that could be lined with green silk, and a top made of that green silk. (from India). Anything but Purple and White — school colors.

    I think I have more or less decided that I will wear my custom tailored Indian outfit which is black silk with very nice silver embrodery along with a long shawl also silk and also with silver thread work, for the banquet. Need to check out the silver earrings however. These things should be treated as total costume party.

    In the 1950’s, Ohio required girls take sewing as part of the requirements for a HS diploma. Since the nuns at the convent school had already taught me dressmaking, I signed up for advanced tailoring. I learned well, and retain all those skills. I just have to clean up things in the dining room for a couple of days so as to turn the place into a proper sewing room. Steam Iron, Steam Press, soft wacker for making points or sharp seams.

  29. Anonymous says:


    And then there was the guy who played for your dad who was drafted by the Pats–he had never gotten really hit in college, and he didn’t make it in the Pros. That fellow tried to woo me once. Sweet guy, but I didn’t want him wooing me.


    Only sport I know of where the participants cuddle up in your bed on cold nights, and offer facials and washcloth service.
    Well, there is women’s rugby in the Bay Area, though I never partook of the washcloth service.

    And co-ed ultimate involves a good deal of cuddling up–that’s how mr. emptywheel and I met, after all, though he never offered me any grooming.

  30. Neil says:


    The guy who was sweet on you, was he a classics major? I bumped into him running in the corporate challenge road race in the early 90’s. I introduced myself and we ran together for a stretch. I imagine there were many like him whose love went unrequited.