I'm not a big politics guy. I don't like to talk politics on my radio show (EVER), I don't like to talk politics in social situations (People take it too personally) and I don't spend any of my free time studying the issues. (I spend my free time wishing I had more free time.)
However, I am willing to make one exception -- when actively getting behind a certain candidate or movement will improve my experience as a sports fan, well dadgummit sign me up!
This brings me to the recently announced senatorial campaign of former SMU Mustang/New England Patriots running back and current ESPN college football analyst/overzealous Little League parent Craig James.
In case you missed the broad strokes of this story (courtesy of the Associated Press):
ESPN college football analyst Craig James has announced he is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Texas.
The 50-year-old, who starred as a tailback at Southern Methodist University and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s and now appears on the cable network's weekly game broadcasts, has been flirting with entering politics for more than year.
Republican fundraiser and close friend Roy Bailey last night said that Mr James has informed him he was running for the 2012 Senate seat and is in the process of dropping off his official candidate papers in Austin.
So it's official, Craig James -- the same Craig James who hired a public relations firm to get Mike Leach fired at Texas Tech and who consistently and without explanation votes schools outside of BCS conferences significantly lower than other AP voters -- THAT Craig James could be helping establish policy for things far more important than a meaningless college football poll.
That's scary. And yet he may get my vote. I'll explain in a second. But first, let's check out some video online that James hopes will serve as the kindling to the raging fire that will become "James for Senate '12."
First, observe his video for Texans for a Better America, a conservative advocacy group behind which James is a driving force:
A few observations:
1. Total number of livestock shots in this video: Five. (I'm picturing James at the final edits suggesting "I think we need more cows....")
2. That was cool that they were able to find the one offensive play the Patriots ran in Super Bowl XX that gained positive yardage. Total "needle in a haystack" situation.
3. I love that when the narrator mentions James's passion for "economic freedom and entrepreneurial spirit," the video showing is (appropriately) James playing in an SMU game. No enterprise showed more entrepreneurial spirit than the early '80s Mustangs, who were one of the top employers in the DFW area at that time. Granted, it was all clandestine, under-the-table, NCAA rule-smashing cash payments, but still...VERY enterprising
And if that video doesn't get the embers stoked, carve out six minutes to watch this interview that James did with WFAA in Dallas. In particular, pay attention to James's hope that we all embrace his "Real Street" perspective (which sounds ridiculous enough, and becomes even more ridiculous when you realize that the only black people in either of these two videos were Eric Dickerson, John Saunders and George Foreman).
Holy political buzzword fest, Batman!
I'm not here to tell you how to vote, it's up to you. But if you're a college football fan, you must have a clear understanding of what a vote for Craig James means -- forget about "Real Street," free enterprise and good ol' fashioned Texas gumption. Those things, while important, all pale in comparison to this: A vote for Craig James means he is no longer providing commentary on football!
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So join me as I shout from the rooftops -- VOTE CRAIG JAMES FOR SENATE IN 2012!!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.