Unnecessary Pandering, Trash-Talk; Welcome To The Politics Of College Football

Tim ParentSenior Writer ISeptember 20, 2008

Ohio is an interesting state, politically.

I've never been there but when it comes to a presidential campaign, it seems to hold all the power.  This election season is no different. 

Politicos say John McCain and Barack Obama need to win Ohio in order to become the next president of the United States. As you can imagine, both are campaigning hard in the Buckeye State.

McCain, in an attempt to sway voters, recently made a purchase of some Ohio State Buckeye swag.  I'm not sure if he actually wore the gear he bought but, in front of the cameras, he made sure Ohio voters watched him shell out the dough for the apparel.

This is typical of a politician and no one should really be upset that McCain is pandering.  It's what politicians do.

Only, in the US, college football is second only to Jesus.  In some circles, Jesus even takes a back seat to the Saturday pigskin matches.

So, with the cameras rolling and McCain smiling and Buckeye fans applauding, McCain forgot about Michigan.

I don't know if Michigan holds as much power as Ohio when it comes to the presidency but Michigan does have some pretty rabid college football fans, too.  When your team is the Wolverines, rabid seems an appropriate description.

Anyway, Wolverine fans are now calling McCain the "Panderer-in-Chief" and a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party has said McCain won't be "hailing any victors on Election Day if he thinks Michigan fans will let this recent pander slide".

Yikes!  Score one for the democrats, right?

Let me introduce you to Joe Biden.

He's Obama's running mate.  The other vice-presidential candidate in case you'd thought Sarah Palin was the only who applied for the job.

For some reason, while speaking at the University of Delaware and it's Fightin' Blue Hens fans, Biden allegedly said that he told people in Ohio, the Hens' would "kick Ohio's ass".

Three things here: 

One, Biden is a Delaware alum.  As a fan, you can understand why he would say this.

Two, he's wrong if he thinks Ohio wouldn't eat his Hens with a side salad.

Three, he shouldn't have said it.

The comments came at a time when Buckeye fans were still reeling from a severe beating at the hands of USC last weekend.  The last thing they want to hear is that a team called the Fightin' Blue Hens could beat them.

Also, Obama needs Ohio. In the race for the White House, you don't really need Delaware.

And as quickly as the Michigan democrats jumped on McCain, the Michigan GOP was all over Biden. 

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these. Keep talking, Joe." said spokesperson David Wade.


In the grand scheme of things, it's unlikely college football fans in Ohio are going to swing the vote one way or another.  I'm sure, like many Americans, Ohioans are just trying to weather the economic storm blowing through the US.

Still, what the politicians must learn from this, Saturday is just as important a day as Sunday for some voters. 

There's a saying I heard once that said, if you want to keep your friends, never discuss politics or religion.

Politicians, by nature, must discuss both.  Perhaps, then, they shouldn't talk sports until after they're elected.