Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shut up, I'm trying to watch the game

I never thought I'd be taking up for John McCain, especially while simultaneously scolding my beloved Rachel Maddow, but here goes:

There are pretty much three types of people at Super Bowl parties. (1) Some have no interest whatsoever in the game, but they like nachos and socializing. Some people (2) like those things as well, have a passing interest in the game, and are good at multi-tasking. The other kind of Super Bowl viewer is (3) someone who loves football and is really, really interested in the game. This kind of person often can't stand to have a bunch of commotion going on while he or she is watching the action and also trying to hear the announcers when a play is in dispute or other vital information is needed. We suspect Rachel is in none of the above categories, particularly the latter. However, the Madame and I are entrenched in category 3, as is, we suspect, John McCain. That's why we disagree with her assertion that McCain is snubbing Obama—and commiting a severe breach of etiquette—by declining the invitation to attend the White House's bipartisan Super Bowl party. Instead, he will watch the game at one of his six or seven houses.

If John McCain fell into either category 1 or 2, then I do think it would be in bad form not to attend Obama's shindig. But these are exceptional circumstances. John McCain is from Arizona. The Arizona Cardinals are from Arizona. The team was founded in 1898, back when McCain was just a teenager. The Cardinals have never won a Super Bowl (though they won the pre-Super-Bowl-era equivalent of it in 1947). So he has a more-than-passing interest in this game. He's a category 3, for sure.

Barack Obama (and Joe Biden) have been loud and clear about their support of the Steelers. By all accounts, the Steelers will win the game. Can you imagine what might happen if John McCain had to endure another in-your-face smackdown moment with Obama? The man is old and fragile, Rachel. Cut him some slack.

*Photo of Steelers running back Fast-Willie Parker, who hails from the Madame's childhood home.

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