Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

When every step you take, every word you say, is scrutinized under the white-hot glare of the media spotlight, it has to be tough to be one of the four key players in the presidential election. No one, I mean no one, has it tougher than Sarah Palin. The Alaska governor is simultaneously being second-guessed and skewered for anything she says or does.

Don't take this as a defense of Gov. Palin. Trust me, it's not. Any ridicule she's received, she's earned. That aside, I must admit I was impressed and entertained by her appearance on "Saturday Night Live." She showed a sense of humor, decent timing and moose-like thick skin during her two spots on the show.

Think about it for a second. She went on SNL, a program that's been merciless (and very funny) in its treatment of her. Not only did she stand there and watch her doppleganger, Tina Fey (and how great a word is doppleganger?), poke more fun at the Hockey Mom's patented Palinisms, she also stood next to Alec Baldwin!

Baldwin, who is at least No. 2 or 3 on the Republican Party's Arch-Enemies List, stood there and ripped Palin right in front of her (although he was pretending it was Fey)...and Palin took it like a champ.

I know considering the state of the McCain campaign that his running mate pretty much had to do this (just as McCain had to go with his tail between his legs to Letterman and beg forgiveness this week), but took Stones for Palin. While I certainly don't plan on changing who I vote for based on a candidate being a good sport, Palin did impress me by being able to have a sense of humor about everything.

I could have done with out the 'raise the roof' antics during her appearance on Weekend Update, but she did show a little rhythm, boppin' side-to-side with Seth Myers during Amy Poehler's hilarious Palin rap.

While it may be too little, too late to help the Republicans stay in the White House, at least Palin's proven that McCain's VP mate has a better sense of humor than Dubya's ever did.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It Just Occurred to Me...

As I sit here watching the Patriots stink it up against the Chargers on Sunday Night Football, a few things came to mind.

Has anyone else noticed that with the crumbling economy turning our lives upside down and depleting much of our savings, the watercooler talk around the office always begins now the same way: 'So, guy in cubicle #4, how much has your 401K dropped? Only 70%, Office Corner Dude. So much for my retiring at 62. Guess i'll be the afternoon barista at my local Starbucks until i'm unable to stand for more than 45 minutes without wetting my pants. But, it could be worse.'

Ah, the resilient American spirit.

But just like during the Recession of the 70s and going all the way back to the Great Depression, at least we still have that wonderful weekend distraction known as football. Be it college or pro, the gridiron clashes are a perfect way to take your mind off the fact that your retirement plans have been torpedoed by the Mr. Potter-like greed of Wall Street.

Did you catch that Texas-Oklahoma game Saturday? Unbelievable. Whenever you want to convince a nonbeliever why college football is unlike any other sport, they should pull up that game on TIVO. It had everything: big matchup (#1 vs. #5), tradition (Red River Rivalry baby!), huge plays, great individual efforts and a game that was close until the end.

The entire afternoon was full of upsets and wild finishes that serve as a reminder why the college game is the best brand of football. I love the NFL but that's a corporate game. It doesn't have the fire that a game between in-state college rivals has. Don't believe me? Ask any of the Texas-Oklahoma fans at the Cotton Bowl Saturday what's louder: The Red River matchup or a Cowboys game.

Speaking of the NFL, if you don't like Kurt Warner, then you don't like football, PERIOD. Guy went from bagging groceries to NFL MVP to washed-up backup. Now he's returned to prominence and he has the Arizona Cardinals looking like a playoff team in the weak NFC West. I can't believe they beat my Cowboys today, but if they're going to lose, at least it was to Warner. The guy is one of the league's shining examples.

On a side note, my fantasy football team is in the tank because Matt Cassel is not even a poor man's Tom Brady and can't get the ball to Randy Moss.

One other football note: Another reason I like college football more than the NFL is that it's easier to pick college games against the spread. If you like to bet on game -- and really, who doesn't? -- putting money on the NFL is downright foolish. It's impossible to accurately and consistently pick winners in a league that encourages and thrives on parity.

Look at this weekend alone. At least half the favorites lost. Monday night has the Giants on the road against Cleveland. The defending champs are favored by 9. Smells like a trap.

I promise I won't spend this much time talking football -- at least not often. But Saturdays & Sundays, please indulge me.

Who actually thought Faith Hill was the perfect choice to sing the theme song for SNF? Does she scream 'football theme song singer' to anyone?