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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

John McCain and College Football

John McCain has not yet sounded better to me than he did in an interview with ESPN reporter Bob Ley for SportsCenter this past weekend.

First of all, McCain granted the sit-down at a NASCAR race at which he attended to pander for votes. He gets immediate kudos for doing that from the gear head in me.

However, in general I haven't hidden my dislike of John McCain and intention not to vote for him. In fact, in this very interview Bob Ley brought up one of my biggest problems with the Republican nominee:

Just 3 years ago, the well-known Las Vegas gambler Senator McCain introduced legislation that would make wagering on college football games illegal.

That's right. McCain is free to regularly drop $20,000 of his wife's money at the craps tables. He's free to attend all the big boxing matches in Vegas that are literally fueled by gambling. However, he wants all legal forms of betting on college football off-limits to averages Joes.

More political hypocrisy, IMHO.

College football is my passion. I enjoy wagering on it. In fact, I even relish merely following the odds, since I seldom put my own meager funds at stake because they are indeed so limited.

But in this interview, when questioned, John McCain adopted the same attitude he has taken on both illegal immigration and offshore drilling. He basically admitted he's heard the voice of the American people and that he was wrong. And now he intends to be on the right side of things.

I've been chided for doing just that so often myself. Call me a waffler, but I think that's pretty cool. McCain explained the issue well in the context of this below-the-radar issue of sports gambling. And unlike many, I never see a problem with admitting a mistake or adapting with the times and thus changing a position. I have done the same thing with the war in Iraq -- several times over!

Granting some historical exceptions, only a fool sticks his head in the sand and refuses to get out of the way of a rising tide. The smarter man joins the rising tide and hopes to lead it in the right direction.

The question is will the tide change McCain or does McCain hope to change the tide?

Prior to this interview, I thought the latter was most likely true. And for now, I think I still do. But this stupid little 5 minute segment made me wonder for the first time if it might the former.

Time will tell. Maybe Fox Sports or CBS Sports could host a presidential debate this year. Do we really need to keep seeing Jim Lehrer? Jill Arrington or Jillian Barberie sound look much better to me!

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