NFL Playoffs Create Political Conumdrum for Gov. Ed Rendell (or a Thinly Veiled Excuse to Write About the Eagles)
You can say a lot of things about Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (that he's a big mouth, for one), but you've got to admit that he's loyal.
During the Democratic primaries, he remained a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton even after math and reality conspired to make her bid all but hopeless. But then, when the nomination was officially decided, he stood with his party and supported Barack Obama.
Now, Rendell — former mayor of Philadelphia — is in a similar predicament: Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers stand poised to reach the Super Bowl. Which is fine if only one of them wins their conference championship. However…
But if both of them win and advance to the Super Bowl, he will not pretend to be neutral. After all, he has been an Eagles season-ticket holder for more than 30 years and even has a postgame television show. People in Philadelphia still call him Mayor.
"I'm not going to change," he said in a telephone interview Monday. "I told the people of Pittsburgh this when I was running for re-election. If they had a longtime Pittsburgh mayor and the Steelers were in the Super Bowl and he said he was rooting for anyone other than the Steelers, they would skin him alive.
"I have to be loyal. If it costs me some political points, that’s life."
Truth be told, this story is of very minor political import. But I've been glowing ever since the Eagles handed the Giants their asses in Sunday's playoff game and looking for any excuse I could to gloat about here on the blog.
When it comes to politics, I mildly capable of exercising some small amount of "journalistic" objectivity. (Granted, a very small amount.) But objectivity can go fuck itself sideways when it comes to football.
I'm thrilled that the Eagles — after a less than inspiring couple of seasons — are a single win away from the Super Bowl. And the fact that they had to climb over the backs of the Cowboys and then the Giants to get there makes it all the better. (NFC East hatreds die hard.*)
While we're on the subject of "hating on", here's something I didn't know about Gov. Rendell…
For most governors, that would be reason to host a news conference and smile a lot. But Rendell is hardly your average governor when it comes to sports. This is a man who — legend has it — sparked the snowball-throwing frenzy in a playoff game against Dallas in 1989.
That settles it. I'm starting a campaign to get Rendell on the ticket in 2016.
We need a president who's appropriately hard on Cowboys.
* I would probably hate the Redskins, too, if there was any reason to even consider them.
Tags: Ed Rendell, Football, Pennsylvania, Sports