When pro athletes turn to politics

It’s kind of interesting to see what happens when professional athletes join the realm of electoral politics.

NFL player John Runyan confirmed Tuesday night that he will challenge freshman Rep. John Adler (D) in New Jersey’s 3rd district.

Runyan, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, also announced that he had signed on to play the rest of the season with the San Diego Chargers and will then jump into the campaign.

This defrays a curious test case.  I really wish the man were playing for the New York Jets or, better still in looking at the standings, the Giants.  What I would be rooting for in that case is for Runyan to blow an important game.  Picture this: last game of the season.  Win and you are the Division Champions.  The Giants are up by three, and driving near the end of the game.

… Wait.  He’s an offensive lineman?  Damnedit, that makes identifying him as the culprit for a play gone awry a little trickier than if he were the man to have dropped a fumble.

But the test is there: would be a test case in whether the good people of New Jersey’s third congressional district could elect the Goat of their team.

In Oregon, the sort of stand-in Republican Gubernatorial front runner by default is former NBA journey-man Chris Dudley.  This is making the assumption that Bill Sizemore can’t quite pull off an evocation of Eugene Debs circa 1920.  Chris Dudley made an NBA commercial of historic happenings in the Association.  He’s a man who “Amazing” Happened to.  This is all good and well, except that nobody can quite gather up what he’s running on, and so we’re stuck back to his NBA record highlighted by that commercial and by historically bad free throw shooting.

But he’ll get a platform together in time for a run, I presume.

Thinking about Dudley in that commercial brings me back to a thought I’ve always had: Did Craig Ehlo earn a mint of royalties over the 1990s for appearing in Jordan posters?  Can that be a good way of earning a living — appearing underneath NBA superstars dunking the ball?  (Kind of like making fun of a one hit or two hit wonder of an earlier era, and finding out that they make millions touring the County Fair Circuit.)

When Runyan gets elected, with a Republican majority, we’ll find out if Speaker Boehner gives him the treatment Pelosi gives former college great and pro not great Heath Shuler.

She even donned an oversize football jersey with “Mean Machine 1″ on the front last month and stood in the rain, cheering at a charity football game between members of Congress and Capitol police. Her sights were set on Redskins quarterback turned North Carolina congressman Heath Shuler, an undecided Democrat.

She had to leave Left Coast behind; To build a majority on healthcare legislation, Pelosi yielded on liberal touchstones including abortion.
Faye Fiore; Richard SimonLos Angeles Times

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