Thursday, 22 September 2016 10:57
National Crises: Saints vs. Dirty Birds Falcons or Trump vs. Clinton debate
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dirty birdsEvery now and then, we all face a “Sophie’s Choice” moment, where we have to pick what to accept and what to give up.  Folks down in the Bayou State soon will have to confront a real dilemma.  It’s a decision that will cause upheaval in many families all over Louisiana.  Politics or football?

You see, the first two presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take place on a Monday night.  And that’s in direct conflict with Monday Night football.  This poses a particularly difficult problem for die-hard New Orleans Saints fans all over Louisiana. At the exact time that the Saints take on their arch-rival Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome, Clinton and Trump will be butting heads on rival TV networks.  What’s a Saints fan to do?

Sure, the presidential debates are important, but we are talking here about what, in Trump’s words, is something “HUGE” for Saints diehards, of whom there are many all over Louisiana.  The streets of New Orleans and many other Bayou gathering points will be filled with fans dressed in black and gold.  Who Dat will reverberate in offices throughout game day.  How could they schedule a presidential debate at a time when the Saints are to be highlighted across America?

Some one third of Americans will opt for football. The numbers will no doubt be higher in Louisiana with the home team in the mix.  And viewers face some tough questions. Which event do you DVR? If you are betting on the game, you will go nuts if you don’t watch it live. Do you tailgate or cook up a gumbo for a debate? And here’s a good question. What goes better with wings: football or politics?

Some voters are wondering how someone could even be concerned about such a choice.  Isn’t deciding on the leader of the free world more important than a Saints game?  To fully understand, an outsider has to discover that down in the Bayou State, weddings, funerals, and even births are scheduled around the Who Dat Nation’s game day schedule.

So is there a compromise to keep from having to make a choice? Yes, and it’s a good one. Remember now that there is a great deal of just waiting around in the average football game. Sportsgrid and other athletic publications estimate that there are only eleven actual minutes of playing time in a three and a half hour football game.  The rest of the time is spent on replays, huddles, time outs, commercials and half time breaks. So with so much free time, some are suggesting we combine the game and the debates.

I like this idea.  The officials stand around for long periods of time reviewing instant replays.  Flash to Clinton and Trump on the sidelines for their views on healthcare.  Timeouts allow for the candidates to give us a one-minute response and free trade.  At half time, Trump and Clinton could talk briefly about the economy, then critique the first two quarters of the game.

Am I being irreverent here about the importance of the coming election?  Actually I’m probably right on the money considering the degradation of how both candidates have been running their campaigns. TV ratings would be HUGE, and it would be a win-win for all viewers.  So don’t belittle me for the suggestion.

As the Wall Street Journal wrote this week: “Don’t act above it all.  Don’t act like you wouldn’t watch. Politicians come and go, but football is football.”

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at


Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.  

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