Trudeau ’09: Super … What?

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Friday, February 1, 2008

It’s February 2008, which means for the better part of a year, people have been looking forward to one upcoming event. It makes for perhaps the best reality television possible, captivates our imagination and forces millions to root for someone they hadn’t been rooting for all season long. We pass time by watching analysts debate who will win. Of course, I’m talking about the Super-bbbbbuuuh, TUESDAY!

Yes, this Tuesday will likely set the stage for the fall’s national election. With sports metaphors being thrown around in politics these days- Hail Mary Pass, home runs and every candidate’s favorite: comeback kid – how can we not help but compare our nation’s leaders to sports teams?

John McCain? More like the Boston Red Sox. Both earned sympathy and respect for enduring years of torture – one more literally than the other. McCain was a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years in Vietnam, while the Sox were prisoners of sucking for 86 seasons, thanks in part to terrible management, divine punishment for having obnoxious fans and being the last team in baseball to integrate talented minority players.

Both were left for dead in recent years. McCain, who may have already passed the life expectancy for those born in 1936, seemed finished as a presidential candidate after Americans decided they’d rather have a beer with George W. Bush in 2000. Meanwhile, the Red Sox staged one of the greatest comebacks ever in 2004 against the Yankees, when they did something … improbable. Years later, they have re-emerged as powerhouses, with potential firepower that scares the crap out of both baseball teams and Americans – again, one more literally than the other.

Barack Obama reminds me of the New Orleans Hornets. The Western Conference’s improbable team, meet the Leftern Conference’s improbable candidate. Obama became a political rock star back in 2004 after delivering the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. The seeds for New Orleans’ unlikely rise were also planted in 2004, when an 18-64 campaign led to the draft pick of Chris Paul. Many people imagined Obama becoming a legitimate presidential candidate – just not in 2008. Likewise, Paul would make the Hornets contenders someday. But then Iowa happened and the pundits at MSNBC called Obama the Democratic front-runner. Meanwhile, after blowing out the Spurs 102-78 for their eighth straight win Jan. 26, the pundits at ESPN were discussing the Hornets as the league’s top team.

Hillary Clinton sounds a lot like the New York Mets. The nation all but assumed Clinton would be the Democratic nominee last summer, just like everyone assumed the Mets would win the NL East, except for maybe Jimmy Rollins. When last summer ended, even Rollins must have assumed a Clinton/Mets victory. Double-digit leads in the polls for Clinton, a seven-game lead with 17 games left for the Mets. But then Clinton was blind-sided by Obamamania in Iowa, while the Metropolitans got Chase (Utley’d) out of the playoffs. They choked. Clintons and Mets shed tears, and just when everyone was ready to leave them both for dead, Hillary came back with a left hook in New Hampshire, and the Mets traded four prospects/projects for the game’s best pitcher, Johan Santana.

Tom Trudeau ’09 anticipates that much of his original draft will be cut.

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