Does Kerry Need A Hail Mary Pass Metaphor?


Poll numbers suggest he might, but he's tossing up wounded turkeys like Garo Yepremian in Super Bowl VII.

The Washington Post reports on John Kerry's recent pigskin gaffe up in the frozen tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Bay State Blowhard–who earlier this year committed the cardinal sin of apparently confusing Univ. of Michigan football with archrival Ohio State–called the Packers' storied stadium Lambert Field. The predictable result? A figurative blitz of GOP bullet passes to the contender's crotch, a la Burt Reynolds in The Longest Yard. To wit:

"I got some advice for him," Bush told Wisconsinites a few days after the Lambert gaffe. "If someone offers you a cheesehead, don't say you want some wine, just put it on your head and take a seat at Lambeau Field." Vice President Cheney made the obligatory pilgrimage to Green Bay last week to pile on. "I thought after John Kerry's visit here I'd visit Lambert Field," Cheney told a crowd at a Republican fundraising dinner Thursday night. Then he went in for the kill. "The next thing is he'll be convinced Vince Lombardi is a foreign leader."

The worst part of Kerry's gaffe? It's resurrected the hoary old tradition of discussing politics as sport, including this two-minute-warning rebuttal from a Kerry blocker (which does include a most excellent after-the-whistle cheap shot regarding Dubya's rah-rah days):

And David Wade, a Kerry spokesman, said Packers fans will see the failed "playbook" of the Republicans. "Any Packers fan knows . . . Bush has fumbled on Iraq, did a double reverse on the assault weapons ban and dropped the ball on health care." Then Wade went personal. "I don't think we need any lectures in sports from a former cheerleader," referring to one of Bush's activities while at prep school.

The Bush rejoinder almost writes itself: "While our opponent is windsurfing and pulling political flea-flickers, we're pulling a real-life Statue of Liberty play in a place called Iraq."

And the Kerry countersweep: "W stands for Wrong Way Reigels."

Hmm, maybe the football talk would make the debates worth watching…

Whole thing here. Lombardi–"a Kennedy Democrat," as the Post notes (but more important, the man of honor on a New Jersey Turnpike toilet–would love this. After all, he's the guy who famously said, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."

More Lombardi quotes here.

Info on Don DeLillo's excellent
70's novel, End Zone, which has fun with the nuclear-war-as-football-game metaphor and has aptly been described as "Dr. Strangelove Meets North Dallas Forty," here.