To look through the stories SPORTSbyBROOKS has written about Lou Holtz over the years is to jump down a rabbit hole into an abyss of utter insanity. In the past year alone, the Elmer Fudd of college football has conquered Japan, praised Adolf Hitler’s leadership skills, dressed up as a fake psychiatrist, and stuck up for a race-baiting Dixiecrat politician. Interesting career moves for anyone, let alone one of ESPN’s premier college football experts.
Perhaps sensing that the Worldwide Leader in Sports is not the ideal milieu for the unhinged rantings of an old, rich white man, serial job-hopper Holtz is reportedly considering an all-new career that fits his personality better: Republican Congressman from Florida.
The ORLANDO SENTINEL is reporting that Holtz has already met with Florida GOP brass to gauge his chances at winning the seat representing Florida’s 24th District, a job currently held by first-term Democrat Suzanne Kosmas. From the SENTINEL:
If he ran, Lou Holtz would join an already-crowded GOP primary field that includes two state legislators and a Winter Park city commissioner. Still, the prospect of Holtz getting in has Republicans buzzing about his fundraising ability and aura of celebrity.
“You put him in the ring and it’s all but over,” said John Dowless, an Orlando-based Republican consultant. “He’s on TV, he’s likable, the name ID is huge and people respect him enormously.”
It sounds like a slam dunk on paper, but Holtz’s mouth has gotten him into political trouble before (and not just for spitting on people). In 1983, he resigned under pressure from the University of Arkansas after supporting notorious xenophobe Sen. Jesse Helms (aside: it wasn’t just black people that Helms hated; he destroyed Zach Galifianakis’ uncle’s career, too). When he was subsequently hired as the head coach at the University of Minnesota, Holtz publicly stated, “I’ll assure you this, I will have nothing to do with politics.”
But this is Florida, and this is the U.S. House of Representatives, both of which are filled with insane weirdos from all over the politial spectrum - right, left, you name it: if they’re crazy, you can find them in both Florida and Congress. If a semi-retired 72-year-old man with no political experience to speak of somehow ended up as one of the 535 most important lawmakers in the world (or at least the country), would it really be that surprising? At the very least - would it really be any weirder than Stuart Smalley serving as the junior Senator from Minnesota?