As everyone knows, the base of the Republican Party is composed of small-town, God-fearin’, NASCAR-loving, regular ol’ folks with good ol’ fashioned values. They’re the owners of a mom and pop store, with 14 grandchildren across the street, white picket fences on the front lawn, and a crucifix hanging over their beds next to their American flag. And if there’s one thing they enjoy more than anything, it’s football. That’s why it was a shocker that the Republican Party decided to schedule John McCain’s acceptance speech during tonight’s NFL opener.
While you might think this is just another botched Katrina-like debacle by the GOP, it might actually turn into a Karl Rove-ian stroke of evil genius. If the Redskins-Giants game ends early, McCain could actually snag more viewers than expected.
The game is scheduled to kick off on NBC at 7:07 p.m. Eastern time, which could put it directly in the path of the convention’s paramount moment, Sen. John McCain’s speech accepting the party’s nomination. McCain’s address is scheduled during the broadcast networks’ one-hour convention-coverage window between 10 and 11 p.m.
NBC says it expects the game to wrap up within three hours, as both NBC and the NFL say such telecasts typically do. But that’s far from guaranteed. An overtime game, or one extended by an unusual number of disputed calls or injuries, could send the contest past its allotted time. That raises the possibility that the game could conflict with McCain’s speech, or that McCain will have to wait until later in the evening — potentially losing early-retiring viewers.
On the other hand, a quick conclusion to the matchup between the reigning Super Bowl champion Giants and their traditional conference rival could be a boon. The game could deliver millions of football fans who would otherwise not be in front of the set when NBC’s convention coverage starts.
It’s a risky gamble either way, so our suggestion to Senator McCain is to hedge his bet a little. Before the game, come on to the podium and start the speech with the line “My fellow Americans, in this election you have many choices of many great candidates, but the most important decision you’re going to make tonight is, are you ready for some football?”
And if he sings the line with the gusto of Hank Williams Jr., he might even win our votes.