A rundown of the sports-related folks running for office this exciting evening. As I write this it looks like the Democrats will take both Houses of Congress, and a ton of Governor's Mansion's as well.
So, how did our famous sportsfolks fare? Let's look!
George Allen, Jr., running for Senate in Virginia. He's possibly the most indirectly related to sports, despite the fact he uses more cliched football metaphors than his father use (legendary coach of the Washington Redskins used). He's also the man whose fate is the most in question as of 2:15 AM EST. His opponent has claimed victory, and if there are really 30,000 uncounted ballots in Fairfax County, his opponent, Jim Webb, was right to do so.
In his favor: He wasn't trading on his father's reputation to win this election, despite the constant football cliches and physical football. He used his father's name to get into Virginia politics more than a decade ago. He's been running as his own man ever sense. For example, his dad would have never called an Indian-American "Macaca".
Against him: Having former teammates come out and accuse you of having stuffed dead animal heads in African-American mailboxes may have been a huge help in Virginia in 1970, but not so much now. Also, when a reporter finds out you have Jewish heritage, you should not respond as if you've been slapped in the face with a waffle iron shaped like Hitler.
Projection: His name is George Allen, but he's going to remind Redskin fans of other coaches, like Norv Turner, Joe Bugel, and Steve Spurrier.
Lynn Swann, running for Governor of Pennsylvania, as a Republican. The most famous double "nn" named person in Pennsylvania since Williann Penn. Got his dog walked by incumbent Democrat Ed Rendell, despite the fact that Rendell is a bit sleazy.
In his favor: He made those spectacular catches! But statistically, doesn't belong in Canton. Rumor has it Art Monk was working ferociously to deny him this office. (that may be from a dream I had)
Against Him: Wealthy White Republicans love voting for black men who got rich through sport. White guys working in unions also love voting for millionaires. Poor black people love voting for Black Republicans (see the Reconstruction). Racist white men, who vote Republican love having a Black guy as their chosen candidate. What could go wrong?
Projection: Look for him to get a lot of ribbing when he's on the sideline for the 2007 tilt between OSU and Michigan!
Heath Shuler, running for Congress from North Carolina. After George Allen, the least athletic athlete on our list. Great college QB. Wasted draft pick by the Redskins. We hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Chargers fans: how much would you hate Ryan Leaf, if San Diego hadn't had Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers? That kind of hate. (Seriously, since they drafted Heath Schuler, name a good Redskins QB--we dare you)
For Him: Worked the crowd based on his centrist politics: against the war, against abortion, for gun rights and enviromentalist (the new Democrat should combine those two) and is still kind of charismatic, in a puffy way, like Matthew Perry. Also, he ran in North Carolina, where he was successful as a QB, as opposed to Northern Virginia, or DC, or Landover, MD, where they would have run him out on a rail.
Against Him: He's Heath Shuler.
Projection: He will sit in meetings to determine Democratic strategy, but when it comes his turn to vote, he will throw an interception right at Phillippi Sparks, resulting in the bill's defeat.
Jim Ryun, incumbent Republican congressman the 2nd District of Kansas. Famed miler--the first high-schooler in American to run a sub 4 minute mile. Got screwed at many olympics, but always looked good getting screwed. Incumbent Republican in Kansas with a Famous Name! Impossible to beat!
For him: Everything I said above. He's considered a good guy by his comrades in Congress, too.
against him: Just like the Olympics. He got screwed. Bush stepped on his Calf. Much as he struggled in the low oxygen air of Mexico City in 1968, he struggled in the low smarts atmosphere of the Republican Party in 2000-06. He supported the war, he got worked. Hard. Hard like Prefontaine got worked before he decided that it didn't matter if people told him he was too small, Pre, not fast enough, Pre! I have to win! Jim Ryun didn't feel that competitive burn when people tell him he's going to lose like PreFontaine did.
Projection: If all the Republicans in congress had to run home, instead of fly, I'll put money on Ryun to get home first, even if he gave half those fat bastards a two day headstart. Imagine for a money Denny Hastert running home. Just for a second. did you get a little sick in your throat? It's OK. So did Denny.