It had all come down to this.
Two bitter rivals squared off, with an embattled home team vulnerable to defeat after numerous losses and taking shots from opponents squarely on the chin. The visitor appeared primed to win, ever looking the part as if Hollywood created the perfect sculpture.
The visiting opponent rode a wave of momentum and even the fans of the home team were weary of an impending defeat. Lump after lump to the home team came until a series of fortunate events arrived – and changed the stakes for good.
The home team got its mojo back and scored a touchdown. The visiting team fumbled the ball. The home team instantly returned the giant mistake for a touchdown, winning well beyond the margin of victory expected.
The visiting team in its attempt to get back in the game blew coverage and fumbled a kickoff. The visitor even tried to change strategy only to lose. Why? The visitor never saw what was coming and was blindsided by a superior team and fumbled efforts to get back into the game in the end.
Well, there was a moment the visitor saw what was coming, but everyone who would tune in was glued to a fiasco which overshadowed the contest.
The year was 1968.The visiting team was the New York Jets. The home team was the Oakland Raiders. The fiasco was Heidi, interrupting an entertaining contest to the fury of football fans against the National Football League. Or was it?
- The Raiders recovered a fumble for a touchdown to secure a victory against the Jets...but no one saw it. (NFL Films)
The year is 2012. The visiting team is Mitt Romney. The home team is President Barack Obama. The fiasco was Monday Night Football’s replacement referees making the wrong call to cost the Green Bay Packers a game against the Seattle Seahawks igniting fury against the National Football League.
After a long series of tough weeks for the Mitt Romney campaign, including an overseas trip gone wrong, the Todd Akin “legitimate rape” controversy, a dull GOP Convention where Clint Eastwood arguing with an invisible chair received more attention than Romney’s speech, mistimed remarks over Libya, campaign infighting, and discovery of footage of a private fundraiser where Romney criticized 47% of the American population, Romney seemed to become an inevitable vanquished foe.
The very week Romney decided to go to battleground states like Ohio to retool his message and prove he cares about middle class citizens and possibly display a more positive message, his campaign now has a wasted week because the entire news cycle has been dominated by coverage over the NFL Referee Lockout in the NFL.
Next week the news cycle turns to the first presidential debate between Romney and Obama on October 3. Any chance the Romney campaign had to help define Romney to the American public before then has eroded.
Although Romney only has himself and a couple of elephants to blame, I’m sure he’s tossing some blame around to a few zebras as well.
Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney, media personality, syndicated writer, Fortune 500 speaker and peak performance strategist, author, philanthropist, and sports business and law blogger for ChicagoNow. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.
(c) 2012, Exavier Pope
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