Election Day presents its own unique series of challenges. Keeping your party in the majority. Fighting for serious issues. Realizing you need to go vote while stoned and eating handfuls of peanut butter at 10:30 at night. Further realizing that the polls have been closed for hours and your American-itude was under serious question.
But fortunately, the day is over, and we can do nothing but look back on the popular Philadelphia sports figures who have recently achieved or humiliated themselves in a public office. Also some other things I managed to weave into that theme.
Ex-Eagle and current enormous human man Jon Runyan celebrated Election Day the old fashioned way: by getting elected. The people of New Jersey are now proud constituents of a brand new offensive tackle/state representative, which makes for some of the coolest business cards ever customized.
Runyan snatched the seat back for the Republicans who had held onto it for years before recently defeated Democrat John Adler took office. During the race, Runyan accused Adler of planting a phony Tea Party candidate during the race in order to drain votes away from the GOP. Adler denied this, but even if he was cheating, he clearly wasn’t doing it correctly enough to win.
As per the nation’s “Just One Former Philly Athlete in Office at a Time, Please” law, as Runyan enters his office, former Phillies starting pitcher Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) is being forced out by Rand Paul. Bunning has his Phillies fame to fall back on, however, as his number is retired by the club saluting his service from 1964-67. During his tenure, he at different points led the league in starts, innings pitched, strikeouts, shut outs, and hitting men with baseballs; all the while, his ERA never flirted with anything over 2.63.
He is also crazy, spending his time in office giving reporters the finger, swearing he would never leave, not really caring about legislation (unless it had to do with baseball), and being selected by one of the five worst U.S. senators by TIME Magazine.
Congrats, Jon Runyan. The bar’s pretty low, even a 330 lbs. behemoth should be able to step over it.
Sure, Christine O’Donnell lost, but the main Election Day shocker was the president of the Union stepping down. The Philadelphia Union, that is! Ha-ha! Ha. This is my A material.
Figurehead team president Tom Veit is peacing out, his plans to solidify the Union on the Philadelphia sports scene complete. The team had the fourth highest crowd average in Major League Soccer (19,000+), and because Veit is an accountant who doesn’t really know a ton about soccer, he is stepping aside to “consult” from his soccer-free home in Tampa, FL.
This was merely a few days after the Union scissor-kicked their leadership with the addition of Dave Rowan as a executive VP and chief revenue etc. Rowan held similar positions with the Phils and Birds, and also the Jacksonville Jaguars for some reason. But this is a surprise to no one, especially Veit, whose purpose was to be more of a guardian financial angel to Philadelphia soccer in its infancy.
A fanbase established, Veit winks at the camera, reminds us what happens every time a bell rings, and disappears; just before a drunk five-year-old chucks a glass bottle at his head. Welcome to the Philly sports scene, the Union.
A much more jarring voting decision has left Flyers leading scorer Danny Briere aghast. With eight goals in the last 11 games, Briere’s value to the team and usually-furious head coach Peter LaViolette couldn’t be higher. When he raised his stick too high in the air before doing something terrible to the Islanders’ Franz Nielsen, the NHL decided that he’d raised it high enough to fit in a three-game suspension.
Briere swears he was just protecting himself, and the video shows that Nielsen probably wanted the call bad enough to fake it, and that the score was 6-1 Flyers, and that come on that’s a little bit of overkill don’t you think, NHL officials?
Well, who cares. The Flyers spent the first third of Briere’s suspension beating Carolina 3-2, thanks to Scott Hartnell’s deuce and the fact that nobody raised their sticks high enough to get slapped by the powers that be. The final games are against the Rangers and holy shit, the Islanders. That’s a pretty huge coincidence. If Briere was playing, I’ll bet he’d fetch some sort of revenge scheme because the Islanders are the very team against which his suspension was conceived. Man. So close.
Hopefully, you actually went out and voted so that stupendous politicians like Jim Bunning can be elected in the first place. Its pretty obvious Philadelphia knows how to pull the lever; or at least, click the mouse while stewing in our own bitter seepage of baseball playoffs disappointment.
So if you were too distracted by the tempting, sexy allure of such television abominations like Sports Nation (the provider of the above graph) to get out and vote, at least you submitted your personal thoughts and knowledge of the democratic process to the usefulness of ESPN’s midday space filler, whose largest demographic is sleeping cats and people home with the flu.
But the job of those people on Election Day who aren’t terrified to leave their homes is to get out and “rock the vote,” as the sexy teenagers are saying. It is now 2 am, and the polls have been closed for… some time. If everyone did their duty, they should have nothing to worry about. Sadly, we live in a two party system, so no matter what happens, one group is going to be whiny and pissed. At least we know one thing for certain: Jim Bunning’s reign of senile terror is over.