By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico
A few years ago, I did a few pieces on how different a planet could be if I controlled the rules — a planet Kevin, based on the “Planet Charlie” standup routine of Charlie Viracola. Consider these rules of Planet Kevin, with explanations. More to come in the next few months:
• On Planet Kevin, teams realize the other team might get the ball. Two years ago, the San Francisco 49ers attempted a field goal, hoping to chip into a Chicago Bears lead. The kick was short, and the 49ers figured that was that. Except Nathan Vasher of the Bears caught the kick in the end zone and ran it back an NFL record 108 yards for the touchdown.
One year ago, the New York Giants were hosting the Bears. A long field goal attempt by the Giants was short, and the Giants figured that was that. Except Devin Hester caught the kick in the end zone and ran it back 108 yards for a touchdown.
Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings lined up for a long field goal going into halftime against the San Diego Chargers. The kick was short, and the Vikings figured that was that. Expect San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie caught it in the end zone and returned it 109 yards for a touchdown.
If this sounds repetitive to you, apply to coach an NFL team. The return record has been tied or broken in three consecutive seasons, so it’s no longer unimaginable. Also, it’s a 10-point swing — three points you don’t get, seven points your opponent does. The team that got the touchdown won two of the three games (Minnesota won theirs, but they needed Adrian Peterson to break the single-game rushing record to do it). Planet Kevin coaches know better.
• On Planet Kevin, presidential elections will be covered under the assumption somebody will become our president, and the coverage reflects the seriousness that assumption deserves. I recently had a conversation with a friend about comedian Stephen Colbert, and his attempt to appear on the primary ballots in South Carolina.
The friend asked why South Carolina Democrats kept Colbert off their ballot. I responded, “Because they’re actually trying to get somebody elected as president.” Colbert’s show is hilarious, but the thought of him protecting us from terrorists isn’t.
The coverage of Colbert’s “campaign” showed a news media eager to chase fluff entertainment when they could and should inform.
Serious news organizations have dedicated air time and front page coverage to candidates’ middle names, haircuts, makeup, restaurant tipping percentages, wives’ ages, World Series rooting interests and views on cardigan sweaters. When candidates are presented this way, will voters make intelligent choices in primaries and the general election?
It’s OK to throw out some trivia, but the word “trivia” is derived from “trivial.” This coverage has not been minimized (or even equaled) by serious discussions of policies and approaches to our challenges. If viewers contend it’s too early to discuss serious business like that, then Planet Kevin media don’t cover these campaigns, period.