Monday, July 19, 2010

19 JUL 10: Winners and Wanna-Bes

There are two big local topics on this Monday. Both involve battles for supremacy, and making proper attacks at the right places and times. But I'd better stop the comparisons there - because you might conclude I like some of those political commercials.

Congratulations to the Columbus Lions, on winning the Southern Indoor Football League championship Sunday night! At last there's a team of mostly out-of-town athletes that everyone in our city can support.

The Columbus Lions devoured the Louisiana Swashbucklers 68-13 to capture the S.I.F.L. title. Columbus clearly had the swash, while the opponents buckled.

The Lions' stars played like stars in the title tilt. Quarterback Chris McCoy threw for five touchdowns - then was rested in the fourth quarter, so he could make calls arranging for a "championship gear" kiosk to open at Peachtree Mall today.

Damien Daniels lived up to our "D theme" of the weekend at the Civic Center, by intercepting two Louisiana passes. He was a denying defender - and may get a diamond ring to wear with denim at his day job.

The Columbus Lions championship ends years of waiting for Jason Gibson. His tenure as a head coach in Columbus goes back to the Chattahoochee Valley Vipers, which preceded the Lions in 2006. Our area simply wasn't big enough for two sets of snakes....

On top of that, Jason Gibson has coached the Columbus Lions in three different indoor football leagues. First there was the World League, then the American League - and now he's won a championship in the Southern League. Another loss, and Gibson might have been forced to settle for a state title over Macon and Albany.

A couple of things about Sunday night's title game admittedly annoyed me. For some reason, WXTX "News at Ten" never mentioned it. Columbus wins a football championship, and viewers instead get to hear off-key "American Idol" contestants in Nashville....

The larger annoyance involved radio coverage of the S.I.F.L. finals. I had other projects to work on, which kept me from attending. Yet the Columbus Lions were completely absent from local stations. Columbus High School baseball games can get on the air, with only a few days' notice. Were the local radio groups afraid of competing against "60 Minutes?"

Thankfully the S.I.F.L. provided a live Twitter feed of the championship game. Well, it did until the middle of the fourth quarter. The writer apparently decided at that point to leave the Columbus Civic Center, in case fans started burning cars in the parking lot.

(There also were regular online updates from State Senate candidate Josh McKoon - and amazingly, he did NOT mix the score with appeals to vote for him in November.)

But late Sunday night brought perhaps the saddest news of all. I'm told only 2,007 fans attended the S.I.F.L. title game at the Civic Center. I know 2007 was the Columbus Lions' first season, but I don't think that's a good excuse for this....

I drove by the Civic Center at 3:45 Sunday afternoon, about two hours before kickoff - and only five cars were parked outside the main door. Who could have guessed it can be too hot to tailgate before a football game?

The attendance of 2,007 for an indoor football championship game again will raise complaints that Columbus is a dreadful sports town. Maybe next time, the Lions can arrange for Carver and Spencer High Schools to play a scrimmage at halftime.

-> Unusual things happened to us at last Thursday night's poker tournament. Read about them at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG UPDATE: Now to that other fight for victory - as we've reached the eve of the Georgia Primary. Several candidates will make last-minute trips to Columbus today. Republicans especially need to do it - because they seem to be too stingy to spend money on campaign commercials here.

As we've done in years past, we offer this "political pop quiz" to see if you're ready to vote in the Georgia primary. Ready or not, here we go....

1. Name the Columbus man who is running for state Insurance Commissioner. Explain why he didn't train for the campaign by working at Aflac.

2. Which candidate for Governor has stunned long-time political watchers during primary season - because he actually spoke for himself, without having county sheriffs talk for him?

3. Who are the Republicans seeking to challenge Rep. Sanford Bishop? Why have none of them attempted to track down Dylan Glenn for an endorsement?

4. Which candidate dared to bring up the Kenneth Walker case in a campaign commercial? Why hasn't someone told him that approach didn't work for Sheriff Ralph Johnson two years ago?

5. Which candidates have the backing of the Columbus Tea Party? How much tea must a candidate drink to qualify for an endorsement?

6. Why are the Libertarian candidates unopposed in the Georgia Primary? Does the reason reflect how few members the party has?

7. Who is the woman running for Georgia Governor? Why isn't she playing music from the "Messiah" everywhere she goes?

8. Name the Democrats campaigning for Lieutenant Governor. Explain why people should care about who wins that office.

9. Which Republican candidate likes to refer to himself as an "Ox?" Why is he running for Governor, and not Agriculture Commissioner?

10. Name the two Democrats running for Seth Harp's State Senate seat. Then name which one has a thicker dossier in Republican Josh McKoon's office.

11. How many state representatives and state senators in this area have opposition? Which flavor of doughnut is best for illustrating this?

12. Which candidate for Governor is tired of the "rest of the nation.... laughing at us?" Should I hire a lawyer now, in case this candidate tries to ban humor blogs?

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