James H. (a.k.a. Opinionated Catholic) must have been feeling pretty good last night watching his alma mater, the Louisiana State Tigers beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24 in New Orleans to win College Football's National Championship.
Sunday night, James and I discussed by phone the possibility of linking all the pro-Huckabee Catholic blogs into one big campaign organization, in an effort to demonstrate the widespread appeal Mike has among practicing Catholics. Of course, politics makes strange bedfellows, so in my effort to show unity for his Huckabee cause, this diehard Fighting Irish fan agreed to light a Grotto candle for James' favored Tigers as part of the bargain.
In this case, rooting for LSU wasn't hard. Being from the Midwest, I am often drawn to root for Big Ten teams over those from the South, but Louisiana is a largely Catholic state, and many of its poor still need something to inspire them after their homes were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. Plus, when my son, University of Illinois student Patrick O'Toole, happened to be visiting THE Ohio State University with his buddies on an Evans Scholar sponsored trip during the Illini's stunning upset of the Buckeyes, many of the sore-loser locals started to shower the UofI entourage with beer bottles before the clever caddies made their safe escape from Buckeyeland.
Still, I wasn't into it enough to give you the play by play (check OC's blog for that) other than to say a dropped Buckeye TD pass and an automatic first down roughing the kicker penalty (which the Tigers turned into a TD) against OSU really turned a competitive game into a rout. So while the Buckeyes were losing yet again (they are now 0-9 against the Southeastern Conference in bowl games), I flipped back and forth to EWTN's The World Over where host Raymond Arroyo was giving Huckabee only grudging respect, leaving open the possibility that Mike's controversial commercials (the floating cross) and miscues (the attack ad pulling and showing) were done in a cold calculating Machiavellian manner.
Late as the game was, even the post-game celebration coverage had ended before Huck got his turn on Letterman at 12:31 Eastern time. Dave had a twelve-minute segment about getting his beard cut, and a nearly half hour interview with Tom Hanks (who mocked Huck as "The President of Iowa") before Mike got his chance behind the mike. While the patient presidential candidate showed his usual humor,
HUCK: "Campaigning for the presidency IS a gruelling 20-hour-a-day job ... but I knew it wasn't going to be bean bags when I signed up, Dave."
DAVE: "Did you ever consider bean bags, Huck?"
HUCK: "No ... but some of my opponents now wished I had!"
it was very little, very late.
So at the end of the night, Opinionated Catholic got his wish, one of them anyway. But, considering now how they both fared yesterday, Huck needs OC's idea to work out more than LSU needed my candle to succeed.