As the latest edition of the Superbowl gets ready to begin I marvel at the marketing wisdom of the NFL.

When it comes down to it football has a lot going against it.

1. Unlike Baseball, Basketball or Hockey It is a “team” sport with two separate components (offense, defense) and even special teams an independent unit from these. They are distinct and tends to direct credit or blame away from “team” and toward that unit.

2. It doesn’t have the flow of Hockey or Basketball where play only stops for a foul, infraction or a time out. By its nature it is interrupted.

3. It has a short season, compared to other sports, only 16 games.

4. It is extremely violent and dangerous sport, yet with rules to protect some players while leaving others vulnerable. It doesn’t even have the interesting twist of Hockey that actually allows fights to go on.

5. And worst of all, the players most key to victory get very little credit. The one thing you can’t do without in a football team is a solid offensive line. You win or lose based on them, but because they don’t tackle, don’t catch and don’t run they get none of the credit while taking heavy punishment on every single play.

However Football for all it’s failings (it can’t hold a candle to Baseball but then again what can?) has the single biggest annual sporting event in the world, a game that captivates tens of millions. Why?

One very simple thing: A single winner take all game.

Baseball, Hockey and Basketball all have best of seven series for their titles. This allows for a lot more games. in the days before TV it meant a minimum of two home games for winner and loser to profit from and perhaps as many as 4. A best of seven tends to reward the best team and makes it less likely for a Cinderella to arise.

The Superbowl however as a single game, is different. Every great play and every mistake is magnified astronomically. While the best team will usually win because a single twist can change everything it gives the game more mystique.

Add to that excellent marketing, a Sunday game that most people have off and you have the ingredients for one of the greatest sports spectacles there is.

Update: Two superbowl comments.

1. The Patriots would not have had the chance for that final drive if Eli Manning took a knee twice and used up most of the clock.

2. There is something fundamentally wrong with a sport where there is a disincentive for a team to attempt to score. This is why football will always be inferior to any other major sport.

There is a basic principle that needs to be said aloud concerning the Susan G. Komen business.

For Roman Catholics and Believing Protestants Abortion is an intrinsic evil. It is impossible for a person who opposes abortion to give to a private organization funding it without sin. So one might understand their reluctance to donate to Susan G. Komen over money spent on Abortion. They would be more likely to instead give directly to other charities that might do good work without dollars going to the number one Abortion provider.

Now the people on the other side claim that this is all about Woman’s Health. That it is politicizing women health and that women will suffer if planned parenthood doesn’t have this money.


Susan G. Komen is giving grants to organizations who do work to prevent breast cancer. Presumably as they are grants that are applied for, more than one organization that does this work is applying for them. I may have joked about applying for a grant but I’m not getting one, you’re not getting one and Pizza Hut or Taco Bell aren’t getting one.

Yet for our friends on the left that didn’t matter. From Joe Biden to Andrea Mitchell to liberal groups all over they not only attacked Komen but they threatened their cooperate sponsors, if they continued to fund Komen.

Not because a single dollar less would be spent on breast cancer, not because Komen had not done good work for its existence,not because there would actually be a compromise of women’s health, but because some of those funds were not going to be funneled to Planned Parenthood.

I have often said Abortion is a sacrament to the left, apparently not only is Planned Parenthood is their church but is also their cult and like any cult if you try to leave you must be destroyed no matter how many women with breast cancer you might help.

The third in my series of the GOP candidates for president

Rick Santourm Former Congressman & Senator from Pennsylvania

The Case for:

1. Social Conservatism: Rick Santorum is and has been one of the firmest social conservatives in the field. Even to the point of being named one of the top Evangelical Leaders in the country while being a Catholic.

2. Swing State/Manufacturing: Santorum comes from a key swing state but his issue of Manufacturing is something that plays really well in states the GOP needs to win in 2012

3. Congressional Experience: Santorum has been a member of both the house and senate and has had pieces in significant conservative legislation in both houses

4. Personal Story Santorum has an incredible family and personal story from his grandfather in the mines to his own wife and children.

5. Fearlessness: Many people equivocate when defending conservatism, particularly social conservatism, Santorum not only defends it without hesitation but articulates is positions without ducking questions even from hostile crowds.

6. Offense: Santourm since even the earliest debates has shown a willingness to go on offense. In debate after debate he has been willing to go after opponents.

7. Steady: Santorum is a candidate who is steady and stolid, not a lot of nasty surprises.

The Case Against:

1. Spending: Santorum had a reputation as a spender that he earned at his time in congress, it was one of the reasons for his resounding defeat in 2006..

2. Dull: Santorum is a solid stolid man but has the air of geekness about him. This is epitomized by his long answers This is something that has been a problem for many a qualified candidate.

3. Counter-base The liberal base is not inspired by Barack Obama but Santorum’s strong social conservatism and devout Catholicism is absolutely hated by the secular left and will certainly inspire social liberals on the left who might otherwise be uninspired.

4. Organization: Santorum is an excellent retail pol but doesn’t have the type of organization of a Romney or Paul as evidenced by his failure to make the ballot in both Virginia and Indiana.

5. Money: Of the remaining candidates Santorum is the weakest in terms of financial backing particularly the big backers that have sustained Gingrich, this prevents a strong air game.

6. 2006: A lot of Republicans lost in 2006 but Santorum lost as decisively as a candidate can lose a race and that defeat has been hung around his neck like an Iron collar.

Exculpatory evidence: Most of Santorum’s problems are problems of style or resources that would be mitigated in a national campaign, and his defeat in 2006 was the perfect timing it allowing him to pivot from a spending past (the voters taught me a lesson) in the direction of the rising tea party.

Conclusion: Rick Santorum is a trustworthy and honest pol with a solid conservative record and a solid and honest presentation that wins respect. Although in debates he can be aggressive he does not have the panache of a Gingrich nor does he have a style that tends to wow people. He made tactical mistake in Iowa by not claiming victory pending a full count this allowed Romney to claim victory and get the bounce from someone else’s win. He needs to let Gingrich continue to bash Romney and implode while he advances as the conservative alternative with the odd elbow thrown at Romney and Newt. His job is to stay alive and relevant enough to take advantage of his natural constituency in the manufacturing states and be ready to exploit mistakes by either Romney and Gingrich, the question is can he manage to do it?

He managed to learn a lot from his defeat in Pennsylvania and has played that well, but h

My Biggest fear: There are two, Santourm’s style issues really can’t be solved. If they try to over manage him he will come off as inauthentic as Romney. Secondly for the Media the Social issues are what drive them. They will be driven to destroy Santorum more than any other candidate out there.

My Hunch: Santorum has to continue to thread a needle He has to seem weak enough that it’s in Romney’s financial supporters to keep him alive financially to draw votes from Gingrich while be ready to jump through a hole in the defense break out a big gain when (not if) Newt makes a critical error but he has to prove he can win in a race without Newt. Missouri (with Newt off the ballot) becomes critical. If He can beat Romney or come within a few points (with Paul making the difference) then he can make a legitimate case to go on, but if Romney beats him decisively then it will be very hard to fundraise. Missouri will make or break him.

My advice to the Santorum Campaign: The Obama attack on Religious freedom combined with the attack on Susan G. Komen by planned parenthood and their media allies are slow pitches right across the plate. At every stop he makes he should bring this up and attack the administration. This will guarantee attacks on you by the MSM that can only help your campaign. Make yourself the candidate of Religious Freedom and the middle class and you will put yourself solidly in the wheelhouse of Reagan Democrats. On a smaller level it would be a good idea to not only coordinate with local tea parties but to jumping aboard the “Turn this ship Around” campaign. All these things can give you traction in places that your opponents have not.