Saturday, October 29, 2005

Barry Switzer Endorses Osborne

by Kyle Michaelis
Early in the third quarter of today's Oklahoma/Nebraska football game, famed Sooners coach Barry Switzer carefully interjected an endorsement of Tom Osborne as Nebraska's next governor during their joint appearance in the ABC press box. Former rivals on the field with very different personalities, it was cute to see good ole' boy Switzer tell the ever-reserved Osborne to "go ring up a hundred on the other guy."

ABCs announcers laughed at the announcement, remarking that Switzer's "even a Democrat." Not only that but Switzer has also been active in campaigning for Democratic candidates, as evidenced by the following:
PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE" (02/03/2004): The (John) Edwards campaign called to chew me out. So while I had them on the phone, I asked them, why this surge in Oklahoma? We thought it would be a Wes Clark/John Kerry race. Why this amazing surge at the end by Edwards? They told me two words, Barry Switzer.

Barry Switzer, the legendary coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team, from 1973 to 1978 won three national championships for the Sooners there - he endorsed John Edwards. In the last 24 hours, they had coach Switzer make robo-calls, that is, call in and record phone calls and bomb them into Oklahoma Democrats's homes.

And they believe that's what behind that surge. Now, there's a track record for this. Brad Henry, the Democratic governor of Oklahoma, is governor today because Barry Switzer campaigned for him. In fact, 16 percent of Henry's vote in the 2002 election said they voted for him just because of coach Switzer.

No word yet on the reaction of "other guy" Dave Heineman to Switzer's endorsement, which probably has considerably less pull in Nebraska than in Oklahoma. Still, that's now six national championships against Heineman's zero. How can he even be expected to compete?


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