It’s been a long, long time since professional boxing has mattered in this country.
So maybe this analogy will be lost on younger readers. But tonight’s Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate feels like a championship fight.
For a long, long, long time, the two major party candidates for President have sniped at each other from afar, with the vulgar, talking yam making up lie after lie and somehow rising in the polls despite it (Seriously, there was a Tweet I saw last week titled “Here are 18 lies Donald Trump told today at his rally.”)
I know deep in my heart Trump ain’t winning this election; I don’t care if the statisticians in the world keep saying his chances are going up, she’s not pulling away like she was a month ago, yada yada yada.
Still, my liberal heart is a little nervous about tonight. Couple quick points I want to make going into the 9 p.m. Eastern debate which I think will probably break all TV ratings records for debates:
— She must call him out on his lies. Every time. I have no faith that NBC’s Lester Holt, a perfectly reputable broadcaster, will have the time nor the inclination to point out every time Trump lies. That’s why Hillary has to do it. I don’t care if she comes off smarmy, or has to interrupt him 35 times. Trump’s enormous whoppers, whether they’re about ISIS, or the economy, or crime in the America, cannot be allowed to stand. We political junkies forget this, but millions of people are just starting to pay attention to this race. Trump’s fibs cannot be allowed to be what they remember from this debate.
— Hillary must remind people what she’s done: So much of this election has been about GOP fear-mongering of what she “would do” or “will do” as President. Hillary has a long list of accomplishments dating back to Children’s Health Care, her time as Secretary of State, and as First Lady. She has to remind Americans that for all her faults, she’s done a lot.
— Trump can’t lose his temper: If I were, horrifyingly, advising the scariest major candidate in the last 100 years, I’d tell him containing his temper is the No. 1 goal of tonight. Everyone thinks you’re a temperamental, thin-skinned, hothead who can’t handle any critique and flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. Prove them wrong by staying calm tonight.
Get your popcorn ready, folks. This should be very interesting.
**Finally, some quickie NFL thoughts from Week 3. I didn’t see much of the games because my beautiful wife and I were in Montauk for a wedding Sunday, but watched some highlights and a little bit of the Jets game. I am very, very glad I didn’t watch the Jets debacle. SIX Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions? OK, they weren’t all his fault but come on, SIX? Jets are in deep doo-doo if they lose to Seattle next week.
— The Giants-Redskins game was a terrific back and forth affair, but what will stick out for me is yet another Odell Beckham Jr. temper tantrum (above). I don’t know if this kid will ever mature, maybe he will. But man oh man does he seem like a total immature punk right now. A powder keg that could go off at any moment.
–The Eagles whipped the Steelers, 34-3, and the Vikings stayed undefeated as well, and we are once again reminded football is such a strange game. Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz was expected to ride the bench this season, learn the ropes, etc. Then a month ago Minnesota’s QB Teddy Bridgewater gets seriously hurt. Which led to Eagles QB Sam Bradford being traded to Minnesota. Which leads to Wentz getting a chance to play and looking awesome, and the much-criticized Bradford playing great for the Vikings, and now everyone in both cities are thrilled. But if not for one injury, none of this happens.
Fate is crazy.
— I knew few people cared about the Browns-Dolphins game, but I was following along on my phone thanks to Cody Kessler of the Browns getting his first career start at QB. I think I blogged about this last year, but I got to interview Cody when he was at USC for a story I was doing on his wonderful work with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which I volunteer for. He’s a fantastic young man with a big heart, and I was thrilled that he played so well for Cleveland on Sunday (even though the Browns, being the Browns, lost in overtime)