The importance of New Year’s Day bowl games in the BCS era is certainly up for debate, but sports fans can all agree on one thing: Jan. 2nd, 2012 was made more enjoyable because of the absence of one Craig James. Awful Announcing and Bloguin’s college football blog Crystal Ball Run were the first to tell you that Craig James was departing ESPN to pursue the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Texas. And now that James has officially left the network to run for office, it was only a matter of time before James’ first attempt at a political ad to introduce himself to voters would become public. College football fans (and fans of sanity in general) can apparently thank those “strong business leaders in Texas” for taking James out of the booth and into politics.
Shockingly in his first official ad, James doesn’t directly address that whole killing five hookers at SMU rumor. But, the rest of James’ ad is about what you would expect from a Texas Republican. It’s about as Texan as Texas can be, complete with a cut to James grinning in a cowboy hat while trumpeting his conservative credentials and values. Apparently, fighting your whiny kid’s battles and getting Texas Tech’s football coach fired while keeping your job at ESPN despite a massive conflict of interest qualifies James as a “conservative,” although none of that is mentioned. On a related note, thanks to SI’s Richard Deitsch for reminding everyone that it’s been 123 days since ESPN’s ombudsman, the Poynter Institute, promised to examine James’ tenure at the network.
One other interesting takeaway from the ad is James lining himself up with former Texas Govenor Rick Perry… you know, the same Rick Perry who did this at a presidential debate. Come to think of it, James was to the broadcast booth what Perry has been to presidential debates, although somehow even more of an incompetent disgrace. Have no fear, this blog certainly won’t be turning in to Politico by any stretch, but you can bet we’ll be keeping an eye on Craig James’ quest to make Texas great again through his belief in America! How original! How inspiring! How… absurd.