Sonny and Sam Endorsed This Message
So maybe you've heard that the Redskins just launched this promotional campaign to elect 437 of their players to the Pro Bowl.
Oh, what's that, you haven't heard? So how exactly is the weather in that steel closet inside that underground bunker underneath that sheep pasture in that remote mountainous region of Uzbekistan?
For the rest of you, in the past week we've seen press releases, hundreds if not thousands of signs at FedEx Field, a massive banner, press kits, buttons, bumper stickers, enough e-mails to crash Joe the Plumber's server, and an entire micro Web site featuring an assortment of profiles, videos and quotes meant to make you passionately want to vote several billion times to allow rich men to take a vacation in Hawaii.
"They call me Uncle Elroy is because I'm an old-school kind of guy," Antwaan Randle El says in his brochure, while Jason Campbell "played it coy" when asked for the origins of his nickname, "Lips."
"I don't know why, I guess because they're luscious, but let's not go there," he said.
Someone inside the organization--say, someone with a pretty prominent position--apparently wasn't amused when the Cowboys sent a league-record 13 players to the Pro Bowl last year, helped by massive fan voting. This campaign could be interpreted as Washington's response. Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen are the faces of the campaign, with "We approve this message!" being pasted about willy-nilly. And so, as a sop to Team Redskins Ticket, I chatted with Sonny and Sam yesterday about Pro Bowl voting, personal computing and their political careers. Highlights of our conversation follow:
Dan: So have you guys been front men for political campaigns before?
Sonny: No. Never have. They asked us to do this, and I think it's fun. You know, some teams really make an effort to get their fans to vote for their players. I mean, obviously the Cowboy fans voted more for their players. What'd they have, 13 Pro Bowlers? The Pro Bowl is very special, but I don't think anybody wants to go to the Pro Bowl that doesn't deserve to go to the Pro Bowl.
Dan: Did you think 13 was too many for Dallas last year?
Sonny: Yes. I do.
Sam: I think you should set a limit, how many can go from each team. You've got 32 teams in the National Football League now, so if you sent three guys, who's your best special teams player, who's your best defensive player and who's your best offensive player? I think maybe that's a way they should be elected to go. That way it's a star system. And your teammates should do the voting, of course.
This, in an effort to increase the fan vote. Off message.
Sonny: It used to be the players and coaches voted.
Dan: Is that better?
Sam: Yeah, yeah we both agree on that, because they know who made the play.
Sonny: What do the fans do? They sit there 24 hours a day, vote often. They sit there 24 hours a day hitting the button and voting. Does that say that that guy deserves to go, or does that say that [fan's] conscientious in his voting.
Way off the talking points at this moment. Anyhow, Sam then came out and endorsed Fletcher, Portis and Suisham as his three-man Skins ticket in his each-team-gets-three system.
Sam: Now, you've got your three best.
Sonny: But you couldn't do that, Sam. What if every team has a fullback and a middle linebacker. Are they gonna go out and play that game? They can't do that.
Dan: Let me ask you this, do you guys actually vote on the Internet?
Sonny: Do we vote?
Sam: I vote for London Fletcher. However we vote, I'll vote for London Fletcher.
Sonny: I'd vote for my guys, I'd vote for the guys I think deserve to go offensively and defensively, I'd vote the Redskins Ticket. That's why we're involved. They asked us to do this to get more Redskins fans involved in the voting, to take an interest in it, because in the past I think they feel that some of them, and it's obvious, have been slighted, and we would like to help that.
Dan: Can I ask you a question that I've always wanted to ask you guys? Do you read blogs ever?
Sonny: Yeah, I do.
Sam: I'm not into the computer. I hire it done. I have an assistant who's a female, and she operates a computer and she does exactly what I tell her. All right? Just like you've got that [digital recorder]. Whatever I need done on the computer, I hire it done. You think Snyder operates his own computer? He's got his secretary and his assistant and they do that. [Sonny's] on the computer all the time, he loves that.
Sam: And I'm into horse racing, and I read the Daily Racing Form. That's what I do.
Dan: This is the last question I'm gonna ask you: they're trying to do this political campaign with all this political imagery, so what's the best political campaign you've ever seen?
Sam: I can tell you the worst one was mine, when I ran for United States Congress over in West Virginia, in my home state. I did that, and it was the worst thing Ive ever done in my life. My own sister voted against me.
Sonny: I went out and spoke at a big fund-raising thing up in West Virginia for him, and I said I didn't come here as a football player and as a fan, I came here as a political consultant. And I think they cut the lights off on us at the school we were in.
Sam: I mean, it was no fun.
Dan: How did it turn out? How close was it?
Sam: I'm here, aren't I? You don't see me in the United States Congress, do you? I'm here. I went broke doing it. I'm not an Obama. I mean, there's people that love politics, right? And I thought I did, until I got into it. It's the dirtiest game I've ever played in my life. It's awful. Bill Clinton loves it because he knows how to play it, he knows how to do it. You can't believe politicians, anything they say, right? Now, lobbyists give them money, don't they? So you can buy any Congressman or Senator you want to, all you have to do is give him more money than anybody else. What rules, right?...You can buy them. You can't buy a football player. You've got to go out there and you've got to perform. If you've got the ball, and you're a football player, and you want to go to the Pro Bowl, you've got to get by me. We play a simple game. That politics is crazy.
Pro Bowl fan voting? I spit on your talking points!
Dan: Did you like seeing your face all over the place?
Sonny: No. Why? We don't look at that. We're too old. We're too old for egos, ok?
Sam: They had us working together, and one of the scenes is to look at each other firmly. He's better at that than me, you know? And he looked at me and gives me that mean look and I start laughing at him, because he's looking like a linebacker instead of a quarterback. We had to shoot that shot about four or five times because I couldn't stop laughing at him. Look at him, you see that look? Give him the look, Sonny, give him the look.
Sonny: You're supposed to look at each other like [fierce face], and he goes 'ahahahahaha' like an idiot.
So there. Redskins Ticket, or something.
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