In an effort to show that I may be the only person in the world who still believes in bipartisanship, I bring you a second-straight day defending the actions of a prominent Republican political figure.
Today, it’s vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who earned himself the chuckles of the sports world when he addressed Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Colt McCoy as if he were actually speaking to starter Brandon Weeden.
Ryan, who stopped by practice alongside new owner Jimmy Haslam and longtime Browns fan and former Secretary of State Condi Rice, reportedly told McCoy “You did a great job last year at Oklahoma State.” McCoy and Weeden’s teammates were unable to stifle their laughter, at which point Ryan appeared to realize he’d just thrown a Pick-6 of sorts.
“You always had your helmet on,” was his mea culpa to the actual Brandon Weeden.
I gotta say, that’s a pretty money line for a politician. Even Bill Clinton would have to give Ryan a pat on the back for thinking of it.
That smoothness also demonstrates why Ryan’s misidentification doesn’t belong on the long list of sports gaffes made by politicians over the years. (See: “Sammy Sooser” by Ted Kennedy, “Lambert Field” by John Kerry, nearly every sports-related statement made by Boston mayor Thomas Menino, and George W. Bush trading Sammy Sooser to the White Sox.)
Let’s be honest. The Browns should be ecstatic that anyone outside the Cleveland metropolitan area can even misidentify one of their quarterbacks. For once, someone is talking about them using phrases other than “Hey, what is the worst single-season quarterback rating in NFL history?”
For that reason, Paul Ryan should be commended for thinking Colt McCoy was Brandon Weeden. By doing so, he accomplished a feat more impossible than balancing the budget without increasing tax revenues — he brought the Browns into the national spotlight.