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Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is an honest man who has spoken truth to power.
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The San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals played an AFC Championship Game in a minus-64-degree wind chill. Nobody cared about the fans. They let the fans make the judgment whether they were going to go to that game or not go to that game. At the time the game ended, there were about 5.5 inches of snow on the ground.
People go to games in New England, [they] go to games in Chicago, [they] go to games in New York routinely with that amount of snow on the ground…
Rendell is absolutely right. Why, one of the most memorable NFL games in recent history is the 2001-2002 AFC divisional playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.
The game was played in Foxboro, Massachusetts, in the midst of a veritable winter wonderland of heavily falling nighttime snow. And the fans — those in attendance at the game, as well as those watching on TV nationwide — loved it!
The snow added to the romance and mystique of the event, which now lives in football lore.
The Pats, of course, escaped with a narrow three-point win, thanks to the infamous “Tuck rule,” which transmogrified a clear late fourth-quarter fumble by New England quarterback Tom Brady into an inexplicable “incomplete pass.”
The “incomplete pass” allowed New England to keep the ball and to kick a game-tying field goal. The game then went into overtime and the Pats won. Soon thereafter, the Patriots would win their first of three Super Bowls within a four-year time span.
So you can hardly blame Rendell for being peeved and ticked. So, too, was every football fan in America. And the governor spoke for them. He spoke for us.
I for one — and I’ve been stopped by tons of Eagles’ fans today. We were looking forward to sitting in the snow. It would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we could have made the judgment for ourselves [about] whether it was safe or not…
But behold the liberal-corporate paternalism voiced by Mike Missanelli, who hosts The Fanatic radio show. Missanelli was dismissive of NFL players who have denounced the league for canceling the game.
“The players are going to say that because they’re filled with machismo!” Missanelli cried. “How could you shirk the public safety angle of this, Governor?”
Rendell was incredulous. “The public safety [angle]?” he responded. “Mike, [there were] five inches of snow… People drive in that all the time… That’s their choice.”
Not according to Missanelli! You see, to liberal-corporate paternalists, choice is a bad and dangerous thing — a very bad and dangerous thing!
“OK,” he said.
But you know when you give people a choice — and you know what you’re doing: You’re testing them, OK? They’re going to think the same way: “Ah, it’s not so bad… You go down there.” And you know that it’s like having a gun to their head…
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