The burgeoning political career of former SMU running back and ESPN college football analyst Craig James figures to end this evening. One might say it never got out of the locked closet. Texans will vote in the primary to fill the vacant Senate seat left open by the departure of Kay Bailey Hutchison. While one-half of the Pony Express made a valiant and stupefying attempt at winning the seat, the head coach he’s forever linked to continues remaking the Washington State Cougars in his quirky image. Mike Leach finally found a locale more perfect for him than the Florida Keys and his inaugural season in Pullman should be one of the more intriguing storylines this fall. Exiled from Texas Tech when he allegedly locked away James’ son, Adam, for insubordination, the administration in Lubbock utilized the scandal to fire Leach. Tommy Tuberville replaced him and the current state of the Red Raiders is about as promising as the elder James’ chances of ever serving in Washington.
It’s hard to feel much toward James other than the elation in knowing his stilted cliches won’t ruin my Thursday night college football experience any longer. Perhaps fear as well. Fear that ESPN is just vindictive and tone-deaf enough to parlay the headlines of rehiring James into allowing him to return to their television sets. It took delusions of political grandeur for James to leave the World Wide Leader, not a termination letter from his bosses. And because ESPN never fired the man who hired a PR firm to falsely spin allegations toward Mike Leach, I’m not putting it past them to welcome him home.
But that’s all speculation and the only reality at this moment, on this day is that Craig James isn’t walking the halls of Senate anytime soon. He’s a high school and college football legend in Texas but a man’s on-field exploits carry him as far as his approval rating and judging by the polls below, no one approves of Craig James.
Snapshot via @willbrinson