Craig James finally left ESPN officially on Monday to launch his campaign to win the Republican nomination for a United States Senate seat out of Texas. Although it'll be fun to watch James prance around in a cowboy hat and talk to voters about his values, he has absolutely zero chance of winning. He's a toxic name in West Texas. He has zero political experience. His top Google searches involve five dead hookers (thanks EDSBS). He's entering the race late and behind on everything. And to top it all off, he's somewhere between Snooki and Jim Traficant on the electability scale.
This means that it'll be all the more fun to watch his campaign go down in flames. But it also got me thinking... what announcers or television sports personalities would actually be electable? Who in sports media would you cast a vote for? While I'm not advocating the people below would actually make great politicians (although we can't do much worse than what we got now), they would certainly have the ability to get over with voters. You have to be smart, likable, stay on message, and connect with commoners like you and me to make this prestigious list...
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football Analyst
Herbie would be the total package as a political candidate. Well spoken, good looks, and incredibly popular for a number of years in an increasingly polarizing world of college football. He's become one of the top analysts in the country and rarely will you find anyone to say a bad word about Herbie. Plus, he proved earlier this year his ability to handle crisis situations with poise.
James Brown, NFL Today Host
Watch a full hour of The NFL Today and you'll see that the buffoonery James Brown deals with on a weekly basis is the perfect preparation for dealing with all the clowns in Washington. Not only is JB an affable personality, but he may be one of the most educated members of the sports media as a Harvard grad. Just look at that thinking man's pose, too!
Michelle Beadle, SportsNation Co-Host
Beadle's star has grown brighter than perhaps anyone else this year. Having to deal with Colin Cowherd every day would make politics seem like a breeze. Her ability to relate to everyone is a huge plus not many of her peers exhibit... and you know she's getting 99% of the 18-49 male demographic.
Jay Bilas, ESPN College Basketball Analyst
Wherever he goes, Jay Bilas always seems like the smartest guy in the room... because he probably is. His confident swag is formidable, this guy follows nobody on Twitter and is proud of it. Who in sports could out-debate this guy? Bilas isn't afraid to take tough topics head on as well, continually calling out the NCAA for their hypocritical policies.
Bob Costas, NBC Everything
Although his SNF halftime essays can be tedious, Bob Costas is so good at everything he's ever done that his legacy as not just a sports personality, but as an American media personality will be underrated. I'd love to see Costas actually run for office in real life just to see if it would age him at all. No matter the subject, Costas is knowledgable beyond comprehension. His oratory skills would demolish any potential opponent with his grandiloquent verbosity. See, you don't even know what just happened there, but you're impressed.
Tony Dungy, NBC Football Night In America Analyst
Tony Dungy is simply an impeccable human being. He makes Tim Tebow look like PacMan Jones! It'd be impossible to dig dirt for any opposing campaign on him and anyone dissing Tony Dungy in public would be laughed off the scene completely. He's also got an impressive leadership resume, has written several best sellers, and has the family values market owned.
Brian Kenny, MLB Network
BK is the under the radar name on the list. It took a few years, but he won me over with his work first on The Hot List, then on SportsCenter, then with his famous Floyd Mayweather interview, and now with his work on MLB Network. BK always brings strong facts, knowledge, and opinions whether he's talking baseball, boxing, or anything in between. Anyone that can make sense out of a Beano Cook interview deserves extra points for staying on message.
Gus Johnson, Fox Play By Play Man
How could we complete this list without the most popular announcer in the blogosphere? Nobody would be more capable of inspiring his followers than Gus. A Barack Obama speech would be like Joe Buck announcing cricket compared to Gus Johnson being given an open mic and podium. I'm pretty sure the most exciting political speech in history could be crafted off the Gus Johnson Soundboard alone.