The final NFL game before Election Day will be politics-free.
Ben Koo of AwfulAnnouncing.com reports that it’s “very unlikely” that President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at halftime of the Week Eight Monday night game between the Buccaneers and Giants on ESPN.
As noted by Koo, ESPN last interviewed the presidential candidates the night before the 2012 election, when Barack Obama won a second term over Mitt Romney.
In 2016, Jim Gray of Westwood One interviewed both Trump and Hillary Clinton for the radio broadcast of the Monday night game preceding the election. ESPN passed.
It’s a no-win situation for ESPN, given the contentious nature of the election and the incessant cries from some in sports media that ESPN should stick to sports, even as some of those sports media outlets become increasingly and blatantly political themselves. (Thanks to that song from the ’90s, I never know when to properly use “irony,” but that’s probably a situation that justifies application of the term.)
If ESPN were to proceed, one side would complain that ESPN was too aggressive with its candidate while going too easy on the other and that it’s all fake and phony and rigged and whatever other grievance will be pounded into our ears and eyes until we can’t take it anymore. Which is pretty much where most of us currently are anyway.