Just kidding with that front-page thumbnail. The Obama hug didn’t end Christie’s presidential dream; how could it have when Christie never actually hugged him? No, I’m talking about the Jerry Jones hug at the end of last night’s Cowboys/Lions game that caused a supernova on social media. Said Mollie Hemingway, “[A]s uncomfortable as it is to watch Jones gyrate and Christie try to get in on the group hug with all the awkwardness of an out-group high school girl, you can’t stop watching! There’s something riveting about this scene. You look at it and you think, ‘Everything is bigger in Texas.’” The best part: Christie left hanging on a double high-five. Dunzo.
Now we need to figure out how to get Jeb Bush to hug Donald Sterling.
Christie’s brother Todd responded to the snickering this morning on Facebook as the Christies are wont to do, with excessive and even alarming combativeness:
To all of those non Cowboy fans who have their panties in a ringer because the Governor of NJ is a Cowboys fan—GET A LIFE !!! The Gov has been a Cowboys fan for his entire life and ALL of you would sit with the owner of your favorite team in a heartbeat if given the chance. I’m a Giants fan—we are sitting home for the fourth straight year. Eagles fans—possibly you should worry more about the fact that your sorry ass team has never won a Super Bowl and less about who’s rooting for which team. I mean crazy pathetic posts. And for every calorically challenged FB person who posts about the Gov’s weight–forget the magic mirror and look at yourself. Weight posts—really?
The big guy himself was, for once, pretty chill:
“When the Cowboys are losing the last game of the year, the last three seasons not to make the playoffs, there’s nobody getting on social media giving me a hard time about being a Cowboys fan. So we all know what this is about,” Christie said Monday morning on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” radio show…
For his part, Chris Christie said the critical comments were “funny” and “make me laugh.”
“Listen, there’s nobody yelling at me when we’re losing to the Giants on the last game of the season to miss the playoffs. Then losing to the Redskins on the last game of the season of the playoffs. And nobody was yelling at me when Kyle Orton threw that awful interception last year to lose to the Eagles at home on the last game of the year,” he said. “So I’m not listening to any of these people who are giving me a hard time now that we’re having a little bit of success.”
What is it that he’s supposedly guilty of? Hemingway says it’s the spectacle of him loving on a “notorious jackwagon” like Jones. I guess, but would it have been better if he’d hugged Dan Snyder? There are a lot of powerful jackwagons, inside sports and out, who’ll be getting hugs from presidential candidates over the next year. Is it the fact that he’s a Jersey guy who roots for the Cowboys instead of the Giants, Eagles, or, gulp, Jets? I can’t knock him for that; I grew up a Mets fan in New York but migrated to the Pirates over time. Nothing wrong with rooting for a team from another state, although it is unusual for a duly enacted governor. (Imagine Rick Perry as, say, a Patriots fan.) If you want to knock Christie for rooting for Dallas, knock him for preferring a perennially winning team as a kid in the 70s to the lovable losers who played in his own backyard. But if you do that, you’ve got to give him credit for sticking with them through the last lean 18 years, when a bandwagoneer should have much preferred the Giants to the Cowboys.
He’s guilty of this, I suppose:
Next week, Scott Walker will go to the Packers' game, root for his state's team, & sit in the cheap seats & freeze with the common people.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 5, 2015
Like I said, the unofficial pastime of presidential candidates (particularly establishment candidates) over the next 12 months will be hugging rich people. You’d think Christie, a populist in tone if not substance, would be more keen to guard his man-of-the-people image. As it is, I’m curious to see if Kristol’s right in thinking Walker will seize the opportunity next week.
But let’s be real. The reason this was a thing on Twitter last night is simple: The Cowboys may have an unusually large national fan base but probably two-thirds of the audience was rooting for the perpetual underdog from the woebegone city of Detroit, right? Watching the Cowboys win a playoff game feels a little like how it must have felt to watch the Yankees clinch the division in 1976. A team that dominated the league for years, drawing bandwagon fans from coast to coast before falling on hard times, is suddenly back, bringing with it the dread of another farking championship for a franchise that’s already enjoyed an embarrassment of riches. Watching Christie and Jones go nuts at the poor Lions’ expense, especially after they’d blown that 14-0 lead, was a bitter aftertaste to an already bitter ending. And if it’s this bad now, imagine how bad it’ll be if Dallas gets past Green Bay and Seattle. A chest bump isn’t out of the question, my friends. Help us, Aaron Rodgers, you’re our only hope.