Too extreme for Minnesota?

By Matt Coughlin
February 15, 2001

I wanted Vince McMahon to run for president. Instead he created a football league.

The XFL started their season two weeks ago to mixed reviews and fluctuating ratings. I haven’t had a chance to watch the XFL but this article isn’t about McMahon’s new football league. It’s about their color commentator, Gov. Jesse Ventura.

It seems that Ventura has been recieving a lot of flak for being the color man on the Saturday broadcasts of the XFL on NBC. Some think that it is taking important time away from him that he could be using to help the state of Minnesota. Others think that the XFL is trashy and that a governor should not be employed in its ranks. But this article isn’t about what they think. It’s about what I think and I think that there is nothing wrong with Ventura announcing for the XFL

The governor of a state makes a good chunk of change in salary and benefits, but most of that is used to live the “gubernatorial lifestyle.” You think those nice suits and fancy cars come cheap? Not at all. That’s why most politicians always look for ways to make an extra buck while in office. This is where politicians get in trouble with such things as tax evasion and other white-collar crimes regarding money. So instead of getting kickbacks and bribes, what did my favorite governor do? He got himself a second job. This is the one of the most honest things I’ve heard a politician do in a long time. Granted, I don’t think Ventura is hurting for money, but at least he’s not raiding pension funds and squandering tax money for his own needs.

Minnesotians question whether Ventura can balance the duties of being a governor and working for the XFL, but I’d like to know this: what are the duties of a governor? I don’t know and more than likely neither do most of the people concerned that Ventura won’t have time for those duties. Besides, how many people can say that they know where their governor is on Saturday nights.

Half of Minnesota voters think that it is inappropriate for Ventura to be doing color commentary for the XFL. The other half either agree or are undecided. I agree with the latter half of voters. Like I said before, I haven’t watched the XFL so I don’t know how good a job Ventura does at color commentary, but he has to be ten times as better as Dennis Miller.

But despite all the criticism that Ventura has received, his polls remain as strong as ever. 55 percent of Minnesota voters said that Ventura has done an “excellent” to “good” job in office. Another 28 percent rated his performance as governor as “fair.” That means that 83 percent of the state believe that Ventura is doing OK. Obviously he’s doing something right and his critics just can’t handle it.

Some Minnesotians think that Ventura is embarrasing their state (41 percent actually). I highly disagree with that. I think he’s making people take notice of Minnesota. Think about it. What is Minnesota known for? Domed stadiums? Huge amounts of snow? The TV show “Coach?” Trust me, Minnesota, Jesse Ventura can only help your state’s image.

There are three points I want you to take away from this article. 1) Anyone is better than Dennis Miller when it comes to football; 2) If the worst thing your governor is doing is being a color commentator for Vince McMahon’s XFL, you’re in exceptionally good shape; and 3) Minnesota is lucky to have a governor as brutally honest and highly unique as Jesse Ventura.

I hope this man runs for president in 2004.

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Matt Coughlin

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