Diplomacy In Action: Senators Pick The Super Bowl

Feb 4, 2011 2:04pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:

Time and time again Congress has proven that they can disagree on anything – just yesterday one senator voted against making it a crime to point lasers at planes – so it’s only fitting that we let lawmakers engage in some good ole back-and-forth on Super Bowl XLV.

In case you hadn’t heard, this Sunday the Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas for the NFL title. And since lawmakers love to weigh in on anything and everything, we asked a few of them for their picks.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, predicted that the Pack will cover the three-point spread in a high-scoring affair that will exceed the over/under of 45 points.

“First of all, both great teams and it’s going to be a great Super Bowl and I think the Packers are going to win by a touchdown,” Tester said. “Quite frankly Pittsburgh with [Ben] Roethlisberger and Green Bay with [Aaron] Rodgers I think they’re going to score upwards of 55, 60 points in this game. It’s going to be a fun game to watch.”


Across the aisle Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, told us he likes the Steelers and the under, while making the predictions in very diplomatic terms.

“I think the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to win,” Hatch said. “They’re a tough team. They’ve got a great quarterback. I think Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, too. But the Steelers have what it takes defensively to win this game. Plus they have a very very schooled quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls already, so he knows what it’s like to be in there.”

“There’s two good defenses there. The Steelers are very good and so are the Packers, so I expect it to be a much closer game than to have, say, 45 points in the game,” he said. “But you never know. I mean, the Steelers can let loose at any time, their defense can really maul the other side at any time, but so can the Green Bay Packers. They’re both great teams. This is going to be a great Super Bowl and I’m looking forward to it.”

Hatch is no novice when it comes to talking football on Capitol Hill. After the Utah Utes were shut out of college football’s national championship game twice in four years despite going undefeated, Hatch asked the Obama administration to launch an anti-trust review of the legality of the NCAA’s Bowl Championship Series.

Other senators have also used their status to weigh in on gridiron matters. Former Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania repeatedly questioned the NFL about the league’s handling of the Spygate controversy involving the New England Patriots. Specter’s quest surely helped him among some of his Keystone State constituents who were still scarred by the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl loss to the Patriots in early 2005.

But back to the present day. Some senators have a real rooting interest in Sunday’s game in Big D. Take Wisconsin’s new senator, Republican Ron Johnson.

“Packers fans can take great pride in the team’s tremendous run over the last few months. They’ve earned their spot in the Super Bowl by performing superbly down the stretch and winning tough games on the road,” Johnson said in a statement this week. “The Steelers are a worthy opponent, but I’m confident that on Sunday evening, the Packers will bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay. Go Pack go!”

Of course, it wouldn’t be Capitol Hill if everyone just played along, so fittingly one senator declined to pick the game, opting instead to make a political point.

“If we were any good at predictions, we wouldn’t have a $14 trillion debt,” quipped Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK.

Another senator told us that he wanted the Steelers to “win and lose.”

Only in Washington…

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