You Betcha

Posted February 2, 2005 at 6:43pm

Somebody in the House is about to become a real helmet head. And it’s either going to be Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) or Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), depending on what happens this Sunday when their home teams face each other in Super Bowl XXXIX. [IMGCAP(1)]

A pair of lifelong fans of teams desperate to win the ultimate prize in pro football, Meehan and Brady met on the Capitol steps Wednesday and placed one hell of a wager on the game. The loser of the bet must wear the winning team’s helmet for a week. To work. In the office. In the Capitol. Whenever and wherever the winner mandates that the loser wear the helmet.

Since the Eagles have arguably the most to gain — their first Vince Lombardi trophy ever — Brady is dreaming about seeing New Englander Meehan sauntering through the Speaker’s Lobby sporting that green helmet with the silver wings on the side. He said he just knows Philadelphia is going to win. “Absolutely,” Brady told HOH. “He’ll be wearing that helmet all next week.”

“That” helmet is no store-bought Eagles helmet. If Meehan loses, he’ll be wearing the helmet that once belonged to the Eagles’ star defensive end, Jevon Kearse, who gave it to Brady, his Congressman, as a gift.

Meehan may want to buy some pompoms, too. Because here’s the secret part of the bet: If his team loses, he has to walk around Capitol Hill carrying Eagles pompoms while wearing that Kearse helmet.

And again, not just any pompoms, either. Brady also possesses a special pair of Eagles pompoms. They belonged to his wife, Debbie Brady, an Eagles cheerleader from 1981 to 1990.

“She’s beautiful,” Brady bragged. “I caught her in a very very weak moment.” The Congressman was dating Debbie when she quit the squad, then known as the Liberty Bells, because, as he put it, “their uniform got a little too skimpy for her. She’s one of the ones who was protesting,” he said.

No matter who wins on Sunday, sounds like Brady already has something to celebrate.

X Marks the Spot. Moral conservatives in Congress may want to think twice before accepting any more campaign contributions from Adelphia Communications Corp. Just this week, the company became the nation’s only leading cable operator to offer the hardest of hard-core porn.

As Adelphia spokeswoman Erica Stull told the Los Angeles Times, “People want it, so we are trying to provide it. The more Xs, the more popular.” This is quite an about-face from five years ago, when Adelphia founder John Rigas dropped the soft-porn channel Spice from the company’s cable systems because he considered X-rated programming immoral.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who has received several thousand dollars worth of campaign donations from Adelphia cable executives — as did candidate George W. Bush — was not pleased with Adelphia’s business direction.

“The Senator is very disappointed to learn that Adelphia will be offering content that is not family-friendly,” said Santorum spokesman Robert Traynham. He declined to say whether the Senator will continue to accept campaign contributions from the cable porn provider.

Love Lost. Labeling the Democrats as obstructionists worked so well for them in 2004 that Republicans have already started doing it in this election cycle.

In a paper titled “The Honeymoon That Wasn’t,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee has compiled a list of “partisan” and “negative” quotes from Senate Democrats. The title was taken from a quote Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) gave The New York Times last month. He said, “The honeymoon is over and we are now in the full throes of our new marital arrangement here.”

The “Honeymoon That Wasn’t” paper went on to quote other Senate Democrats who have challenged, criticized or maybe even manipulated the Bush administration’s policies. The paper lists a quote from Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on CNN saying, “All this talk about we have to follow what the president’s doing is poppycock.” Then a quote from New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D) calling Bush’s beliefs “extreme.” And, of course, no Democratic quote list would be complete with out one from California Sen. Barbara Boxer accusing secretary of State designate Condoleezza Rice of losing “respect for the truth.”

NRSC spokesman Brian Nick said, “Apparently the election results have left [Democrats] dazed and confused, but this is certainly a bizarre way of going about righting their ship.”

But Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the NRSC is confusing policy disagreements with partisanship. “It reminds me of that old Harry Truman saying: ‘I never did give ’em hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.’”

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