ESPN announces it will air satellite interviews with both Barack Obama and John McCain during the halftime show of next week's Monday Night Football. The featured game is Redskins vs. Steelers, at FedEx field here in Washington. The election-eve broadcast gives both candidates the opportunity for a last-minute pitch to a large audience; espn.com says MNF has averaged more than 12 million weekly viewers this season.
But even if you aren't a football fan, you might want to pay attention to this game. It seems the Redskins have a history as a bellwether of sorts:
The Redskins, in fact, are an accurate barometer for presidential elections. According to Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau, who coined the term "Redskins Rule" in 2000, the following bromide has held true for the past 17 presidential elections: If the Redskins win their last home game prior to Election Day, the party that won the popular vote in the previous election wins the White House; if the Redskins lose, the party that lost the popular vote in the previous election wins.
In this Monday's case, a Steelers win would forecast an Obama victory; a Redskins win would indicate a McCain win.
Julie Rovner's Redskins are currently 6-2, and are seeded second in the NFC East. David Greene's Steelers are 5-2 and lead the AFC North.