Kent Bush: Texas governor’s race includes NASCAR

Kent Bush

The sports world has been turned upside down this week.

Tiger Woods will actually be in the news for playing golf. The Philadelphia Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for a couple of draft picks and a 1987 Ford F-150. Brett Favre became a grandfather - of course, the present he sent to the hospital nursery was intercepted by another family.

But the biggest sports story of the week has to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry sponsoring the NASCAR rig of Bobby LaBonte at the upcoming race at the Texas Speedway.

Perry "cleverly" said Labonte's strong driving reminded him of Texas' strong economy.

Since NASCAR is about racing, let's see how fast I can come up with five jokes about this new partnership.

1) Will Perry stand by the economy comparison if Labonte crashes?

2) Will they run the race backward so that Perry's car doesn't have to turn left?

3) What will Labonte do if a Democrat driver parks in front of him for NASCAR's first filibuster?

4) When LaBonte falls back in the pack, will the announcer say he was passed like the national health care bill - on a Sunday and with no regard for the rules?

5) Will his pit crew get free passes to the Voyeur West Club paid for by the Republican National Committee?

It's definitely time to black flag this topic.

Moral victory?

I am always interested in the reactions of athletes and coaches to big wins and big losses.

This season the University of Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team went to Norman, Okla., and beat the Sooners. From the press conference after the game, you would never have known it.

The players from OU were very satisfied with their effort staying within 12 points of the Lady Huskies, who had won more than 60 games in a row.

"We know what we were capable of. We came out and showed that tonight," Danielle Robinson said. "I don't think the score was representative of how we played, or how tight the game was."

The CBS and ESPN commentators were more than happy to offer the Miss Congeniality prize to Butler after Monday night's heartbreaking loss.

The airwaves after the game were filled with comments like "there were no losers tonight" and "both teams were winners."

I know everyone loves an underdog, but I went back in my mind to a quote from a high school coach early in my journalistic career.

After his team lost a close game to a highly favored opponent in the finals of the county tournament, my sports editor asked Coach Kenny Weast if he felt like the result was a moral victory.

"Well, I don't really know what a moral victory is, but I think it is still a loss," he said with a straight face.

He was right.

There was a loser. Only Duke was a winner. There won't be two trophies.

It was a great performance and an exciting game and no one should be ashamed of being second place. But don't elevate it beyond that.

If that shot from half-court would have gone in, it would have been the biggest news story of the entire year.

But unlike every cheesy murder mystery, the Butler didn't do it.

Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.

The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the newspaper.