Friday, August 17, 2012

‘Mongo’ for mayor? It could happen

It’s a shame that Walter Payton isn’t with us any longer. Because we’d probably have some people proclaiming “Sweetness” for president instead of a Chicago White Sox fan!

I couldn’t help but have that reaction to learning that another former Chicago Bear, Steve McMichael, has his own political aspirations.

NOT THAT “MONGO” and his crazed-bordering-on-insane personality would want to be in the White House. Or at City Hall. Or any other such place.

But it seems that ESPN is reporting that McMichael wants to be the chief executive of the local government in Romeoville – the suburb in which he lives and operates the Mongo McMichael’s sports bar.

Which makes me wonder if the late baseball star Moose Skowron should have taken advantage of that Cicero tavern named “Just Call Me Moose” and tried running for public office himself.

For the record, McMichael said during an ESPN 1000 radio interview (a.k.a., WMVP-AM in Chicago) that his sports bar customers have complained to him about the way their local government works, and planted the idea in his head to run for the top post himself.

ALTHOUGH I WONDER how McMichael will react when he learns that he would actually be a “village president” (although most of these suburban village presidents go about calling themselves “mayor,” thinking it makes them sound more impressive)?

Also, how will he react to learning that Romeoville has a form of government in which there is a village manager who does the day-to-day duties of running the village.

That person works at the pleasure of the village president and the village trustees. But being the village president/mayor/chief executive essentially is a figurehead position. Will McMichael comprehend that fact? Or will Romeoville turn into a municipal circus?

“Mongo” will get to wield a gavel with the best of them – if he can manage to win the next municipal election cycle (with Election Day scheduled for April 9).

PERSONALLY, IT WOULDN’T shock me to learn that McMichael could win. There will be a number of people who will get off on the novelty of voting for a celebrity for government office.

As for those people who will argue that it is embarrassing to put the one-time Bear/pro wrestler/Chicago Slaughter coach/football broadcast pre-game analyst in office likely will come across as fuddy duddys for wanting to have someone actually knowledgeable about government in office.

Besides, it is amusing to hear McMichael say he will consult the village president of Palatine – who happens to be one-time NFL linebacker (including a Chicago Bears stint) Jim Schwantz.

It might be the first time that Romeoville and Palatine had anything in common, or were thought of as a pair in any way.

BUT TO THE best of my knowledge, Palatine isn’t governed the least bit irresponsibly by Schwantz.

Then again, Schwantz didn’t have anything resembling the wacky personality that McMichael has – although he told ESPN radio that the whole “Mongo” personality, “was a character I played when I played for the Bears.”

I’m not sure I buy into that. Which makes me think that the one-time Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (as in a former professional wrestler, just like Mongo) would be a more apt comparison.

Because, let’s be honest, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas (a former Bears kicker) was unique in that he actually followed up an athletic career with a law school education and time as an attorney before he went for that seat on the high court.

ULTIMATELY, IT WILL be up to the people who live in Romeoville and have bothered both to register to vote and to turn out on Election Day to decide if they want to have a “Mayor Mongo.”

They will prove to us the truth of the old adage, “Every country has the government it deserves.”

And I suspect that the rest of us will enjoy the novelty – although it would be amusing to see if Romeoville could pay neighboring Joliet in football. Just think of how McMichael could run roughshod over his home village if they lost?


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