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Get your popcorn ready

If youre anything like me Lord have mercy if you are these next few months are as good as it gets. A great many people view September with contempt. Take my mother, for example. She works at a public school, and she views the month of September with the same contempt that, say, the Scottish do the English in the film Braveheart. Never mind the fact that I was born in September. To this day, Im sure she planned her entire pregnancy so that I would be born when school started, so that she could promptly lock up her office after a few weeks of work and say, Well, Im sure this kid is going to be a handful... Ill see you jerks in April. But me? I love this time of year. Football season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. when the Redskins face the Giants in New York and Im sure Big Blue will squeeze out a victory, with the final score somewhere in the vicinity of 27-24. The quarterback situation just isnt stable enough in Washington, although the Skins defense will surely rattle Eli Mannings cage and make things tough for Brandon Jacobs. The NFL is just one good reason to love this time of year. The MLB regular season is winding down, and right about now the Yankees will probably realize that they dont automatically qualify for the postseason. This fall, however, sports will have to take a backseat to something bigger and better. And Im not talking about McCain v. Obama, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars or the return of The Office. Im talking about the grand-daddy of all political battles. And those of us lucky enough to live in the 20th congressional district get a front row seat. As I write this, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Greenport) is counting her dollars and hoping that the race for her all-important seat in the House turns into a TV slugfest which may be her only chance at beating Sandy Treadwell (R-Lake Placid). It seems like it was yesterday that Gillibrand squeaked out a victory against Republican incumbent John Sweeney. Sweeneys campaign made a few well-documented missteps that favored the Congresswoman, and it certainly helped that Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer were so strong in the polls. Gillibrand wont be so lucky this time around. Democrats may be gaining ground nationally, but in New York State, the party has taken a few major hits (see: Eliot Spitzer). And Gov. David Patersons recent call for a halt to rampant state-spending certainly doesnt bode well for a Democrat who has been hailed for her ability to acquire capital for a multitude of projects. A few people take issue with my take on this race, mostly because they believe Treadwell will defeat Gillibrand handily. Who cares? Millions of viewers tuned in last fall to see the Patriots put a stomping on the Dolphins, despite the lopsided nature of the game. And one team lacked the resources to make it competitive, whereas this race promises record spending by both sides. Thats right, folks, Gillibrand might not have Treadwells deep pockets, but she has many shallow ones. Trust that Sen. Clinton will make a few appearances on her behalf, and Schumer has already made his support for Gillibrand clear in the rural areas where she will need help the most. As of press time, no polls had been released regarding the 20th congressional race, and I for one could care less. In 2006, three polls released prior to November showed Sweeney carrying a huge advantage over all adversaries. All of them were flat-out wrong. So here we are, then. August is winding down and election season is upon us, and its time to heed Dallas Cowboy wide-receiver Terrell Owenss advice. Get your popcorn ready. Chris Morris is the news editor at Denton Publications. He can be reached at chrism@denpubs.com

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