We stayed up late last night watching the election returns last night with far more vigor and intensity than we watched the BCS Championship Game on Monday night. Sure, we might have had more personally at stake in this one, but that's not the real reason we were so compelled. We were amazed because we learned that in politics — a field in which we have studied less closely than we have sports over the first 32 years of our lives — people are just as awful at predictions than they are in sports.
In politics they call them "pundits," whereas in sports we call them "experts," "columnists" or "Bayless." But it's pretty much the same thing; as Hillary Clinton's shocking win in New Hampshire last night proved, nobody knows anything. We've been reading Swampland and Andrew Sullivan and The Page and The Stump like someone poring over their fantasy team for the last few months, and not a single "pundit" saw last night's results coming. If we were in sports, Hillary's speech would have been nothing but her pounding her chest, screaming about "respect."
It was amusing to watch Chris Matthews and Tim Russert echo Chris Berman last night, with their, "that's why they play the games" comments. We jumped into study of this year's presidential race with the notion that we did not understand anything, that the world of political coverage was a far different one, with different rules and maxims, than the world of sports coverage. After last night, we now know: Nope, same shit.