Chris Matthews: Wow, what an amazing day. We’ve got TWO enormous primaries going on. Indiana and North Carolina. Lots of big, big delegates up for grabs. The impact of what happens today is gonna reverberate ALL across the country. You know… this is amazing! This is REALLY amazing! Ya gotta love it! Howard Fineman of Newsweek joins us now. Hey Howard…

Howard Fineman: Yes?

Chris: Isn’t this election just like a great FOOTBALL GAME? I mean, like a great knockdown, drag-out football game, where people are hitting each other really hard and really going at it? Don’t you think it’s just like a football game?

Howard: Not really, no.

Chris: I think it’s just like a football game, I really do. It reminds me of, you know, going to the stadium and seeing two teams just BATTLE back and forth. Only now we’re in OVERTIME! Isn’t it just like an OVER TIME FOOTBALL GAME?

Howard: Again, no. Football is an athletic contest played on a field whose outcome is determined by some combination of physical skill and good luck. This is a presidential primary election, whose outcome hinges on grass roots organization and effective if sometimes duplicitous PR and ad campaigns. It’s, you know, totally different.

Chris: Yeah, but can’t you just see Obama as the cocky young quarterback, who isn’t favored to win, but finds himself with a giant lead at the half? Only now he’s just trying to hang onto that lead, while the original favorite storms back and makes him sweat a little? Huh? I think he’s just like that. Don’t you think he’s like a football UNDERDOG here? A football underdog who kinda becomes the favorite, only to slip a little and therefore regain his underdog status? Isn’t he kinda like a slightly favored underdog?

Howard: What?

Chris: And can’t you see Hillary Clinton as the savvy veteran coach over on the other sideline? And she’s been through THE WARS! I mean, she’s seen it all! And now this young upstart throws her off at the beginning, so now she has to use all her wiles to get her team back in it? Don’t you think? You know, I think she’s just like Weeb Ewbank!

Howard: I don’t really see the connection.

Chris: I mean, isn’t this just FASCINATING! I think it is absolutely FASCINATING! The twists. The turns. Just a RIVETING five months. Don’t you think?

Howard: No, not really. I think many people found it interesting the first week or so, but would now happily mash their testicles in a garlic press rather than have this god-awful slog carry on one excruciating day longer.

Chris: It IS great, isn’t it? Say, don’t you think Obama supporters are just like Jacksonville Jaguars fans? I mean, they’re new to the whole football-slash-politics thing, BUT THEY LOVE IT! Then reality sets in a bit, and they kind of have to weather the storm. And they say, “Hey wait a second! This isn’t fair!” But then they figure it out it’s just HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED! Don’t you think Barack Obama is just like David Garrard?

Howard: Who?

Chris: Let’s bring on Tim Russert here. Tim, don’t you think this election is just like a great FOOTBALL GAME?

Tim: You said it. A real barnburner, Chris.

Howard: Jesus.

Tim: You know, it reminds me a lot of when my dad, BIG RUSS, and I watched Bills games together. Just one of those real back-and-forth games. You had Jim Kelly, the great, All-pro quarterback. And you had Thurman Thomas, the wonderful running back. Those were real competitions. And that’s what we have here. A REAL competition. With Barack Obama, whose this sort of great, unpolished talent. Very much like Vince Young, the quarterback down in Tennessee.

Chris: I agree. I think he’s just like Vince Young, right down to the gay throwing motion. This REALLY is astounding. I’ve always said politics is just like football, and it’s showing here.

Tim: Actually Chris, you have deviated from that platform on occasion. I have a quote here that YOU gave to MSNBC just two months earlier where you said, quote: “I think this election is just like a GREAT HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING MATCH,” unquote. So you said boxing match back then, and now you’re saying football. How do you reconcile those two positions?

Chris: HA! That’s amazing, Tim! God, you’re just like a GREAT TENNIS PLAYER! Always volleying back and forth with all kinds of moves. It’s amazing! Let’s bring on Senator Clinton here for a moment. Senator Clinton, don’t you think you’re just like BILL BELICHICK? Always scheming, sort of seeking out that winning edge any way you can find it? In fact, don’t you and your husband combine to represent Belichick perfectly, with your knack for evil plotting and your husband’s penchant for hot cougar tail?

Clinton: I don’t really know about that, Chris. All I really know is that we’re gonna need someone who is ready to lead this country, someone with over 35 years of experience. I also know that Jeremiah Wright is the sort of dangerous, untamed black man who could single handedly destroy this nation with his bare hands, and that his Unruly Negro Disease could have been passed on to Barack Obama at any point during his 20 years in the church. And I think white people in rural areas really need to think about that.

Chris: Omigod, Jeremiah Wright! He’s incredible. Don’t you think he’s EXACTLY like Terrell Owens? Always coming by to throw a monkey wrench into the team chemistry?

Clinton: Yes, that’s an excellent analogy.

Tim: And John Edwards kinda looks like a young college basketball coach.

Chris: Let me ask you both. Don’t you think John McCain is just like Tom Coughlin? With the all the pent-up anger and what not?

Howard: Christ.