The Republican nominee for president, Senator John McCain of Arizona, wrestled a Kodiak bear in front of 60,000 spectators at Yankee Stadium Thursday night. The surprise bear-wrestling match captivated the nation’s attention and prompted every broadcast and cable news network to carry the event live, instead of airing the highly anticipated vice presidential debate between Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden, as planned. The bear fight, billed by the McCain campaign as “Grapple In The Big Apple,” garnered an estimated 120 million viewers, becoming the most watched television event in American history.
Republicans insist that Senator McCain's willingness to wrestle a live bear demonstrates "a toughness to lead the nation," but Democrats dismissed it as a “desperate attempt to distract voters from Governor Palin's performance at the vice- presidential debate last night.” Overnight polls indicate that Senator McCain's bold decision to wrestle the bear was a success. 82 percent of voters agreed that Senator McCain is a “strong leader,” a 28-point increase from just three days ago. And 98 percent of voters now say that Senator McCain’s age is no longer an issue.
The 72-year old senator waited until the last minute to announce his historic bear-wrestling match, breaking the news yesterday during an impromptu appearance on an episode of The Maury Povich Show featuring children who had been conceived in porta-potties. Tickets sold out within 30 minutes and fans started streaming into Yankee Stadium several hours before the match. The whole event quickly took on a gladiatorial feel, with the crowd stomping and chanting, “Kill, kill, kill!” and, “We love oil!”. Vendors sold shooting targets with pictures of Joan Walsh and Andrea Mitchell, beer mugs made in the likeness of Mr. McCain’s fist and t-shirts bearing the slogan, "I saw John McCain kill a bear."
Immediately after the vice presidential debate began in St. Louis, a 300-pound Kodiak bear emerged from the Yankee dugout, wandered across the infield and defecated on third base. A chorus of boos rang down from above, many fans showered the field with garbage and a “Bomb Iran” chant rumbled through the bleachers. Moments later, Senator McCain, dressed in a silk boxing robe with Prisoner of War written across the back, came charging out from the leftfield bullpen, growling and panting like an animal. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause and tossed burning effigies of Hugo Chavez and Joy Behar onto the field. Ted Nugent appeared on the Chevron sponsored jumbo-tron, shouting “America kicks ass!” into a machine gun microphone.
Senator McCain tossed aside his silk robe, revealing red, white and blue boxing trunks. He raised a wireless microphone to his lips and shouted, “I was a prisoner of war and Barack Obama was not!” The crowd went wild, started chanting, “Prisoner of war!” and then tried to set fire to the MSNBC broadcast booth. Senator McCain pounded his naked chest, emitted a primal roar and sprinted full speed towards the bear, which roused from his nap when he heard the Republican nominee approach. The bear stood on its hind legs and waited for Senator McCain, who dove towards him, but the septuagenarian overshot and slid several yards across the infield on his bare chest. Senator McCain, still holding the microphone, struggled to get up and could be heard cursing and muttering. The bear seemed disinclined to fight the senator and instead plopped down and yawned, before playfully rolling around on his back. Ted Nugent, still watching the match from the Chevron jumbo-tron, shouted "pussy bear!" while the crowd jumped up and down shouting, "Putin is queer!"
The Republican nominee, looking angry and winded, brushed grass from his chest and then charged the bear again, this time crashing onto the prone animal's chest. Senator McCain and the bear remained in a tight embrace and rolled several yards across the outfield before coming to a stop. When the senator let go and struggled to his feet, his boxing trunks fell to the ground, revealing a puffy adult diaper. The crowd fell silent as the Republican nominee, looking flustered and short of breath, hastily pulled up his trunks and said, "there's nothing to see here." The bear lumbered to his feet, raised his back leg and urinated for several awkward minutes while Senator McCain, unsure of his next move, stood nearby with a scowl on his face. After relieving himself, the animal turned his back on the senator and walked back towards the Yankee dugout. Senator McCain shouted "get back here" and then delivered three hard kicks to the bear's rear-end. Unperturbed, the massive Kodiak trotted down the dugout steps and disappeared into the tunnel. Senator McCain raised a fist into the air, shouted "I kicked that bear's ass!" and then took a deep bow while the crowd roared and threw burning Keith Olbermann dolls onto the field. The former prisoner of war picked up one of the smoldering Olbermann dolls, chewed the head off and swallowed it whole in one bite. Then he wrapped himself in an American flag and trotted off the field while everyone sung "God Bless America."
Senator McCain’s bear-wrestling match eclipsed coverage of his running mate’s comments in last night’s debate, which might otherwise would have made significant news. Ms. Palin stated that Chinese people "are really smooth and cute," Alaska's dinosaurs are endangered by climate change and America “owns the moon." When asked to describe the influences on her political thinking, Governor Palin mentioned a Fudruckers manager in Wasilla and her cousin Chad.