Sure, we all have a civic duty to watch the debate tonight between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. How many gaffes will Biden commit? Which Palin bit can we expect to show up on Saturday Night Live this weekend? But those of us living in Chicago have other civic duties as well; namely that both of our baseball teams are in the playoffs. We answer to a higher power.

The White Sox open their series against the Tampa Bay Rays today at 1:30 p.m., but that doesn’t mean watching the debate tonight instead of the Cubs game is a no-brainer. After all, White Sox fans love to watch the Cubs lose, and I’m sure many will tune in for just that reason alone.

The debate is at 8. The Cubs, down a game to the Dodgers, play again tonight at 8:30. With the enigmatic Carlos Zambrano on the mound, Cubs fans won’t want to miss a second because Big Z could spontaneously combust at any moment - or throw a no-hitter.

What to do?

If you don’t have split-screen capability or multiple TVs you can set up in one room, you do what you’ve done your whole life: You master the clicker.

And fortunately for us, the Tribune provides a decent guide for how to navigate your channel-changing. For example:

“Switch to the ballgame: If you can’t stand any more of the sports-inspired clutter - scoreboards and audience-reaction meters - CNN loads the screen with.

“Switch to the debate: If you feel TBS isn’t putting enough clutter on the screen.”

The Tribune’s drinking game suggestions aren’t bad either, but they’re really just a start. Feel free to expand and adjust.

Finally, Barack Obama is a noted White Sox fan so we assume he’ll be watching the debate tonight. But he did tell ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning that “I’m not a Cubs hater. I don’t dislike the Cubs. If my White Sox were not in it, I would be rooting for the Cubs.”

Sounds like a pander, given his recent dig at Cubs fans, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Politics really shouldn’t be allowed while baseball is being played.

Posted in Moral Dilemmas, Presidential Poop, Punditocracy   Tagged: Barack Obama, Cubs, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, vide presidential debate, White Sox   
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