The windy city word: Sports has the answers

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For the past week or so, I have been struggling to get my head around the financial mess that we are currently in. What does all this bailout talk really mean for us around the country?

As with most situations that life presents me I turned to sports for perspective in an effort to get a betÂter grasp on the situation.

The Bailout

It is clear that the proposed $700 billion bailout is a lot of monÂey, but just how much wasn’t clear until I compared it to the Yankees payroll, which I once considered monstrous.

I never thought I would look at New York’s $207 million in expenditures as small, but compared to the $700 billion taxpayers could soon be coughing up, Steinbrenner looks frugal.

(Just imagine the dream team Congress could put together with all those billions. We could see Manny Ramirez, Brett Favre, Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan all on the same field!)

Who is right to fix this mess?

My vote for president goes to MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

With the current financial struggles we are facing, I have faith that he will bring revenue sharing and will be able to unite the parties in 11-inning Congress ties.

In clinching their first playoff spot – and holding off the Red Sox – the Rays have proved that revenue sharing is working, which means Selig has accomplished a lot more than many politicians.

Some of Selig’s exploits have received negative press, but while ties are seen in a negative light in baseball, bringing the two sides to some final accord in Congress may be a good thing.

All I keep on hearing is that John McCain and Barack Obama want to unite the parties. But in my opinion, Selig is the best equipped for the job after his masterful performance in Milwaukee in 2002 when he brought the best in MLB to a tie.

McCain rides again

McCain’s sudden reappearÂance in Washington – his first such appearance since April 6 – has thrown a further wrench in what is already the weirdest political race ever.

Such a sudden and unexpected return reminded me of our dear friend Lance Armstrong, who has decided to remount his bicycle and continue his fight against cancer.

If cycling wasn’t already messed up enough with all the doping scandals, they toss in an embattled veteran who has won the Tour de France more than anyone else. Lance is a true maverick.

Does the 37-year-old Armstrong really think he has a chance to win the Tour again or is he just trying to attract the other Olsen twin?

At 37, approximately 72 in Tour de France years, Armstrong is anyÂthing but spry, yet he is determined to be heard and make a difference.

It is a valiant quest and I respect his cancer awareness initiatives, but he is going to need more than that to win the 2,200-mile race once again.

The real question is whether either of these aging men, McCain or Armstrong, can sustain their “competitive fire” in returns to their old stomping grounds.