There’s some kinda True Hoop public gathering taking place tonight at Times Square’s ESPN Zone, and I’m sorry to say despite being in NYC, I’m unable to attend.  There was some, shall we say, unpleasantness, the last time I visited that establishment.  I tend to take the “theme” portion of “theme restaurant” a little too seriously, and much the way I commemorated a trip to the Fashion Cafe by inducing vomiting 3 or 4 times during my meal, apparently, my behavior at the ESPN Zone was a tad too boo-ya riffic for some of my fellow patrons.

But no worries, TH’s Henry Abbott (above, left) will be the host of tonight’s proceedings, and he sets the stage for this gala affair by asking us to consider himself as JFK…and Quentin Richardson as Nixon?  Hey, anyone besides Anthony Hopkins!

There will be video cameras there — to record this for broadcast on this here website — so I have some vague notion that I should look presentable. I remember reading once about the first-ever televised presidential debate, which was between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

TV, at that point, was an iffy medium. Probably not all that important, in the minds of some (like the Internet, I guess, today). Nixon paid the debate not much mind, and spent the whole day on the campaign trail. Kennedy, meanwhile, lingered in bed and went to great trouble to look his best.

When the debate took place, Nixon was sweaty and weird-looking, suffering from some kind of cold, and sweating generously under the lights. Kennedy, on the other hand, could not have looked more perfect if he had been made out of wax.

People who heard that debate on the radio thought Nixon won. People who saw it on television, however, were convinced that Kennedy was the better leader. And Kennedy won the election.

Lesson: you had better look good if you’re going to be on television.