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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Ex-NFL’er finds football a stronger tie than politics

It isn’t every day that a Dem congressional candidate in blood-red Idaho asks for support from a man who spoke at the 2008 GOP national convention on behalf of presidential candidate John McCain. And gets it.

But Jimmy Farris is special to former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. Farris, who lasted eight years with five teams in the tough NFL after playing high school football at Lewiston, contacted his old coach when he decided to run for Republican congressman Raul Labrador’s 1st District seat. Farris told Huckleberries Thursday that he talked with Gibbs’ secretary, Cindy Mangum, when he couldn’t reach his old mentor. Later, Gibbs left a phone message in which he asked Farris whether he was running as a Republican or a Democrat. Chuckling, Gibbs said that Farris would get his vote if he ran as a Republican, and he’d get secretary Cindy’s vote if he ran as a Democrat. Then, turning serious, Farris said, the coach assured him that he would support his former player.

Farris, wearing the ha-huge ring he earned in Super Bowl XXXVI with New England, said there are parallels to playing in the NFL and running for Congress as an Idaho Democrat: “I was a long shot in both situations. I was definitely an underdog to make it to the NFL out of Lewiston, Idaho. I’m average size – 6 foot, 200 pounds. But so many things that I used to achieve the goal of playing in the NFL are the exact things I’m using now to run a campaign as a Democrat. Fundamentals. Hard work. Dedication. Passion.” The support of an NFL Hall of Fame football coach doesn’t hurt either.

Out, out, Donna

Huckleberries hears … that Donna Montgomery got a fine howdy-do at the United (Uber) Conservatives of North Idaho candidates’ forum in Rathdrum on Monday. Donna? She’s a Republican queenpin who has chaired the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee, held a state GOP position and started three local GOP clubs. According to a Berry Picker, Donna arrived with her husband, Monty, early for the shindig. But she was stopped by a human guard dog when she tried to attend an eyes-only-top-secret workshop for precinct committee candidates. Donna reportedly was asked whether she had an invitation to be at the workshop. When Donna said no, she was told to scram. Can you feel the love among the dysfunctional Kootenai County GOP?


On her Facebook wall, Huckleberries Online follower Beth Bollinger lists one of the benefits for baby-sitting nephews: “I get the chance to remember how good Graham crackers are” … SR City Editor Addy Hatch tweeted Thursday: “Caller, 83, wants us to investigate whether thicker metal is used for canned goods; she’s having harder time opening them.” Thicker cans? Or older hands? … Quotable Quote: “The best thing about texting is it enables you to torture friends who are in meetings. Just texted ‘I’m still in my jammies and you are not!’” – HucksOnline blog- and baby-sitter Cindy Hval.

Parting shot

Speaking of Kootenai County Republicans, current Chairwoman Tina Jacobson has subpoenaed The Spokesman-Review to produce the names of three commenters who post anonymously on my HucksOnline blog. She has filed suit against one of the anonymous posters claiming libel for a comment that was made on my blog Feb. 14 and quickly removed. Our stand? Quoth SR attorney Duane Swinton: “The position of The Spokesman-Review is that we will protect the names of confidential sources and anonymous posters to the extent provided by law.” Stay tuned.

You can follow D.F. Oliveria’s blog, Huckleberries Online, at www.

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