Proving once again that close access to politicians doesn't result in favoritism or any other blurring of professional responsibility, members of the media covering the Romney campaign played a fun little game of flag football with Romney's staff on Sunday. Such fun! Many hilarious jokes were made.

"Who's the ringer over here? Who is it, who is it?" Romney asked the assembled reporters. Then, turning to his campaign staff, clad in red T-shirts, he asked, "Where's Chris Christie when we need him? He's our line."

It's tough to top an obvious fat joke, but Romney did his best by encouraging his staff to injure their opponents.

Mr. Romney joked that his team should try to win at all costs.

"Don't worry about injuries guys - this counts," he said. "Win!"

And when the journalists tried to, you know, be journalists, there were just more jokes.

During his brief beach appearance, Mr. Romney also was asked - and ignored - several questions about the news of the day.

"Governor, as president, would you be open to one-on-one talks with Iran?" asked one reporter in the wake of a New York Times report suggesting that such talks were in the offing. The other two questions dealt with recent poll numbers and Monday night's debate.

Garrett Jackson, Mr. Romney's body man, tried to brush the questions off: "Guys, this is a football game," he said. "Come on. Are you kidding me?"

"I thought you were talking about one-on-one talks with the president," Mr. Romney said with a laugh. "I was about to answer."


Perhaps most depressing, though, was Romney's continued use/awful co-option of Friday Night Light's "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" motto. He led his team in a chant of the motto before the game, and gave the team's captain and his communication director Gail Gitchco a bracelet emblazoned with the campaign's version of the saying, changed slightly to read "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, America Can't Lose."

The story also features one of the more meaningful corrections in recent New York Times history:

Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly referred to the Secret Service agents on Mr. Romney's team as the defensive line. They were acting as the offensive line as Ann Romney threw a touchdown pass.

We're all glad that's cleared up. The game ended in a 14-14 tie, in case anyone was wondering.

[Image via AP]