Just a few years ago Iowa’s governor said he didn’t know how to send e-mail. Now, Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports that Tom Vilsack has embraced some of the latest electrical gadgets. The governor has not one but two BlackBerrys, hand-held devices that let you monitor your e-mail and surf the Internet over a wireless connection. Plus, the 55-year-old Vilsack has yet another gizmo that is bringing him, crashing, into the electronic age.
His wife gave him a Sony Playstation for Christmas. The governor plays N-F-L-style football and his user settings always have him guiding his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers down the field. “My kids have basically had to program this thing so it’s at the easiest level and I’m just learning,” Vilsack says. “I’ve got a long way to go.” Vilsack’s “kids” would be 28-year-old Jess and 25-year-old Doug.
If the governor progresses to the top level of the game, he’d be able to call audibles and switch defenses right before the snap, but Vilsack says that’s all just too complicated for him to master right now. Vilsack was a guest on WHO-TV’s “SoundOff” program on Sunday night — a Des Moines television station’s sports show.
While on the air, Vilsack played against a station intern, and quit when he was down 13 to zip and the show was about to end at 11:30. “This is an excuse. It’s not a very good one. I didn’t have my contacts in so I couldn’t see,” Vilsack says. “I didn’t know it was fourth and nine, otherwise I would have punted.”