The Washington Times - September 4, 2008, 07:27PM

ST. PAUL, MN | Redskins fans will be faced with a choice, of sorts, tonight around 8:45 p.m. EDT, when former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs speaks at the Republican National Convention.

At the same time, his former team will be playing in the NFL opener at the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants.

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It may be that Mr. Gibbs’ speech will be the only thing to peel eyes away from the game to the convention, up until John McCain speaks a few minutes after 10 p.m. EDT.

The game is just one of several distractions this week that have plagued the GOP convention, which is the subject of a story on our front page tomorrow.

Our story will look back on what has been one of the most chaotic and unpredictable nominating conventions in history, which ended with the conservative movement nonetheless united behind the McCain/Palin ticket.

Much of the reason for the newfound conservative cohesion is their excitement over Sarah Palin’s speech Wednesday night, which electrified the crowd inside Xcel Energy Center and attracted 37 million viewers, only 1 milion less than Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech last week.

Constant McCain critic Rush Limbaugh gushed over Mrs. Palin’s speech on his radio show today, saying he “didn’t want the night to end.”

“What a night. Folks, we have a future beyond November here,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “The convention has been unified on the basis of conservatism.”

“Believe me, Barack Obama has a lot to fear today and he knows it,” he said. “This lady has turned it all around … from now on, on this program John McCain will be known as John McBrilliant.”