Life doesn’t offer do-overs very often, but when it does, we tend to take notice. Entire Hollywood movies starring Ryan Reynolds have been made about the simple concept of a second chance—and we watch, because we all secretly wish we had an opportunity to fix a personal flub.

But there was no need to turn to Hollywood this week. Second chances popped up in Missoula like wildflowers, providing enough drama to keep us glued to our Twitter feeds.

Not that we did that while driving, mind you. No, we heard the message with Verizon-like clarity last week when Missoula’s City Council passed a strict cell phone ban for local drivers. That didn’t sit well with yammering yahoos obsessed with calling their peeps during the eight minutes it takes to zip across town. They complained loudly enough to force Mayor John Engen to call for a do-over. On June 8, he vetoed the ordinance, lifting the ban on callers and only making drive-by texting illegal. The only complaint Engen’s received since the veto: “dnt h8 tha playa, h8 tha gm.”

Speaking of player haters, the NCAA asked for its own do-over last week. The bloated collegiate bureaucracy admitted that, if it paid better attention to its own regulations, UM wouldn’t have hosted a playoff football game last fall. According to NCAA rules, no state that allows legalized sports gambling should be awarded postseason contests, and the Montana Lottery includes a sports fantasy game that just barely crosses the line. While Griz Nation frets over the possible loss of an extra tailgating weekend—not to mention a few million in local revenue—the NCAA claims it will not make the same mistake twice. UM officials are reportedly in a hurry-up offense to work out the situation before next season’s kickoff.

But perhaps the best example of a recent do-over occurred June 3, when U.S. Sen. Max Baucus granted himself a second chance to meet with single-payer advocates in Washington, D.C. Unless you’ve been stuck in a coma the last few weeks, you know that Baucus initially refused to consider the single-payer option when he took on the task of reforming the nation’s health care system. Single-payer fans didn’t appreciate Baucus turning his back on them, and have since upped the pressure on the Montana senator with nationwide protests and rallies. The tactic didn’t immediately translate to results, though—Baucus used the meeting to tell single-payer advocates that he regretted not hearing them out earlier, but that now it was too late to add their plan to the debate.

While there’s still a chance of single-payer gaining traction in D.C., the Baucus fracas just goes to show that second chances don’t always ensure a Hollywood ending.


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