According to Nielsen, 37.2 million viewers tuned into Palin's speech, just 1.1 million viewers fewer than Obama's record number from last Thursday. Can McCain beat those numbers--especially when he's going up against the NFL's first game of the season?

P.S. A weird coincidence. I was riding in the back of the Straight Talk Express in New Hamsphire last December, watching the Redskins-Bears game on the TV--since, after spending all day with a then-accessible McCain, I and the other reporters had run out of questions for him--when the Redskins' QB Jason Campbell went out with a gruesome knee injury. Looking back on it, I don't know what I would have thought was less likely at that moment: that Campbell would be back in the starting lineup tonight; or that McCain, whose candidacy had been all but written off at that point, would be accepting his party's nomination.

--Jason Zengerle