On the slim chance that this year’s political television juggernaut has not penetrated the homes of devout sports fans, the campaign trail will lead Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama to ESPN’s Monday Night Football just hours before next week’s presidential election.

In pretaped interviews set to air during halftime of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Washington Redskins game, Obama and McCain will face probing questions from ESPN anchor Chris Berman about — sports.

“We are obviously primarily a sports network so the questions you are going to get here are going to be different than you would get with ABC News,” says ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer.

In 2006, Obama appeared in a Monday Night Football opening sequence ahead of the Chicago Bears-St. Louis Rams that played on speculation that he would announce his bid for president.  The Democrat and pick-up basketball enthusiast has since appeared in other ESPN coverage.

McCain has appeared on ESPN talk radio show ”Mike & Mike in the Morning” and sat down for an interview with ESPN sportscaster Bob Ley about sports legislation. His wife Cindy revealed her passion for “drifting” on ESPN’s E:60 news magazine program.