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Football vs. Politics


I was ruminating on some of the comments we typically get when we don’t join in the latest Palinpalooza Wankfestivus. Then a football analogy occurred to me.

Both football and politics are popular spectator sports. The actual players make lots of money and have little in common with their loyal fans. They both use violent imagery, but football has far more actual violence.

Both football and politics are team sports, but football fans are allowed to be objective without having their loyalty questioned. If you say that the other team’s quarterback is a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame nobody accuses you of wanting the other team to win.

Now let’s say the other team has a great quarterback and two great wide receivers but no running game. But your team decides to commit to stopping the run, daring their quarterback to throw the ball. So you scream at your team’s coach, “Are you insane? You’re playing to their strength!

Do you think the other fans would consider you a traitor? Not likely.

Not only that, but if the instant replay clearly shows that the other team’s wide receiver caught the ball with both feet in bounds, nobody expects you to insist otherwise. When your team’s players screw up you’re allowed to curse and boo them.

Politics is different. You are expected to insist that your team’s players and strategies are better than the other team’s, whether they really are or not. You are required to claim the other team’s players are all talentless losers. You’re also obligated to protest every call that goes against your team, no matter what really happened. And you never, ever admit that your team deserved to lose.

Worst of all, you’re supposed to keep buying season tickets even if your team keeps losing, year after year.


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32 Responses

  1. Are you saying the proggers have weak defensive backs.

  2. Cheerleaders get paid, fans don’t. Ideally voters will be more circumspect than professional bloggers.

  3. A soccer analogy is useful too, where the offense and defense are always on the field at the same time. The Italian national team for instance are known for their strong defense and counter attack. They lull you onto their side of the field, never allow you to score, wait for you to make a mistake and lose the ball, then sprint to the other end of the field with deft passing and usually score just enough times to win.

  4. Good comparison. Whatever corresponds to the referees in this analogy, I don’t want to be that. Both sides hate them. Just tell me we’re not the referees.

  5. What’s funny is if you want violent rhetoric, sports analogies take the cake. Plus, the players get physically injured all the time. No one blames the trash talk for the violence.

  6. If only we could do some trade baiting.

  7. Once again you’ve nailed it.

    And… heaven help you if you try to listen to both sides without a jaded ear:

    http://syd4.blogspot.com/2011/01/same-message-from-palin-and-obama-which.html

  8. Good post MYIQ. Your analogy is very apt, especially the part about the expectation that you will support every play your team makes, or fails to make, in complete contradiction of reality.

  9. Great post, myiq. Thank you.

    It’s what I was trying to say about being tribal: “our side” is always right; “their side” is always wrong (and stupid).

    Not necessarily.

    I liked the Jon Stewart line: “So, we’re gonna make new laws, just to tell Sarah Palin “F*ck you’ “. He nailed it!

  10. Good analogy, myiq. I said this downstairs, but am going to pull it up here, as it fits. The Left’s strategy is killing them.

    In the current political climate, the ONLY way for the left to succeed is to take Palin and other conservatives seriously, and go head-to-head with them over policy, and the role and function of government. Demonizing isn’t going to work. Calling them selfish or cold-hearted or crazy isn’t going to work. The debate is going to have to be over the role and function and limits and benefits of govt.

    Liberals can actually win that debate, if they’ll have it honestly. If they refuse to have it, if they sidestep and just rail on conservative personalities themselves, and how “hateful” they are, expect another ass-whipping in 2012.

    Someone said that the conservatives are not making policy argument either, but specific policies are not necessarily what the public is questioning.

    Conservatives are making arguments about the role and function of govt – in a concerted and cohesive fashion. You may not like what they are saying, but oh yes indeedy they are addressing it like gangbusters.

    The Dems are not. They are walking around acting as if it’s just ridiculous to even talk about that. Behaving, in the face of a very real grassroots disgust with a bloated, corrupt, expensive, ineffective State, as if they do not even have to address the issue of WHY more govt is so much better than less govt, and what is their vision of its role and its limits, and its benefits.

    It is a deadly error on their part. When your opponent’s arguments are resonating with the audience, sputtering around going “well that’s just silly and they’re just stoopid, and why are these morons even on the same STAGE with me!” ain’t gonna cut it.

    If that was going to work, it would have worked by now.

    • Word. :)

    • Of course, the Dems might be in better shape if they concentrated on sharpening and refining their own message instead of stopping every five minutes to obsess over some dumb/vicious/dishonest remark made by a Republican.
      It’s one thing to maintain a rapid-response War Room operation to deal with the sort of bushwhacking that occurs during an election campaign. That’s just sound tactics. What matters more in the long run, tho, is devising ways of telling the voters a convincing story during the odd-numbered years. Getting distracted constantly by opposition blathering isn’t the way to do that.

    • And, to use another sports analogy, Start going after the ball, not the man(/woman)!

  11. It’s what happens when we elect crooks and conmen. For some reason they just won’t enact good policy.
    And then the “stupid” voters stop trusting what they say.

    • darn, that was supposed to nest under wmcb’s comment. *grumble*

    • Yup. It would be nice if the Dems, with their supermajority, had done some helpful policy they could point to, to say: “See? This is how govt can be a favorable influence and help the public good without trampling all over individuals or wasting loads of cash.”

      If they could then use that to enlarge on their vision of how govt is supposed to work. And the fence-sitting people could say, “Okay, I might be skeptical, but they did pretty good on that – let’s give them a shot at some more stuff.”That’s what Bill did.

      Instead, faced with accusations that govt is unwieldy, and interested only in its own propagation and power, they can point to…….WHAT??? to show that is not true, that it can be an effective and efficient force for good. They can’t point to jack crap.

      • Not only are they not making the point about the role and function of government, they’re also enacting policy that proves the other side’s point. UGH.

    • I’m going to repeat this post I found to respond:

      THE CHICAGO WAY

      Set up Straw Men.

      Demonize the dirty rotten greedy Straw Men.

      Ask for money to fight the Straw Men.

      Laugh all the way to the bank.

      Anybody who disagrees belongs to the KKK.

  12. too funny!

    Yesterday I said the dems don’t have a running game.

    I don’t think they know how to maintain possession and make small progress while running out the clock. They seem to try throwing hail mary passes and deny it when it gets intercepted.

  13. … “great wide receivers” … “no running game” … “commit to stopping the run” … “both feet in bounds” …

    Huh? 8O

    Three Wickets at 4:02 am makes much more sense. ;)

  14. What’s different TODAY, I think, is that the public (especially the Independents) will be watching carefully to see if Obama’s own rabid supporters themselves (MSNBC) will be able to live up to his purported expectations.

    Be very, very careful, Obots.

  15. Great analogy and post. Well, it could be I’m just saying that because I will take any excuse to talk about football. But still, yes.

    Another thing: When a team consistently loses, the fans will stay loyal…they will still buy tickets and hot dogs and cheer the team…as long as real efforts are being shown that improvement is on the way. (And usually the first improvement is firing the COACH…think about it!)

    “No one blames the trash talk for the violence.”

    In fact, I’ve heard players say they enjoy it because it gets them psyched up.

    And since we’re on fooooooosball, watch this exclusive video of Obots trying to induce you to drink Gatorade (Kool-Aid!) instead of the pure, clean water of true liberalism:

    Be warned.

    And on a final note:

    GO RAVENS. Beat the Squealers to a bloody pulp!!!!

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