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.