Jul. 30, 2013
Elections and Sports do not Mix!
Like Stan Van Gundy's recent rant, this blog is a day late and a dollar short. Honestly, sports have lost some of their flavor over the last couple of months as I watched Trump v Clinton. To contradict my title, it was the equivalent of watching the Cleveland Browns play the Philadelphia 76ers in a game of hockey. But I digress...
To begin, the goal of a public servant is to serve the public to the best of their capacity. To make the decisions the public needs but not always what it wants. All the while, they must speak for their respective area but keep the needs of the country they serve in mind as well.
The origin of sport was to prepare for war. Ancient Greeks help physical competitions to train their soldiers for combat. Everything from archery to wrestling was designed to win wars. As we became a more peaceful globe, the goal of sports was to maintain a healthy general public population. True story, sports was meant to be a fun social activity designed to create an active public. Then someone discovered that watching sports could also be fun. Thus the birth of professional sports.
The goal of professional sports has always been to make money. For the purpose of this blog, professional sports are any event where people have to pay to watch the game. Sometimes that money is used to help fund the program but when the profits are enough that someone's pockets get unjustifiably lined, someone is being charged too much.
As a kid, I remember cheering blindly for my teams. It was easy when Gretzky performed his magic or Bird made the shots that no one had any business making. But I also cheered the bad decisions that athletes made during the game; the Hulk Hogan face rake, the Mark Messier boarding of a Russian player, Robert Parish pummeling of Bill Laimbeer, the list is endless. It was somehow okay to cheer for those who made poor decisions off the playing field; the same Robert Parish beat his wife, the endless stories of drug use, the endless stories of infidelity, the DUI's, the assaults, etc. We justified that it was okay to cheer for all of those because of the passion we had for our teams. But politics is not a sport.
Somehow, people attached the same passion for their political parties. The stories of people who grew up to follow the same parties their parents followed demonstrated a linear approach that has little to no chance of evolution. Some Einstein guy said something about insanity and repeating events and stuff. It also eliminates thought in the voting process. It means you want your team to win instead of hearing the ideas of the candidate. It is always about the jersey instead of what the person wearing the jersey means. The US parties did not nominate the candidates who had the best vision and ideas for the US, they nominated the two candidates who could win, but how is that winning for US citizens.
Unfortunately, the depth of basic fan loyalty advances to sponsorship as lobbyists get involved. The Yankees get better as they throw money at the league's best developed from other teams. Budweiser sponsors sports meant to be fan friendly like the NFL. The big political corporations get their way as they corruptly throw money at the politicians to do what is best for them and not for the people who elected them. Only one of these is truly dangerous to the whole country.
So in the wake of another election cycle, I believe we the people have to change. As the next batch of political hopefuls gets ready to make their claims to an office, maybe we could stop cheering and start listening. Decide what we need as individuals and as a country, and throw our vote to that person who makes it their passions. You owe this effort to your country, your community, your family, and yourself. And on this Remberance Day, you owe those efforts to those who fought to get and preserve those rights for you.