Sports and politics

Sports and politics occupy roughly the same place in my heart. I love basketball, I love watching it, dissecting the intricacies of it, analyzing and predicting. I have a slightly less enthusiastic love for baseball. Or at least for the Red Sox. But when the Spurs or the Red Sox aren’t winning, I am prone to moodiness and depression.

It’s the same with politics. I follow politics like the most avid sports fan follows their team. I root for my home team, which is usually the Democrats but only because the other teams don’t stand a chance of winning. At least in basketball, small market teams like the Spurs CAN win, and HAVE won, through shrewd management and good coaching and scouting. In politics, the Green party doesn’t stand a chance. Nor does the Libertarian party or the Rainbow party or the Socialist party. Rooting for them would be like rooting for the Vancouver Grizzlies.

But much as with sports, when things aren’t going well – when politicians are launching viciously anti-gay attacks on my family, or an all-out war on the poor, or when people who stand for the opposite of everything I believe in wind up in office – I am prone to moodiness and depression.

And the parallel goes one step further: In the case of both sports and politics, money is the deciding factor almost all the time. When was the last time someone who was poor – currently poor, not from a poor family three decades ago – got elected into office? How different would our politics look if corporations had to pay their fair share of taxes, and couldn’t buy off politicians to make policies favorable to their CEOS – while they ship jobs overseas and abuse and mistreat their workers? Money is at the heart of all the problems in this country – in both politics and in sports. The NBA may be heading toward a lockout. Despite the NBA posting billions of dollars in profits, they claim 22 out of 30 teams are not profitable. That reeks of mismanagement, but instead of taking a look at that, they’re trying to punish the players, who aren’t having it. But it’s hard to feel too sympathetic when even the lowest paid NBA players in the league make just shy of a million dollars a year. In politics, I just read this depressing article by Barbara Ehrenreich which elaborates on her book Nickel and Dimed and details the unrelenting war on poor people this country has been waging since the 1980’s. It’s all about money, money, money.

Still, the victories are few and far between, yet they continue to give me hope and keep me glued to the news. The Spurs haven’t won a championship since 2007 but every year since they look like contenders. If the Wisconsin recall elections go my way tonight, I’ll be happy again. For awhile.

But the grind of this cycle starts to wear on you.


~ by realsupergirl on August 9, 2011.

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