Politics is a sport

August 28, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Posted in Personal, Random | 2 Comments

This is my first post of the week. What has kept me away?  I’ve spent my nights glued to the Democratic convention on TV.  And next week, I’ll be glued to the Republican convention.  For a couple of weeks, baseball and my baseball card collection will take a bit of a back seat.  I’ve been almost as interested in our country’s political process as I have been about baseball since I was young.  I still remember debating the merits of my favorite Presidential candidate with my fourth grade classmates in 1988, and I remember watching all of the conventions since 1992.

Whether or not you’re a supporter of the party that is holding a convention, I think it’s great entertainment.  The conventions are basically overblown pep rallies, just like the Friday night football pep rallies that I used to attend at Penn State.  Each party brings out all of its stars to talk about how great they think their candidate is and how horrible the other party’s candidate is.  Along the way, you can learn a lot about the differences in the policy positions and priorities of the two parties.  It’s great stuff.

I think it’s funny to see how similar the people who follow politics closely (I call them political junkies) are to sports fans.  Almost everyone picks a party that they support almost unconditionally and they’ll support the candidates from their favorite team party no matter what.  People who are independents are just like sports fans who don’t have a favorite team.  They don’t have a favorite party or team because they don’t follow it closely enough.

So what I’m getting at is that politics in the United States is just like sports.  Most people choose a favorite team and support their team’s players.  They keep score (polls) and it all leads up to the championship game (election).  You even have a preseason (primaries), Opening Day (conventions), and playoffs (debates).  It’s fitting that Barack Obama’s speech tonight will take place at a football stadium.

And that this year’s candidates are featured on so many baseball cards…

On that subject, it has to be a good omen for Obama that his eTopps card is worth $47.33 and John McCain’s is worth $18.38.



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  1. Given the parallels between sports and politics, I think it’s surprising that so many collectors bemoan the presence of historical/political insert cards in their sets this year.

    Then again, I get the feeling that it’s more a sort of apolitical, anti-academic, anti-intellectualism that’s going on — kind of like a “don’t mix up that high-falootin’ politickin with my sports” attitude.

  2. The card of John McCain is not an actual picture. He can not raise his arms above his shouders because of war injuries.

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