Sports and Politics
Politics and sports are two human activities that have long been associated with each other. For thousands of years politics and sports have walked hand in hand. The great contributors to Western Civilization can all be identified by their political system and their favorite spectator sport. Ancient Greece is famous for its democracy, as well as the original Olympics. The political systems of Rome, republic and imperial, share their fame with the gladiatorial matches in the Coliseum. When we think of Medieval Europe, our mind conjures up images of feudal monarchs looking down upon elaborate jousting tournaments.
Sports and politics have always been connected, and the United States is no exception. It is, however, somewhat disturbing to see how similar these two things have become in our modern nation. If there is a political system/spectator sport pairing that describes America, it has to be Two-Party Republic and Football. The similarities are striking. Both the American political system and a football game consist of two teams that are essentially the same attempting to block each other from making any progress. Although the professional football league is probably better off than the political system. Americans have lots of football teams to watch and root for, but as far as influential political parties go, there are just the two.
Then there are the similarities between professional athletes and career politicians. What is the difference between a politician and a pro-athlete? One is a self-serving, narcissistic individual who would think nothing of ruining everyone’s day because they didn’t get exactly what they wanted. The other is a self-serving, narcissistic individual who would think nothing of ruining everyone’s day because they didn’t get exactly what they wanted.
The most disturbingly close similarity between sports and politics in modern America is the amount of devotion ordinary people give to both of these things. The most vocally passionate people seem to have two things on their minds: their favorite team and their chosen political party. These two things are often treated almost exactly the same way. I’m not here to ruffle feathers, but how many die-hard Broncos fans could ever acknowledge the fact that other football teams exist and are perfectly viable and capable options for a football fan to support? How many party members, Democrat or Republican, look at those with differing viewpoints and think there might actually be a legitimate reason for their disagreement?
The way the media covers sports and politics is also practically the same. You could take the Sunday football commentators and the Sunday news show panelists, have them switch places, and no one would be the wiser. The news stations should forget trying to find respectable journalists to moderate political debates and just have John Madden do it. Everyone would probably like that more anyway.
If we really want politics and professional sports to be so indistinguishable from each other then we should just go all in. We should forget the elections. We should also forget about the Superbowl. Then, we can combine the two events into a magnificent spectacle: The Presidential Bowl.
The quarterback of the winning team gets the Oval Office along with a fancy ring. Plus, if we get a President we don’t like, we could always just trade him for Peyton Manning.