We are all aware of the theoretical separation of church and state. Well, I am. Presumably readers of my blog are. I guess I shouldn’t make any assumptions about the people who run the country and those who voted for them.
The other day, I touched on what I believe to be an equally important tenet. Ah, hell, we’ll call it a principle. That would be the separation of church and sports principle.
This brings us to our third and final in a set of related principles: The separation of sports and state. Obvious, right? Because what does a sports allegiance have to do with government? Presumably nothing, unless you live in a country full of people who vote for someone because they think that he’d be cool to have a beer with.
And, yet, it is a principle perpetually breached.
There was, of course, the famous scandal in 2000 over Hillary’s allegedly fake allegiance to the Yankees. Guess what? If you were going to vote for Hillary but ended up going with Lazio because you decided that she was exclusively a Cubs fan—congratulations, you’re a jackass. (Oh, and also, you were wrong. That bitch loves the Yankees something loco. Always has.)
Then, of course, there is the fact that, ever since 9/11, the people in the Bronx have decided to hijack the age old tradition of singing, “Take me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch by forcing us to first sing “God Bless America.” It’s become a time for us to honor our servicemen and women and the sacrifices they are making for our country by getting drunk and screaming at people that if they don’t take their hats off and show some respect we’re going to punch them in the face. Not that I could begin to presume to understand the sacrifices of our servicemen and women, but I am guessing that that is exactly how I would want to be honored if I was them.
I am all for giving both our country and military its due, but I don’t know that the ballpark is necessarily the proper arena. If you want to know the truth, I actually think it lets people off kind of easy to make them believe that all they need to do is get drunk at a ballgame, yell at someone to take his or her hat off and they will have shown their country the necessary amount of respect. I have some other ideas for more effective ways that people might demonstrate their theoretical loyalty to state, but I will spare you those at the moment.
On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Tom Brokaw asked Republican Fred Thompson which was more likely—that the Titans would win the Super Bowl or McCain would win the election. Now, Fred Thompson is presumably not equipped to answer that question in a way that is statistically more satisfactory than any of the rest of us, for whom the answer to that question would obviously have been The Titans times a thousand. But not the point. The point is, good God, Brokaw, what the hell does that have to do with anything? You’re hosting “Meet the Press.” Not “Meet The Inane Prognostications.”
As for tonight. Well, it’s the Eve of the Election, so where else would Obama and McCain be other than giving interviews during halftime of the Steelers-Redskins game. Fair enough, I guess. People watch Monday Night Football. So that’s not the news that surprised me. What surprised me was the discovery that the outcome of this game will apparently determine the outcome of this election. (Awesome news for me because I’m SO sick of staying up past my bedtime to watch the returns.)
No, it’s true.
According to Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sport Bureau, you can gauge the outcome of a presidential election by what the Redskins do in their home game prior to Election Day. If they win, the party that won the popular vote in the previous election wins the presidency. If the Redskins lose, the reverse is true. Thus, if the Steelers win, it means Obama take the White House. If the Redskins win, we get McCain and Palin. So, either the Redskins have to forfeit to show that they care about our country or…
That’s the dumbest crap I ever heard.
Remember that time we all thought that Babe Ruth did witchcraft on the Chowdas for eighty-six years to make them incapable of winning and it turned out they were just really bad that whole time? So, it’s like that but kind of more of a big deal and therefore more outrageous to suggest that a football team with an offensive name could potentially predict the outcome of this election because the fate of our country and planet and universe depend on it. But whatever. What’s more likely—that the Steelers will win tonight’s game or that Steve Hirdt is—what’s that insult I like so much?—an ass clown?
I’m just saying.
I love sports more than the next person. Possibly more, depending on who the next person is. But sports has nothing to do with politics. And it has nothing to do with God. Period. I remember in 2004, I was taking the subway home from one of the Yankees-Red Sox LCS games, and some idiot Yankee fan (yes, there are a few of them) was saying, “John Kerry is from Boston, so if you don’t like the Red Sox, you shouldn’t vote for John Kerry.”
To which my friend Jane responded with the only comeback befitting someone stupid enough to suggest a link between the sacred but separate concepts of church, state, and sports:
“That's de-men-ted.” Clap, clap, clap clap clap.