Tag Archives: PCB

Can Sport Topic Turn Elections?

19 Nov

Can sporting events swing an election? Short answer: not likely.

You wouldn’t think sport and its figures would ever play much of a role in voter-think, nationally or on the local level, apart from credentialing the candidate with a notoriety, i.e., Jack Kemp, Jim Bunning and Bill Bradley.

When there’s no one, single topic that stokes the fires of voter passion, like a military matter or an inspirational persona, well known (Reagan) or new to the national scene (Carter, Obama), that’s when mood can play a decisive role.

Results from Election 2014 have seen the GOP back in congressional clover, retaking the Senate to add to a House majority and, with lame duck Democrat Barack Obama manning the Oval Office, divided government is set to rule these United States for at least 2 years.

But before that all takes full affect, many are asking, why? Why did Republicans receive a mini-mandate from voters, coast-to-coast?

Theories abound as to the cause(s) of the Democrats demise.

Mid-terms are notorious for poor voter turnout. And when one party has held the top spot for six years and one of the two Congressional chambers for quite a spell, change feels right to a majority. No pun intended.

That usually bodes well for Republicans. Unless there’s a hotly contested local election, the citizenry doesn’t get all that jacked-up about the supporting cast. Because we ex-colonialists are still monarchists at heart, it’s the Presidential vote that really floats our boats, especially younger voters. And unfortunately for the donkey-set, da’ Dems had precious little in the way of victories to motivate base and swingers.

The economy, immigration, foreign stability, race relations (“That could’ve been my son”), all either saw little forward progress or seem to’ve taken a step backwards.

War on terrorism (2001) has had real success and faces new challenges including clarification of mission, while the ACA (Obamacare) is working for some folks but has created angst, not just amongst GOP’ers but downcast Dems who’d sought single payer and see ACA as only validating the “monster(s)” of healthcare who keep costs and profits grossly high.

And that‘s where a pervading and prevailing national mood comes into play. America’s on-edge.

..........C.Cassius.Longinus.63BC.CNG.wc.cca.thumb

Candidates and pundits know well, emotion is a powerful potion in politics.

It can be a passion, one that arises from an tragedy (post-JFK (LBJ), 9-11-01 (GWB)) or builds over time (The Depression (FDR)). It can sweep across party lines, or it can simply reflect a general malaise, an apprehension that weighs heavy on the national spirit.

That’d be 2014.

What then on the sporting scene could possibly affect the national spirit?

Point-shaving scandal? Nope, but if Silver gets his way the odds are favorable.

ESPN (Disney) has decided to change course and return to its former state as an independent-minded, high-standard sport network? Pure fantasia.

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley teaming up for 2016 Presidential run? Nope, though there have been dicier combos. I would listen.

It wasn’t one event but a series of manufactured topics in the sport world, as short on substance as they were sincerity. And when Democratic leaders and mainstream media jumped on board each topic, moderate and even some Dem loyalists may’ve begun to see the party of Jefferson, Jackson, FDR & JFK in a whole new, dim-bulb light.

The disenchanted, feeling disenfranchised, didn’t all vote GOP, they just didn’t vote.

Democrats look more and more like their Republican counterparts every year.

The party platform remains divergent:

Dems are pro-choice, GOP anti-abortion;
Dems favor gun restrictions, GOP favors gun ownership & presence;
Both will engage militarily with all due speed where alliance or interest exists;
Dems raise taxes on corporations & cufflinks, GOP cuts ‘em down…the taxes.

It’s the mission and tactics that’re the same: raise lots o’ money, spend it, hope to sway voters, achieve power, then leave office and join the firm for some serious profit-taking.

Democrats have taken a page outta’ Republican play-book. They haphazardly throw out the ‘racist’ word whenever it suits, just as the GOP used the ‘commie’ tag in the 50s.

We voters may get a tad lazy when it comes to casting but we’re not nitwits. It’s plain to see how both parties are now captured by their respective lobbies and extreme wings.

It’s angry Christians who ride atop the pachyderm and work the party megaphone, while the politically correct bullies dictate the donkey‘s dance tune.

PC is nothing new, but dictating party directives, that‘s a whole new ball-game.

Blind obedience to a faction is especially disturbing for a party that had, in perception if not always practice, prided itself on the tenets of rational discourse, democracy and due process. It may’ve begun as a limited tenency (white, propertied males), but expanded progressively over the decades (See; U.S. History, unrevised edition).

The manufactured storylines that made it onto the sporting goods shelf:

Anti-Redskins

............Redskins.wc.cca.thumb

A disingenuous, late-to-the-game faction that arose from a small sect that protested logo-art in the 80s and found friends in the ivory-towered elite of America’s college campuses, into a media movement coinciding with the year Nike® assumed NFL uniform duties.

Donald Sterling

A TMZ dissemination of a recording of a senile 80-year old’s racially insensitive rant is used by the new NBA czar to bounce the batty billionaire and may now have A. Silver in line for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Last part’s a stretch but Adam’s definitely got PR boogie, even as his roughshod ride showed complete disregard for the social right to privacy, which, ironically, is sacrosanct in liberal circles (See; Roe v Wade).

Adam played his hand well, so it must’ve seemed fine time to pitch the greed grab that is gambling & sport, a marriage made in hell. Sterling’s ouster gave Silver the cachet “to boldly go where no (principled Commissioner) has gone before,” the sport-betting biz.

The man with the Mona Lisa smile is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the 2016 presidential candidate who has sporting sense and spine to shout down such dangerous co-mingle of interests that Hi-Yo Silver proposes, could set the tone for a likely rancorous campaign.

Roger Goodell

..........Goodell.thumbnail.flag

Then there was the lynch-mob that sought (seeks) the job of NFL Commissioner Goodell who honored a Prosecutor’s plea-deal and a victim’s wish (Palmer) in giving Ray Rice his initial 2-game suspension. Roger’s not outta the woods yet as we wait on Mr. Mueller.

Mike Sam

Sam’s pre-Draft promotion in announcing his sexual orientation last spring brought out the media buskers in full force, even as his notoriety-giving pronouncement clearly conflicted with his claim to have only a singular interest in “football player” anonymity.

Dish Network v. TCM (TimeWarner)

Not a sport story but one that may shed light on just how pervasive PC can be.

Money’s always at the root of corporate conflict but the one between Dish Network and TimeWarner may have less to do with coinage than it does with political sensibilities.

In late October, one of TW’s top networks in Turner Classic Movies was bumped from Dish’s programming slate, along with other TW channels including CNN, in what Dish claims in an unreasonable negotiation made by the multinational media conglomerate.

The fat-cats are greedy but they’re not dumb. They know how far they can / can’t push that money envelope in contract negotiations before it falls off the table.

More likely this supposed stand-off is about format and politics.

The leaders at Dish or even TimeWarner itself who may not be negotiating in good faith, might be objecting to TCM’s catalog of films that can send PC rage-meters red-lining.

The network of classics does not edit their film stock (silent-70s), even scenes with black-face, nudity, harsh dialogue, unflattering Indian portrayals, animal brutality or misogynistic male leads, choosing instead to respect creativity, mature message and mores of the time.

In short, Turner Classic Movies is an entertainment entity that respects history and art, not exactly favored subjects of today’s politically correct bully, one of two contemporary versions of book burners (See also: anti-evolutionists, etc.).

..........Derriere.2003.wc.cca.Greudin.thumb

Excepting the Dish – TW battle, all the above topics were short on material value but were nonetheless taken up by the Democrats and their cooperative sport media allies in a singular effort to sway the LDAs (least discerning audience), 18-26 voter block.

And it worked, as social media comment threads were flooded with feigned PC outrage for every topic that hit the fan. Trouble was, LDAs didn’t vote.

It’s a tawdry tactic the Democratic party has whole-heartedly embraced. It paints a picture of a once progressive assemblage that’s fast losing touch with the standard of fairness, its long-time loyalists and those swing voters who on occasion joined its ranks.

Sport news won’t get out the vote and it won’t guide the hand of those who happen to make it into the booth. And given the nonchalant attitude most politicos exude when sport, its leadership or accoutrements (logos, etc.) are topic, it’s safe to write that they, along with most elitists and religious devotees, don’t hold the sporting class in very high regard.

But “tumultuous merriment” has been around a long time and will remain a microcosm of our nation’s mores and beliefs.

Until that person appears on the political scene who can, with charisma, brains & courage, steer Democrats back onto inclusiveness, the blue bloods would be wise to poll & heed their majority or can expect to keep playing the party pooper in too many future elections.

Steven Keys
Brass Tacks
Photo credits: NH-vote, M.Buckawicki, 11.5.13, wc.cca; C.Cassius.Longinus, 63BC, CNG, wc.cca; Redskins, wc.cca; Goodell, USMA, 8.30.12, SSG-T.Wade; M.Sam, wc.cca. 11.30.13, M.Qwertyus; Derriere, wc.cca, 2003, Greudin.
Posted: 11-19-14 @ 1:45pm; edit @ 6:44 EST

Advertisements

Jackson Hops Anti-Redskins Bandwagon

10 Nov

Count New York Knickerbockers’ President and former player, coaching titlist Phil Jackson among the celebrities who’ve recently discovered and publicly declared a personal aversion to Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins 80+ year old motif.

On Monday, Jackson took to Twitter and threw his support behind anti-Redskinites who made a gathering outside TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota to protest Sunday’s Vikings – Redskins game in hopes of putting a feather in cap of Ray Halbritter Oneida and give boost to Nike plans for revamping the entire NFL logo landscape.

............Redskins.wc.cca.thumb

As the “really big shoooe” might say, change ($) is constant. Cha-ching.

I recall an appearance Jackson made on The Tonight Show some 20 years back when the Zen-meister was then coach at Chicago. What led him to ask, I do not remember, but Jay Leno queried the coach if he listened to Rush Limbaugh and that sort of diatribe. Phil responded, ‘No, I don’t, I’m into rational discourse,’ or something to that affect.

Phil was a different sort in those days. No bandwagoneer, he conveyed an independence of thought that gave him an aura of soulful serenity.

So long Mr. Soulful.

The fact he’s reported to have a history of coloring his locker-room comments w/Indian references makes this recent declaration no less empty when you consider a majority of rank & file tribal membership may support the Redskins moniker but remain un-polled.

Maybe back then I was confusing independence with aloofness.

...........Kerry-windsurfing.thumb

Knicks president might just be one of those people who use their talent for sport only as a means to an end. Call them technicians, akin to saberheads and pandering politicos, aka, John Kerry the wind-surfer (‘04) and President Obama b-ball enthusiast or “hack” golfer. Gotta’ write, Jordan was a little rough on the CIC. Can’t all be baseball stars, eh, Mike?

No more sporting than their Democrat counterparts, Republican celebrities don’t waste too much energy faking it on tumultuous merriment. They do plenty of that elsewhere, like hunting trips (See; Cheney ‘06) and military props (See; GW Bush ‘68 (TNAG)).

............Obama.8.26.09.P.Souza.thumb

What Phil, the anti-Redskins leadership and GOP elite all have in common is that oh-so delightful drive for dinero…mas & mas dinero. Phil is today, first & foremost, a business-man to whom sporting types, fans in particular, are nothing more than consumers.

And that plays right into today’s American marketing credo: servicing youth, the consumer-zombies, and the lowest common denominators (least discerning audience).

Limbaugh, w/help of a deregulated media industry, used radio to disseminate his demagoguery to millions in the 80s. Fox News launched w/satellite TV in the 90s and today, Phil, ESPN, Bill Simmons, Dick Sherman, PCBs (politically correct bullies) and any person or entity who seeks to rouse youthful passions into a figurative call to arms for whatever sale their pitching (logo war) will ride their celebrity on the techno-gadget wave in social media and world wide web.

All cut from the same cloth, just different ends of the bolt.

...........Jackson.1.28.07.M.Sandoval.wc.cca.thmb

Jackson’s anti-Redskins pitch is just the most recent air-ball he’s chucked of late.

His stingy, public denial last summer of the San Antonio Spurs right to the usage of the “dynasty” label was a doozy.

But it’s just one of a handful of recent misfires from the man who’s banked the Knicks’ foreseeable future on the, so far, illiquid Carmelo Anthony account. Time will tell.

For a time I’d believed it was Phil who was the real difference-maker in the Bulls and most recent Lakers’ dynasties. Now I wonder if maybe it was the other way around, that it was Jackson who was just “Hitchin’ a Ride” with Mike and Kobe. New food for thought.

This is definitely the new Phil: brassy. Change is over-rated, if you’re a “human being.”

Steven Keys
Straight Shooter
Photo credits: Jordan – Jackson, S.Lipofsky, wc.cca, 1997; Washington Redskins, wc.cca, 1972; J.Kerry windsurfing; Pres.Obama, 8.26.09, P.Souza – WH, wc.cca;
Posted: 11-9-14 @ 10:51pm; edit 11-10 @ 1:55am EST