Sports and Politics

KU lost. I wanted them to win but not for the reason you think. Actually I was certain they would win. They made it to the sweet sixteen didn’t they?

We were out with friends the night of the ballgame and so didn’t even watch. My husband kept us informed score-wise with SIRI, the device on his cell phone that answers questions, and we had no worries clear up to the third quarter. Then it all fell apart. Michigan made a bunch of catch-up points and closed the gap.

We rushed to find a TV.

Michigan sank a 3 pointer that sent the game into overtime.

We found a TV with just seconds to go.

OH NO!

Here’s the strange part. I’m not even much of a basketball fan. I didn’t go to KU so I’m not an enthusiastic alum. Right now, I’m not even a big supporter of the state of Kansas. (That’s because Governor Brownback is against everything I’m for – i.e. great schools, affordable care, and choice.)

So what is it that get’s us all keyed up over sporting events? First of all it’s in our nature to band together and root for our team. Being a pugilistic bunch however, we like to see the other guys lose. That leads to betting, which makes for even more fun if you win.

Take the Super bowl for example. Personally I don’t even remember who played in it but I can tell you for sure, I bet on it ‒ nickel and dime stuff – but still. I yelled at my TV team as if my life depended on my it. Crazy, huh?

Same thing for the international soccer games in South Africa last year. I never played soccer, don’t even know the rules, but I really did want South Africa to beat Germany, Italy, and Spain. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because South Africa had never won before.

In this country, we’ve come to treat elections like sports. We become part of the pack, turning out in big numbers to root for our team. Some special interests groups are willing and ready to bet the big bucks. But I’m wondering if we pay enough attention to the game. Did it take Mitt Romney’s statement that he believed 47% of the country paid no income tax and were therefore predisposed to vote for President Obama for us to sit up and take notice? Or Todd Akin’s remarks that we women shouldn’t worry about getting pregnant if we got raped because our bodies would shut down? And by the way, did you see the documentary in which a big crowd of like believers got together to support anyone for president, as long as he wasn’t black?

After Kansas lost, I had to decide which NCAA team to cheer for. I went with Louisville because I felt sorry for their guard who broke his leg. They won but now I’ll have to go with Wichita State (I’ve never even heard of the school) because they’re from Kansas, and I still have a little loyalty left.

Rumbling is fun and yes, I’m a joiner, but maybe I need to be more discriminating. I guess we could all could use a big dose of intelligent mingling. I just read where Rutgers basketball coach, Mike Rice, got fired after three seasons of beating up on his players. Isn’t that the same school where a boy killed himself because his roommate videotaped him kissing another boy? Hum. Makes me wonder about the environment at Rutgers. Cross that school off the list.

Here’s one thing that happens when a pack forms.

2 Responses to Sports and Politics

  • Carole Katsantoness says:

    We do cheer for our team and I didn’t go to KU either but a granddaughter went to Baker and that is close. It is all about being part of Kansas and then when we have to settle for, ” they had a really good season,” I guess. Moving on to the underdog, we do put our hearts behind those teams don’t we?
    Yes, Rutgers is hurtin and seems to be newsworthy for all the wrong reasons and that is sad too.
    Good blog Beth, thanks.

  • Thanks, Carole. Love your comments.

    Now that Louisville has beaten Wichita, Kansas is out of the running but did you hear about Louisville’s women’s team? They have two sisters from the Indian Reservation in Washington that I hear are sensations, a rare achievement of American Indians. Their team reached the final four by defeating Tennessee and as the underdogs, will play California today. Guess who I’ll be rooting for.

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