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September 12, 2008

Golf is a Republican

As you might've figured out, we at Gelf appreciate sports and politics (among other things). So in this election year, we couldn't help but ask the obvious question: Are some of our favorite sports Republicans or Democrats? We thought about it and ran our thoughts by progressive sportswriter Dave Zirin for some perspective (Zirin, for his part, went beyond simply Republicans and Democrats).

golf ball

Red lettering for a red-state sport.

Football: Aggressive. Played by men with Southern accents. Huge in Texas. Clearly a Republican.
Dave Zirin: No one has freedom of speech. No guaranteed contracts. People turn elderly overnight when they retire. Uniquely brutal, yet there is full revenue sharing. Stalinism.

Basketball: Dominated by African-Americans and foreigners. Has a coach nicknamed the "Zen Master." Democrat.
DZ: Stern is all-powerful, yet there is a healthy atmosphere of protest and dissent. Chavizmo.

Golf: Country Clubs. Middle-aged white guys. Republican.
DZ: That's about right

Hockey: Canadian. Democrat.
DZ: Canadian? This is SOCIAL democratic.

NASCAR: NASCAR Dads. Toby Keith. The South. Very, very Republican.
DZ: Let's see…people watch cars go round and round without really going anywhere. A whole bunch of Sound and Fury signifying very little. Sounds like Democrats to me.

Soccer: Most popular outside the United States. "The global game." Within the US, largely associated with women and children. Democrat.
DZ: Socialist, socialist, socialist. Just ask the editorial board of the National Review. They see soccer like it was invented by the red menace itself.

Baseball: Could go either way. On the one hand, for the Democrats:
It's the least aggressive major sport.
People write poetry about it and shit.
The whole sabermetric thing is kinda progressive.
On a professional level, it's most popular in big, liberal, cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago.
And for the Republicans:
It's the sport most associated with America and patriotism.
It's very tradition-bound, sometimes in the face of overwhelming evidence arguing for change.
It probably has the most market-oriented economic structure (no real salary cap).
Most of the players do not attend college.
George Steinbrenner.
Is baseball, perhaps, the swing voter?
DZ: Are you kidding? Baseball is feudalism. Past its peak, and any season now will implode under the weight of its massive contradictions.

Do you agree? Disagree? Thinks this whole exercise was a waste of time? Let us know in the comments.

Photo from Shayan's Flickr.

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- Sports
- posted on Sep 12, 08

Ultimate Frisbee: Played by hippies who don't like regular sports. Green Party.

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