Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Forget About the Debates - Just Take Me Out To the Ballgame.

By Jamie Daniel, Advancement Associate at The Forum

When I want to know where my October went, I ask that you remind me of these two things: baseball and politics. They have more in common than you might realize at first. Both can as easily excite and rejuvenate you as break your heart. Both have the power to bring us together, but can just as easily be the wedge that drives us apart. Politicians and ballplayers both leave it all on the field in October. And both force us to ask the difficult questions: Which candidate can better handle these economic problems? Whose character qualifies them to be President? How will we raise the kids - Red Sox or Yankees?

As a baseball fan, the excitement of my team making the playoffs is accompanied by the expectation that I won't be getting much sleep as long as they keep winning. Add that to the sleepless nights brought on by the troubled economy, and October promises no rest for the weary.

I wonder: how does the disappointment of a political party's loss compare to the anguish of, say, a Cubs fan? After all, no major political party has been out of power for one hundred years.

It seems to me that most of America must have their political minds made up by now; I, for one, am just waiting to vote. We've been inundated with messaging from both campaigns for so long that the MLB playoffs provide more authentic, juicy conflict than the recycled storylines of the campaigns. Baseball fans this October are asking: Will Manny come back to Boston to prove himself as a Dodger? How will the perennial power of the Red Sox fare against a young, upstart team of energetic rookies like the Rays? Would anyone watch a Tampa Bay-Philadelphia World Series, or is that only the stuff of a Fox executive's worst nightmare?

I'm tired of the long campaign, and everything I hear from the candidates these days just sounds repetitive - so repetitive, that throughout the debate last night, I found myself wishing there was a game 5 somewhere to take the edge off. In comparison to this political season, baseball feels like the more pure contest, and I'm finding the crack of the bat more alluring than the twittering of pundits during these long, October nights.

1 comment:

meredithjustice said...

Good column. Re: the debates, they'd be better if the moderators did their job! Does anyone else out there want a moderator to knock the candidates off of their talking points!??!? Here's a shout out to The CT Forum, where when panelists come to talk, if they're playing the game following The Forum rules, they eschew (this SAT word is a salute to all the proud elite folks out there) talking points and sound bites and have a real discussion!