In case you missed it, the winds of change have blown across America’s political landscape.
After years of political strife and turmoil, Americans are now entering an era of change: Heckling-baseball fans can finally be acrimonious and political simultaneously. Oh, the age we live in.
The Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team affiliated with the New York Mets, have announced that, in honour of America’s newest president, the team will be changing its name to the “Baracklyn” Cyclones for a June 23 home game.
At the extremely well-marketed game, the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive bobbleheads of Obama in a Cyclones uniform—soon to be a hot eBay item.
In addition, those who share the president’s first name will be given free admission despite the obvious fear of thousands of people named “Barack” flooding the game. Those with “McCain” or “Palin” in their names will receive “a bipartisan consolation prize”: bleacher seats. And if your name is Joe and you happen to be a plumber, you’ll get—no, not work as a war correspondent like the actual Joe the Plumber—two free tickets.
As part of what the team refers to as “Universal Health Care,” the first 1,000 fans will receive a Band-Aid. Even though that will potentially leave 6,500 fans with no Band-Aid, no doubt many will consider it a step in the right direction from George W. Bush’s highly controversial let-the-poor-just-die approach to health care.
The “Baracklyn” game will be against the Hudson Valley Renegades, who have not released any plans of changing their name to the Hudson Valley Mavericks in honour of the “maverick” Senator John McCain. (To complete an on-field re-enactment of the election, the Renegades would have to blow the game in the late innings after taking on a folksy, halfwit assistant coach whom claims to see Russia from her house.)
This one occasion I can live with, but generally, I feel mixing sports and politics is a bad idea.
Besides the fact that sports tend to have their own politics, one of the best distinctive qualities of sports is their capacity to distract us from the mundane rigours of real life.
The unavoidable infusion of politics into the Beijing Olympics tainted the event from start to finish—unless if cracking open the heads of Buddhist monks was a new event I was unaware of.
But if this is what people want, I have a few suggestions.
Whichever hockey team ends up with NHL star Sean Avery should have a Peter MacKay Day. The first 1,000 male fans will received personal instruction on how to diss your ex-girlfriend from either Avery or McKay, be it implying she’s a slut in interviews or calling her a dog in the House of Commons.
Maple Leafs should have a George W. Bush Day to honour poor decisions that have left the Buds as incompetent and feckless as the Republican Party.
In game six of the 1999 Stanley Cup finals, the Buffalo Sabres lost the series when Dallas Stars’ Brett Hull scored a controversial game-winner after planting his skate in the goal crease before the puck entered, which was against the rules at the time. (A blind person watching the replay on an iPod screen can tell it was an illegal goal.)
With the sham known as the 2000 Presidential Election still fresh in some people’s minds, it’s obvious the Sabres should have an Al Gore Day.
And finally, once Minnesota candidate Al Franken is finally named senator over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, the next world championships of almost any sport should have an Al Franken Day. With the prolific use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports (I’m looking at you, cycling), it can also take days, weeks or months to determine who the real winner is.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org