Back in college, for me, 1968-72, we called the guys really into sports jocks. They were generally apolitical or right wing, opposing our demonstrations against the Viet Nam war. They were often business majors. This is not rocket science, but it's been something that I've had a tough time either digesting or facing.
But I've had more reason to face it as I've tuned my dial to the local right wing dittohead channels where Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Beck and other critters tend to lurk. Every now and then, in my effort to "know the enemy" usually in the evening, when I tune in for the latest version of "talk to the morons who will believe anything," in stead of getting Limbaugh or one of the other hate mongering media poisonalities, I get a baseball game, or some other major league sporting event.
These Stations are generally owned by clear channel and the dittohead talk radio precedes or follows sports coverage. I'm guessing that this has been going on for years. It is, to some degree a stealth way to get listeners polarized and politicized. It's no accident that Bush and the right wingers talk about being team players. The other day, Tenet was characterized by a local right wing radio person as "taking one for the team."
Putting Limbaugh on pre-game is a natural extension of this "priming" of sports fans. It's a very political move. If you are a sports fan who watches ESPN, you should write to them and let them know it is inappropriate for someone as partisan, as toxic as Limbaugh to be foisted upon your sports viewing.
Baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer--- these are all wholesome athletic competitions which allow family sharing and participation in the viewing, in the conversation. They should not be ruined by partisan interests.
Today, in the House of Representatives, partisan interaction got so ugly, the police had to be called. It's being called a melt-down, a reversion to a police state. We don't want, can't let professional sports become politicized, though it seems the process has been going on for some time. It is time to call a halt to it, to turn things around.
My guess is that liberal professional athletes are terrified of speaking out. I imagine a scenario much worse than the Dixie Chicks. But we need to hear from progressive professional athletes now. They need to raise their voices. I can't believe that they're not out there. If you know one, or if you are one, then now is the time to speak out. You can make a heroic difference. You will definitely receive flack for voicing your opinion, but you will also open doors for others to speak too.
Sports are about America, not about partisan politics. We must take back America from the people who are using so many aspects of it to sell their causes-- usually non-human, corporation sponsored causes. Don't let it happen.
By the way, while not a fan of spectator sports, I am an avid fisherman (catch and release,) double diamond downhill skier, B-league racquetball player, and regular exerciser at the gym, walking and running an average of five miles on the treadmill three to five times a week.
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is publisher of progressive news and opinion website www.opednews.com and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story. This article is copyright by Rob Kall, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.