Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Obama, McCain, Monday Night Football, and the Washington Redskins curse

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Originally published on on Tue, 11/04/2008 – 7:30am

Merriam-Webster defines coincidence as “the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.”

From 1936 to 1996, if the NFL’s Washington Redskins won their last home game before the presidential election, the party in power stayed in power. If the Redskins lost their last home game, the party in power lost.

However, in 2000, the Redskins lost, which inferred a loss from the Democrats. There is significant dispute as to whether the Democrats lost that one.

In 2004, the Redskins lost to Green Bay, which would have given hope to the Democrats. Again, there is significant dispute as to whether the Democrats lost that one.

So has the magical power the Washington Redskins have held over?

So it came down last night to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Redskins. Theoretically, it would be good for Barack Obama if Pittsburgh won and good for John McCain if Washington won.

If you still believe the Redskins curse exists, good news for Obama. Pittsburgh defeated Washington 23-6, opening the doors of the White House to change parties.

But there is one factor conveniently ignored by the regular pundits. In every home game played in the District of Columbia, the Redskins streak works every single time. But since 1997, the Redskins play their home games at FedEx Field, essentially in Landover, MD.

The two presidential races since then happen to be the two tainted George W. Bush races. The 2000 Redskins loss was supposed to hurt Gore and the 2004 Redskins win was supposed to help Kerry.

The funny part is if the Republicans took this seriously, they would have to root against Pittsburgh. As in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a key swing state especially for the McCain campaign. But given the track record of the McCain campaign, Pennsylvania, and sports, perhaps Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should stay away from the whole area.

Palin, as you may recall, was booed – at a Palin rally in Erie, PA when she said how proud the crowd would be over the World Series winner Philadelphia Phillies. Palin was in Pittsburgh Pirates country, not Philadelphia Phillies country. A good thing to know in such a swing state is rivalries between major cities in a major state. Dallas and Houston; Cleveland and Cincinnati; Los Angeles and San Francisco – these are in-state rivals.

If you think that the NFL saga is not relevant, ask yourself why Barack Obama and John McCain subjected themselves to a one-on-one interview with Chris Berman of ESPN. There were no questions on health care or the deficit, but they were sports-related questions.

McCain actually scored points with his use of a longtime Berman cliche, and looked more comfortable in that environment than Obama did. If only McCain could look as comfortable on ESPN and “Saturday Night Live” when he was doing the debates.


Written by democracysoup

November 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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