Throughout all of this Big 12 hot mess I was intrigued that local politicos didn’t take much of a stand on the subject. Since elected officials love sharing their opinion on subjects where they don’t have any real responsibility or interest it would have been the perfect place to use the bully pulpit. For once, Kansas City politicos made a savvy move and kept quiet with the notable exception of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
Today, The Gov. took aim and Nebraska and Colorado for bailing out on the Big 12 and his words provided a great example on why politicos should stay away from sports talk.
Here are just a few of the best reason:
1. People don’t like being reminded that their elected officials are mostly powerless. Gov. Jay didn’t really have a say in the decisions being made, his sour grapes after the fact only demonstrated that he was out of the loop for most of the discussions.
2. Sports Interests have more power. Example: Kansas City has paid the sports authority millions as a tribute with no real contractual agreement. This kind of tithing has been a political talking point of Mayor Funky but he gets smacked down every time he mentions it. Sports teams tout the revenue and prestige they bring to cities and most politicos only challenge the myth at their own peril.
3. People like sports teams but don’t really have much love for politicos. Coach potatoes all over the cities will sit and watch sports team siphon off their tax dollars in a meaningless games for hours on end and ask for more. Meanwhile, a politico using the wrong sound byte usually faces a fierce rebuke from his constituents.
For these reason and many more it’s important to understand that we live in a world where politicos are pretty much powerless against the maneuvering of sports teams at even the college level. This is something that isn’t taught in college political science courses but still says something about human nature and civilizations ongoing love affair with games.