A couple years ago, I tried to construct the sports analogue to the "red/blue" divide in American politics today. My analysis was constructed more by sledgehammer than by scalpel, but I came up with a framework: Sports "Purists" vs. Sports "Progressives."
The framework turned into a larger Page 2 feature package to tie into the 2004 elections, but it began with me crystallizing what I saw as two competing ends of the sports fan's ideological spectrum.
This column was the result. Some of the categories were more tongue-in-cheek than others, but I really was/am convinced there's a philosophical spectrum, with most fans edging toward one end or the other, as a lens through which they digest sports.
Obviously, there are some topics that defy ideological labels (although I'd argue that, much like our current political situation, fans often contradict themselves with the various sports concepts they support or reject).
I'd be curious whether you think that it's possible to create broad-based labels that might reflect our national political landscape.
Do you think that TD celebrations are good or bad for the NFL?
Do you think LeBron should not have been allowed to enter the NBA early?
Do you think that SABRmetrics are positive for baseball or ruining it?
Those are just a sample, of course. I think a lot of it is generational more than geographic, and I'm not ready to suggest there's a correlation between "red state" America and "purist" sports fans or between "blue state" America and "progressive" sports fans. But maybe there's an analogue between citizens who vote on "values" (whatever that might be) and sports fans whose perspective is rooted in specific "values."
Anyway, that's my attempt to wrap today's focus on politics into sports. I've been playing around with this stuff for a couple of years and have yet to really nail it down, but I think it could make a good spark to an interesting discussion.