Friday, August 17, 2007

Politics, Its Fannnnn-tastic!

Welcome Sports Fans!

Due to the raging popularity of my earlier Road to the Nomination posts, we're coming back at you with, you guessed it, SPORTS ANALOGIES!!

It might be a little late in the game relative to the actual event, but who among us doesn't love to compare normal people to pro sports teams, no matter the season? Without further ado, read on to find out who your favorite candidate would be if he or she were a playoff team in the NBA!

A quick preface, I chose the Western Conference to be the breeding ground for the Dems because of their perceived advantage over the (L)Eastern Conference GOP. Furthermore, just because I picked certain candidates as the Spurs or Cavs or Mavs doesn't mean I necessarily expect them to make the big show or lose in the first round, but it sure could be. I was merely looking for the best fit in terms of style and ability. For further clarification, see the actual 2007 NBA playoffs results here.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Dallas Mavericks - Barack Obama
Both have lots of money, style, and skill. Still, questions about true championship viability remain in spite of all the regular season success. Neither is an established presence in their respective field, and that assessment by the media continues to haunt those who would otherwise jump on the bandwagon. Can't shake the knock that they are too "nice" and not nasty enough to win. Nevertheless, don't look past the gaudy statistics. A potential favorite to collect the trophy.
Phoenix Suns - John Edwards
Phoenix and Edwards both represent a youthful vigor, whose run-and-gun populism leads to high scores and a sharing not just the rock but also the burdens of society. Their styles of play depend on high energy, and as a result a fear of injury perpetually exists as does the possibility for punishing success. Furthermore, as Edwards becomes more fired up, the Suns mascot grows more and more fitting to describe the heat coming out of his campaign.
San Antonio Spurs - Hillary Rodham Clinton
The beasts. Clinton and the Spurs mostly represent four things: sound fundamentals, proven personnel/campaigning systems, the stench of dynasty, and an air of inevitability. Clearly, each of these two teams has a track record of success, but not without its detractors. The low-risk, high reward process employed by the two makes them easy to hate. Both have a reputation for getting all the calls from the referees/media and for whining when things don't go their way. Furthermore, there are those who say their styles are ruining politics/basketball for the fans, and that they were born on third base yet thought they hit a triple by drafting Duncan and marrying Bill. That said, verrry tough to beat and always a good money bet for the finals.
Utah Jazz - Bill Richardson
Despite a long resume of playoff success and public service, Richardson and the Jazz are little known outside of the Rocky Mountain Southwest. Gone are the days of Stockton-to-Malone when simple characteristics like sound fundamentals and wise policy judgments are the ticket to the finals, national media exposure is the key today and both have missed the boat. Nevertheless, a ticket to the conference finals this year and recent poll numbers in the retail politics hotbeds of New Hampshire and Iowa have the fans looking up. Watch out for high turnover numbers from Deron Williams and high foot-in-mouth gaffes from the candidate Richardson.
Houston Rockets - Chris Dodd
Much like the Houston Rockets in the NBA playoffs scheme of things, Dodd is solid but invisible candidates. The Rockets and Dodd are both solid on skills and issues, but they seem to disappear at times and haven't been able to translate their strength into playoff victories. Plus, Dodd gains much of his formative experience from an international turn in the peace corps and the Rockets gain much of their notoriety from foreign centers, Yao today and Olajuwon of old. It makes sense.
Denver Nuggets - Joe Biden
Both have what I like to call a High Baller Coefficient. The Nugs can roll with 'Melo, AI and Camby, and no one can light up a debate like Joe Biden. Because of this, on paper, both are potential juggernauts. Yet neither has translated that potential into votes or playoff wins. Either team can shoot the lights out with potent offensives, but also have a tendency to ball hog, go cold for periods of time and say stupid things off the court. Always well regarded, but still no proof in the pudding.
LA Lakers - Dennis Kucinich
The celebrity team of the NBA meets the celebrity candidate of the true Liberals. Both enjoy the support of Jack Nicholson. Kobe can score points in a hurry, just like Kucinich in the AFL-CIO and LOGO debates. Phil Jackson's triangle offense akin to Kooch's potent triangle offense of peace, health care and fair trade. Both have hot female fans.
Golden State Warriors - Mike Gravel
A real David vs. Goliath story. Either will fearlessly sling rocks and believe in a free-wheeling, caution to the wind Nellieball-style approach. Plus, it represents the first time Alaska has been visible on the Democratsic since well before the last time Golden State made the playoffs.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Detroit Pistons - Mitt Romney
Romney and the Pistons are both solid all around. Smart, well-prepared and ambitious, but Mitt's constant turnaround on the issues might be analagous to a perceived lack of heart in the current Pistons that has been lurking every since they won a title a few years ago. Plus, Romney grew up in Michigan. Maybe he's a Pistons fan. Judging by his track record, he must have been at one point or another.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Rudolph Giuliani
Rudy and the Cavs share both a major strength and a major weakness. Both camps are fueled by incredible star power in LeBron James and the 9/11 spotlight, while both have very little else in terms of supporting cast. Who is James gonna pass it to in crunch time? Larry Hughes? Meanwhile, what does Giuliani talk about besides security? A new hard-line stance on immigration? That said, the Cavs rode that star power all the way to the finals. Could Giuliani do the same?
Toronto Raptors - Fred Thompson
Both won a weak division to get such a high seeding. For the Raptors it was the Atlantic, and for Fred Thompson it is that distinctly Republican division called "perceieved to be most Reaganesque". Either way, it is a paper tiger. Both fancy themselves outsiders, have little playoff experience and few actual weapons. But still, they are both division champs, and a #3 seed. Something must be said about that.
Miami Heat - John McCain
Miami and McCain, a perfect pairing of early favorites. Unfortunately age is a factor, and both sides ain't getting any younger. Serious injury to Dwayne Wade derailed the Heat this spring, and injuries to McCain's reputation by way of Iraq war support and perceived "amnesty" on immigration threaten to end his road to the finals before it really begins. Shaq and McCain, meanwhile, are both consistently witty and lovable.
Chicago Bulls - Mike Huckabee
Both seem to have all the pieces in place to be contenders, but aren't quite there. Huckabee is a reliable conservative, a former minister with a great personality and a recent strong showing in Ames. Can he make the most of his momentum, like the Bulls arguably failed to do by not dumping PJ Brown's expiring contract for KG? Furthermore, both reside in the shadow of being from a town whose favorite son is larger than life. For Chicago its MJ, and for Hope, AR its Bill Clinton. Also, Huck jokes about being able to walk into a coffee shop without being known and the Bulls collection of young talent is still pretty unrecognizable as far as NBA stars go.
New Jersey Nets - Sam Brownback
This doesn't really fit except that both are kind of bland and I don't like either of them. The Nets have a lot of superstars in Kidd, Carter and Jefferson, and maybe Brownback is a superstar of the anti-abortion crowd. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Washington Wizards - Ron Paul
Dr. No = Agent Zero, an intriguing superstar that nobody seems to understand. Very tantalizing and a lot of internet support, Ron Paul with his facebook and Gil Arenas with his blog. However, if a lot of anti-war and civil libertarian lefties realize that Paul is against most softie government programs, his candidacy might be in just as much trouble as the Wizards were when Gilbert went down. P.S. Arenas' new nickname is The Landlord. Maybe we can call Ron Paul The Superintendent.
Orlando Magic - Tom Tancredo
Tancredo is a one trick pony for immigration and the Magic are a one man team with Dwight Howard. However, they did just sign Ra Lewis, and Tancredo did just finish a surprisingly high 4th at Ames. Either way, both are irrelevant Eight seeds.

4 comments:

Luke N. Vargas said...

I passed over this post at first, thinking it was just about basketball, but after close inspection you've turned an odd comparison into an effective juxtaposition. Awesome idea!

Matt said...

I concur with Luke N. Vargas. This is spot on. Even though I sweat Duncan and the Spurs, HRC & Fam are similarly a well-oiled machine. I also particularly like the Biden analogy.

And I assume you say the Raptors have no weapons because MoPete signed with the Hornets in the offseason, yes?

ps- would it be too corny if I threw out Rove or Cheney to play the part of Tim Donaghy? Or I guess Jack Abromoff would be even more fitting because at least he's been convicted of his crimes.

BTB said...

You know I got no love for MoPete.

Dutton said...

By far, your most enjoyable post.