The 2016 Presidential election is already exhausting, and it's only January. No candidate has secured their party's nomination. There hasn't even been a primary election yet. So, with the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses coming up, I needed to think of a way to power through the sludge and drudgery and keep myself invested in the political process. So I combined politics with something that keeps me entertained: sports. It wasn't always an easy comparison, but there were some that were almost too obvious.
Hillary Clinton - New England Patriots
This one just feels so right. Both have a fanbase now that they didn't have two decades ago. Both seemed assured of victory in 2008 until they had their dreams dashed by a young African-American man the country had never heard of before (Barack Obama/David Tyree). They claim to be upstanding and virtuous, but both have skeletons in the closet that they would prefer you didn't know about. They both also had a "scandal" in 2015 that was blown way out of proportion (Benghazi/Deflategate). While they have their defenders, a lot of people enjoy nothing more than watching them lose.
Bernie Sanders - New York Mets
Besides the obvious Brooklyn accent connection, there's a lot in common here. Bernie is the champion of the middle-class, and the Mets are the middle-class of New York teams. They're not quite as bad as some teams (looking at you, Knicks), but the billionaire-class Yankees have been hoarding all the championships for themselves. Both the Mets and Sanders had a 2015 to remember, with the Mets making the World Series and Sanders emerging from nowhere to become a legitimate candidate. Both have intensely loyal supporters that are often overlooked by national media outlets. It's time for Sanders/the Mets to get the recognition they've earned.
Martin O'Malley - Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Literally no one knows who they are. (If there are any CFL fans reading this, I'm sorry.)
Donald Trump - New Jersey Generals
This one's funny, because there already is an existing link between Trump and professional sports. In the early 1980's, Trump owned a team in the upstart United States Football League called the New Jersey Generals. The USFL traditionally played a spring season, so as to avoid competition with the much larger NFL. Trump pushed for a move to a fall season to force competition with the NFL and, he hoped, a merger that would see at least some of the USFL teams survive. It's not on record what deals he struck with the other team owners, but considering most owners vocally opposed the change and then voted 12-2 in favor of it, it's not hard to imagine that Trump had his hands all over it. Almost immediately afterwards, two of the USFL teams folded rather than compete with the NFL teams in their market, and another two teams were forced to relocate. Soon after, the league collapsed. To reiterate: the last time Donald Trump owned a sports team, he failed so spectacularly that the entire league collapsed. Yeah, he'll make a fine President.
Ted Cruz - A Football Team Consisting Entirely of Tim Tebow
Both are known for being super-religious and exactly nothing else. Tebow somehow led the Broncos to a win in the playoffs, and Cruz is somehow in the conversation for Republican nominee. I don't care if no such football team actually exists, and I don't care that Tebow isn't even in the league anymore. I'm right on this one.
Ben Carson - 2015 Philadelphia Phillies
Both are so boring as to defy explanation. If there were ever a time where Philadelphians had to choose between going to a Ben Carson rally or a Phillies game this year, the city would descend into such lawlessness that Gotham City would look tame by comparison. Both have said equally ridiculous things, like "The Egyptian pyramids were built by Joseph to store grain", or "Aaron Harang is qualified to be a starting pitcher in a professional baseball game".
Jeb Bush - New York Islanders
Bush and the Islanders both live in the shadow of someone else; for Bush, it's his father and brother, and the Islanders have always been overshadowed by the Rangers. Both were expected to do far better than they have. Bush was a predicted frontrunner, but his campaign has completely derailed. The Islanders were popular picks to reach the Stanley Cup Finals last year, but lost in the first round. Lastly, both have been forced to relocate their headquarters due to money problems.
Marco Rubio - Miami Heat
Rubio was being groomed for the Presidency during his current term as Senator, but was left to dry when the Republicans found a superstar up North. Similarly, the Heat were promised "Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six..." championships, but then lost all of their fans when their superstar went North. Besides, the issue of race makes it difficult for Republicans to embrace Rubio or professional basketball.