Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Red Sox are not the lead news story today

Colin Powell's endorsement of Senator Barack Obama is the current lead story on Yahoo! News. It is definitely the biggest headline across the nation this Sunday. The decision dominated the conversations among my siblings and parents, when I went to Connecticut today for a small family gathering. My parents, who one would know from reading this blog are Obama supporters, wondered if the endorsement is a nail in the McCain campaign's coffin.

News everywhere, except in Boston. On WBZ-AM radio at 10:30 a.m. this morning, the top news story was the Boston Red Sox. The Powell endorsement played second fiddle to players on a baseball diamond. In fact, it took seven minutes into the news broadcast for WBZ to mention the endorsement. As we all know, the Red Sox are a win away from another trip to the World Series.

It reminds me of a poll the Boston Globe conducted online about this time four years ago. The Red Sox were in the World Series, having defeated the New York Yankees in seven games to win the American League pennant. The poll asked visitors what they would rather see happen: The Red Sox winning the World Series or Senator John Kerry defeating President Bush in the election.

The Red Sox World Series victory won the poll overwhelmingly. The election again was second fiddle. Shocked, I dialed up one of my close friends; one of the smartest people I know.

"How could people not have their priorities straight?" I asked.

"Umm. I think I want the Red Sox to win, too," was the answer.

Red Sox fans got their wish. The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and again in 2007. The Curse if the Bambino ended, and all celebrated. Meanwhile, George Bush won a second term as President.

Now, I like baseball as much as anyone else. I plan to watch Game 7 of the ALCS tonight, and I look forward to the World Series. But I turned on WBZ radio this morning in my car to hear about Powell's endorsement. The Red Sox win really wasn't high on my priority list.

I am sure local TV stations in Boston paid even less attention to Powell's decision than WBZ radio. And that to me is both disappointing and scary.

It's especially disappointing given what I witnessed yesterday in New Hampshire. I spent the day canvassing for Barack Obama, Jeanne Shaheen (who's running for Senate) and Carol Shea-Porter (who's running for re-election to Congress). When I returned to the campaign office, I sat across from a young Army veteran who was calling other vets to urge them to support Obama. His speech would have certainly convinced me. He had recently returned from the front lines.

I think it's important for us all to keep things in perspective. The Red Sox victories are a cause for joy, but they should not overshadow what is real news. And the real news is this: In about two weeks we're all participating in what could be the most important election ever.

No comments: