Sunday, December 09, 2007

Waving the Bloody Sock

John McCain's latest TV commercial ois an endorsement by Curt Schilling. Funny. I always made Curt for a Duncan Hunter guy.

No one can say Schilling is a front-runner after this. McCain's candidacy is not exactly lighting up New Hampshire or anyplace else except Don Imus's new show. Schilling's political views are not mine, but he is to be congratulated for speaking his mind in an age when most athletes see fans as customers rather than fellow citizens.

Celebrity endorsement in politics are about as meaningful as celebrity picks of Super Bowl winners. The last one that influenced a presidential election was when Frank Sinatra went for JFK. Frank brought the mob along with him, which never hurts in Chicago. The Schilling endorsement is another example of the dogged cluelessness that has marked the McCain campaign.

McCain is a sports fan. But his favorite game is boxing, not baseball. And lack of local knowledge may be responsible for an ad which may not have the effect McCain thinks it will. Yes, Schilling is a hero to Red Sox fans, of which New Hampshire has many. He is, however, not the "statue in the town green" sort of hero.

Red Sox fans (and me, who isn't one), admire and respect Curt Schilling as a superb pitcher and clutch performance, and fond of him personally in an odd sort of way. Their affection is tempered by one attitude of which McCain must be unaware.

Let's face it. Most people think Schilling is full of shit. His constant attention-seeking and melodramatic attitude result in Schilling coming off as a comical, preposterous figure on many occasions. As might be expected, this is usually when Schilling is trying to be as sincere and serious as he knows how. Like, say, when he's talking politics.

There's nothing wrong with Schilling taking an operatic approach to life. It's probably allowing him to get more fulfillment from his time on earth than most of us. But it does mean that most people take what Curt says about anything with a mine's worth of salt, and enjoy making fun of him, even as they admire his professional abilities and makeup.

That's how teammates and fans in three different cities, two of which I know well, have coped with the phenonomen that is Schilling. I suspect New Hampshirites would be more likely to take stock picking advice from Curt than be influenced by his Presidential endorsement, and they wouldn't do the former in the first place.


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