With a tip of my hat to Christian Avard over at GMD, I went over to Edge of Sports, which is a sports blog written by progressive-minded journalist David Zirin.  Boy, am I glad I did.  Here’s what Mr Zirin had to say about the Philadelphia Flyers bringing “the world’s most famous hockey mom” out to drop the ceremonial first puck in the Flyers game against the Rangers:


You cannot make this up. Sarah Palin, the best-known hockey mom in the United States, gets booed Saturday at the Philadelphia Flyers hockey game. And the game is played, of all places, at the Wachovia Center. It’s all over YouTube: failing candidate, failed bank as corporate sponsor, the kind of anger that cannot be scripted.

The Philly welcome was what New York Times hockey blogger Lynn Zinser described as “resounding (almost deafening) boos from the Flyers crowd.”

Here’s that YouTube for you:

Zirin goes on:

Maybe Philadelphia fans remembered that several weeks earlier, Palin almost got sent to the political etiquette penalty box for even thinking about jogging on the streets of the City of Brotherly Love dressed in a New York Rangers jersey. Maybe they were repulsed by the hard bigotry that Palin wears on the campaign trail as effortlessly as she wears her sparkly rhinestone flag pin.

Responsibility for this failed political charade starts and ends with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, a big-time Republican donor who invited Palin on the mistaken assumption that she would burnish the brands of the sport and his team. This is yet another example why hockey is the worst-marketed game on the planet. It’s like inviting PETA to a barbecue. Palin’s negatives are almost Bushian. Outside her narrow base of nationalist bigots, the country is recoiling.

Commenting on the debacle, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell observed, “This is why I say that sports and politics don’t mix.” But it’s not sports and politics that don’t mix. Athletes routinely get torn apart like carrion when they express political views–and that isn’t always fair. The problem is the hijacking of sports by wealthy owners and their political puppeteers. Maybe when this campaign is finally over, we can point to a moment when a group of hockey fans in the land of Wachovia said “enough.”

That last paragraph really makes me smile.  It’s not often you find sports writers who are not only not red-blooded meat-heads, but are actually politically savvy and even, jeez, unapologetically left.  Great site, Christian, thanks.