SBD/March 16, 2012/Sports in Society

Allegiance To Local Sports Teams Becoming A Focus Of Massachusetts Senate Race

Brown paid for radio ad in February praising Patriots for making it to Super Bowl

References to Boston-area sports teams in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts between Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and challenger Elizabeth Warren is examined by the BOSTON GLOBE's Noah Bierman, who writes the Red Sox “are the ultimate authenticity test” for politicians and Brown’s campaign has questioned Warren’s “Red Sox Nation credentials.” Slip-ups about team allegiance “can lead to political mockery and charges of elitism.” Brown’s focus on talking sports “has been constant, on Twitter, in interviews, and at games he attends.” Analysts have said that Brown is “trying both to wrap himself in the warm feelings toward the home teams and to rekindle some of the success he had in the 2010 special election against Attorney General Martha Coakley," who mistakenly said former Red Sox P Curt Schilling played for the Yankees. Warren, who once “described herself as an avid Houston Rockets fan, has tried to counter comparisons to Coakley with just enough sports talk to show rooting interest.” Bierman noted Warren in a December debate "could not correctly name which years the Sox had most recently won the World Series.” She correctly identified the ‘04 championship, but “said 2008 instead of ’07 on the second one.” Sportswise, it would be “all but impossible to keep up with Brown, who has tied himself more closely to local teams than almost any politician in the state.” He even “paid for a radio advertisement in February praising the Patriots for making it to the Super Bowl.” Brown attended the Celtics game against the Knicks on March 4 and was “speaking to reporters" about Knicks G and Harvard alum Jeremy Lin (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/16).

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