Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Bleeding-Heart Cosmopolitan Appeal of a DDT

Hey again Sam!

Will have to keep this quick as I'm at work. But I had to post this.

So National Media, a republican polling firm, did a study of sports fandom as broken down by political affiliation. Most results were predictable. Republicans/Centrists dominate most fan bases. Except for a handful: NBA, Tennis, Soccer, and

professional wrestling.

Think about that. Pull a section of a crowd at a RAW taping and pull a section of a crowd at a baseball game, and there is a strong probability there are more liberals in the former.

Now there is somewhat of an easy way out for this : they're predominantly young, which means they skew liberal and seldom vote, case closed.

But there is more to this. First, there was strong enough interest in this class at a higher-educational institution like MIT, whose makeup is pretty liberal. Deadspin (part of the Gawker blog network popular with the hipster crowd) has a Dead Wrestler of the Week feature, drawing in tens of thousands of pageviews (most usually get <10K). Most wrestling fans/writers/bloggers we interacted with were liberal or measured and apolitical at most. We spent months dissecting the theatrical aspects of wrestling events, which can be classified as a pretty liberal pursuit. The wrestlers who are the most over aren't those with the best moveset and the clearest identification with the concepts of good and evil. It's Randy Orton, HHH, CM Punk, and Cena v. 3.0, the gray characters who can deliver a great 5-minute rant.

Whether this result has shifted over time now that the WWE style of presentation has become the norm, and everyone is generally in on the act now, I cannot say. But it is worth mentioning:

Wrestling is not the regional cultural relic of good ol' boy tea partiers. Nor can it just be classified as the new haven for disaffected youth. It speaks to something much more broad.

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