This Is How Not To Win Over Two Rival Football Fanbases

  • Glenn Davis

It’s almost time for the Iowa caucuses, the most-hyped event yet in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And that means it’s been time for hopefuls to try and curry favor with Iowans. There are many ways of doing this – a candidate might even choose to live in the state for a while. But what a candidate shouldn’t do is exactly what Michele Bachmann did at a tailgate this football season:

This happened a few months ago, but it was brought up today via this Reddit thread, and it’s worth revisiting. If you’ll notice, all the comments specifically having to do with the jersey – including a couple from Iowa fans – are all negative. In the previously-linked article from the Des Moines Register, some people quoted didn’t seem to mind, but one said this:

Josh Davis, of Altoona, said he happened upon Bachmann unexpectedly, but “just had to see her” when he realized she was a presidential candidate. He said he appreciated her support for the state of Iowa, but was skeptical about her have-it-both-ways jersey.

“She kind of copped out with the Iowa State-Iowa jersey,” said Davis, a former ISU student. “You know what I mean? … Of course, you’re going to get both fans on your side, or you might get both fans to hate you.”

And that’s the danger. Who wants to see their team placed right alongside one of their fiercest – if not their fiercest, period – rival? Would you wear an Alabama-Auburn mashup jersey? USC/UCLA? Michigan-Michigan State? God forbid, Michigan-Ohio State? If you do wear a half-and-half jersey, you better have a good reason…like, “A.J. Hawk’s girlfriend and also Brady Quinn’s sister“-level good.

Otherwise, you’ll just look like you’re pandering for easy brownie points, and you’ll probably get made fun of. Of course, maybe the state of Bachmann’s campaign these days is evidence enough that maybe some of her plans to win people over weren’t the best. At least she wasn’t proudly carrying this around.