It is football season. In this season of constant, aggravating, and seemingly pointless political battles, relaxing and watching a game is the perfect form of escapism for countless Americans, a time when they can forget about government shutdowns, Syrian chemical weapons, and mass shootings.
Perhaps because I was never much good at sports, or because I write for a political blog, I intend to ruin that for everyone.
If you happen to be a Houston Texans fan, congratulations: Your team's owner is personally responsible for nearly two-thirds of the political contributions among owners in the NFL, all to GOP candidates.
Even not taking the Texans' Bob McNair into account, Republican owners still out-donate Democratic owners three times over. The only Democratic-leaning owner to really compete with the Republican contributors is Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, Tom Benson of the Saints is the only Republican-leaning owner to have won a Super Bowl in the last dozen years, despite nearly two-thirds of politically partisan owners being Republican. Draw your own conclusions.
Meanwhile, the NFL itself is equally politically active, but more issues-focused than party-focused. Its Political Action Committee (PAC) has donated fairly equally across party lines, but focuses on committee leaders that deal with drugs, concussions, and other football-related issues. The fairly equal party split in donation dollars was strategic, to avoid making enemies with any specific party in a divided Congress.
This makes the NFL very similar to just about any other large business out there, defending its interests. Still, supporters of the sport might want to take a look into where their ticket and merchandising dollars are going in Washington.
So, who and what does your team support?