On One Hand

August 9, 2008

Professional Soccer Players Don’t Vote

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 10:46 pm

Today when I was regestering voters outside a Wal-Mart in Stapleton, I approached three tall, extremely attractive, athletic-looking guys wearing red and white soccer jerseys asking if they’d register to vote.

They said they can’t vote because they’re from Canada, but asked me who I worked for and if I was doing well.

“Yeah, I’m doing pretty well, I have about 20 forms today so far; average is like 2 per hour and I’ve been getting 3 or 4,” I said.

They were still curious so I told them I work for the SEIU, a labor union that is trying to boost voter turnout in the neighborhood. They asked if the job was temoporary and what I was going to do after the election was over, if I was going to be screwed and unemployed, and I explained that I had just graduated from college and hadn’t started a career yet, so I figured I might as well get involved in the election season.

“You guys into soccer?” I asked, pointing at their clothing.

They said they play professionally, and just finished a game against the Colorado Rapids. (I checked the Rapids game schedule later and figured out they play for Toronto FC.)

I told them my parents live by the park where the Rapids used to practice when I was a kid.

“Oh yeah, that big blue house,” one of then joked. He was the one with the British-sounding accent (Could have been Australian or New Zealand). Another guy sounded like he could be American and the third had a French or French Canadian accent.

They asked me who I was supporting, I pointed at where my shirt says “SEIU for Obama,” and they said right on and nodded.

I talked to them for another ten or fifteen minutes about my job, because they kept asking a lot of questions. They asked if anyone ever tells me to fuck off and I said “not in those words,” in the mean time interupting the conversation to ask people passing by if they’re registered to vote. They sat on the ground outside the Wal-Mart until a white van with Marriot on the side pulled up and took them away.

“How many of these people who say they’re registered do you think are already registered,” was one question. I don’t remember who asked what. I explained the organizational strategy of targeting neither loyal voters nor apethetic voters, but instead the narrow range of those who sometimes vote but need that extra nudge – if someone is a total dick, I don’t need to push that person because he or she probably wouldn’t vote even if I convinced him or her to register. I said we do follow-up with all our registered voters to make sure they get out and vote, and that statistically those people who will vote if if you make it easier for them tend to support Obama.

What I think is hilarious about the whole thing is that they were professional atheletes, and I talked more about my job than theirs – and they were totally into that. It didn’t even occur to me to ask about what they do, since I know so little about soccer.

So I got on Wikipedia and looked at pictures and figured out that one of them was Greg Sutton, the goalkeeper, who had the American-sounding accent but who is actually Canadian, another one was probably Jarrod Smith, and another one was, I think, Jim Brennan. The only one I am really, really sure of is Greg Sutton.

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