Last October, Frank Hibbard, the ambitious mayor of Clearwater, Florida, faced a quandary: should he root for the Phillies, who’ve trained in Clearwater for more than 60 years and developed a healthy local following, or should he pull for the Rays, who make their home in nearby St. Petersburg?
After absorbing some righteous outrage from Rays-supporting constituents, Mayor Hibbard went with the upstarts from Tampa. He wore a Rays-approved mohawk during the World Series, openly rooted against Phillies, and barred his employees from wearing the garb of either team. For his efforts, the mayor may have pacified the Rays demographic, but he might not be able to get a table at Lenny’s, the venerable Clearwater diner that loves the Phillies to the point of, well, loathing the mayor.
Were not those awful “half one team, half another” team hats concocted for just such a dilemma? Who are those for, if not waffling, tip-toeing pols who don’t want to anger anyone dumb enough to care about someone else’s rooting interests?