Sports is fast becoming the latest PR pitfall

With the Red Sox taking a 2-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, presidential candidate and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is half way toward further jinxing the Yankees in the organization's ever-growing "Curse of Luis Gonzalez" (See Yankees/Diamondback, 2001).

With the Red Sox taking a 2-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies in the World Series, presidential candidate and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is half way toward further jinxing the Yankees in the organization's ever-growing “Curse of Luis Gonzalez” (See Yankees/Diamondback, 2001).

Just before the Fall Classic got underway, Giuliani told a room full of reporters while stumping in Massachusetts that he was rooting for the Red Sox. The front page of two New York area newspapers featured Giuliani, with headlines like: “Traitor,” and “Red Coat.”

Giuliani, thought by most to be the only Republican with an outside shot (a shot so unlikely, it would be like Bobby Thomson's “Short Heard around the World”) of turning New York into a red state, may have just swift-boated himself locally with that move. It's hard to imagine that he cleared those lines he spoke with any PR person worth his or her salt. Boston fans are fully aware of Giuliani's storied allegiance to the pinstripes, not to mention that Massachusetts practically invented the color blue. What did Giuliani gain by throwing his hat in with the Red Sox Nation? A better calculation would have been to go the other way; root for the Rockies, who play in a GOP stronghold (minus Boulder). That way Colorado loves him, and he still has a shot at New York. Fans, like voters (who sometimes double as both) are not very forgiving. A really skilled PR person would be forever in Hizzoner's debt if he or she can find a way to get him out of this corner and back in the center of the ring.

Ditto for LeBron James. In another what-were-they-thinking baseball moment, the Cleveland Cavaliers' small forward allowed himself to be televised wearing a Yankee hat at a Cleveland Indians game. His act is only slightly less egregious; for one, the Yankees and Indians rivalry is like John and Yoko compared to the hatred shared between New York and Boston, and secondly, if LeBron can take the Cavs back to the NBA Championship next year, all will be forgotten. A ticker-tape parade in the middle of Cleveland - a city that hasn't had one in 43 years - would be the ultimate public relations mea culpa. Expect no such parade for Giuliani, even if he wins the 2008 election. He's probably already lost New York.

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