NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Politicians love a winner, and, like just about everyone else, they have a lot to say about the Stanley Cup run of Nashville’s hockey team, and those plugging the Predators begin right at the top for state government.
During the nail-biting series with Anaheim, Governor Bill Haslam took credit for one of the wins, just like a million or so other Tennesseans who relied on game day routines or actions to help the team.
“I put on my yellow shirt and we scored,” said the governor with some seriousness. “I was with a friend who then put on his yellow shirt and we scored again! Its a little known reason why we won the game,” he said without a straight face.
On the other side of the aisle, House Democrat leader Mike Stewart declared his district the best in the land for Predator fans.
“I cannot go anywhere in my district without meeting a pile of Preds fans,” he said Thursday while waiving a “Stand With Us” Preds towel tossed at him during an interview. “And I cannot imagine a more pro Preds district than House 52.”
Even though the Democrats might call the governor a “Bill come lately,” the governor has what seems like universal bipartisan support for the Preds, unheard of in this day of sharply divided politics.
Support for the team even erases legendary differences between Nashville and Memphis, especially with sports teams.
“Its a statewide effort,” pleaded Memphis representative Raumesh Akbari, who admitted she did not look like a hockey fan. “But our Grizzlies are sitting home in June, so at least we have the Predators playing still.”
At the state congressional level, Democrat Jim Cooper and Republican Marsha Blackburn rarely talk the same politics, but they’ve been seen together recently, also wearing Preds hats.
One state lawmaker did recently admit not knowing anything about hockey and was not much of a fan, but Senator Mae Beavers quickly added that “all my Facebook friends are,” while vowing to learn more about the game.
She is not alone as more Predator fans are being made every day as the team makes a run for the Stanley Cup, the most prized possession in pro sports.