adrian is rad


synecdoche in football

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:06 pm

Something I’ve noticed about football, or people talking about football recently is that games are often talked about as, for instance, “Pittsburgh vs. Cincinatti.” In reality, of course, Pittsburgh is not playing Cincinatti; it is simply the team in that city versus the team that resides in the other city. This is a very common occurance in football (except for two team cities like New York, with the Giants and Jets), more so than other sports. I don’t remember people talking much about “Toronto playing Boston”—it was usually “the Blue Jays vs. the [Red]Sox.” People don’t call the Pirates “Pittsburgh.”

In poetry or literature they call a part representing a whole a synecdoche.

I’m wondering if this ties in to the attachment and involvement cities feel for their teams and visa versa. Pittsburgh may be a fringe example, but I know the city lives and dies with the Steelers and the team is exceptionally devoted to the fans and the city, in a way they’re not devoted to the Pirates or the Penguins. It could be that Pittsburgh is a “football” town and similar devote occurs elsewhere for other sports (Boston to the Red Sox comes to mind).

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