Political Ewing Theory

by Will Wilson ESPN's SportsGuy has fostered what's called the Ewing Theory, after former NY Knicks center Patrick Ewing, which has two basic components: A ...
by | March 11, 2008

by Will Wilson

ESPN's SportsGuy has fostered what's called the Ewing Theory, after former NY Knicks center Patrick Ewing, which has two basic components:

  1. A star athlete receives an inordinate amount of media attention and fan interest, and yet his teams never win anything substantial with him (other than maybe some early-round playoff series).
  2. That same athlete leaves his team (either by injury, trade, graduation, free agency or retirement) -- and both the media and fans immediately write off the team for the following season.

Perhaps the most famous example of the Ewing Theory in action--so famous that some have suggested renaming it the Tiki Theory--occurred when the NY Giants won the Super Bowl the season after longtime superstar Tiki Barber retired.

Lauded as a reformer ready to take on notoriously busted Albany when he came into office--by a big majority--Governor Spitzer hasn't delivered as many had hoped. A series of gaffes and his pugnacious style seemed to hobble his ability to get the business of governing done in Albany.

While Spitzer hasn't (yet?) resigned his office, our colleague Josh Goodman has already written up a thoughtful profile of "even-keeled" Lieutenant Governor David Paterson--a man of rather different temperament from Spitzer. Spitzer could be the perfect political Ewing Theory candidate: a famous politician with big expectations who ultimately came up short; it would be an interesting twist on this situation if the milder--and much less famous--David Paterson turns out to be just the medicine for what ails Albany.

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Will Wilson  |  Former Correspondent
willbwilson@gmail.com

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