Tell the Kids Donald Trump Won Like the Election Like a Linebacker Wins the Super Bowl. But Now the Game is Over.
“There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.” Vince Lombardi from What it Takes to Be Number One
Football and politics are both All-American sports. Donald Trump won the election. It wasn’t rigged, not everyone voted, he didn’t get the most votes, but he did win. Some people are cheering, some are mourning. Yet no one can deny that he came from behind and dominated the field, which is something Americans love. Many voted for him despite his election behavior because they stand behind the Republican “team.” Even for those who voted for him, it is obvious that the attention getting tactics he used in his election, are behaviors that we don’t want to instill in our children and can’t have in our President. Now that he is President-Elect, he knows he must behave and act as an example to all. I realized that his election fits our sports obsessed culture very well.
· Like political parties, football teams aren’t true reflections of who they represent.
o Most team members aren’t originally from that team’s city.
o The teams don’t accurately represent the diversity of the nation or their own city (starting with the obvious lack of representation for ½ the population, which is female). Do they even make jerseys in sizes for women?
o All of the players have jobs, (the minimum NFL salary in 2015 was 435,000). The more you tackle, the more you make. Most went to college (on scholarships). Many own homes in their team city and also in their home city.
· Members of political parties and fans of football teams both root for their team despite changes in rosters and coaches. They wear their colors and chant and get in fights. They don’t even need beer to start fighting. Many have never even been to the city (or university) that their team represents. But it’s their team and they fly the team’s flag.
· The players tackle, grab, trip, and steal the ball from each other. Referees make calls of tripping or fouls, but they can’t catch everything and, it turns out, a lot of it is actually legal during the game! Sometimes the clock just seems to keep running and other times it stops. Sometimes a call will cancel or prevent a last second play that would give a team a victory.
· Donald Trump aggressively tackled, jeered, kicked, intercepted in his campaign and the last minute Electoral College call gave him the win. Many fans of both “teams” were already out in the parking lot when the final whistle blew.
Now the game is over. No more playing rough out on the field. Mr. Trump already appears to realize he has to change his game plan now. A Super Bowl winner isn’t considered a bad person because he fought his way to the win. But he is expected to suddenly become a gracious winner and act as an example off of the field and in the real world. Nowadays much more attention is placed on punishing the star players off the field who abuse women, commit crimes, and hurt animals. They have to learn to keep their player behavior on the field.
Mr. Trump is now representing all teams and has to be an example off the field. Mr. Trump seemed surprised and upset that some of his fans are out in public gleefully recreating his on-the-field plays. Now we expect that he will respect the coaching role he’s taken on (no, he shouldn’t coach everyone to act like life is a football game, but an analogy can only go so far!). Advertisers love to use star players as role models to sell products. The truth is he’s going to appoint some of his teammates (hopefully not those who’ve suffered concussions, suspended, fired, fined, etc.). Hopefully he doesn’t use the same tactics he used with the late USFL (anyone remember that?). There are probably more kids who’d like to win a Super Bowl ring than become President, but it’s all part of the American Dream. The ball is in Mr. Trump’s court and I’m rooting for him to become a good sportsman, and stop being a player. The Constitution is the ultimate playbook, but the game isn’t football, it’s Life.
Nancy M Doyle