Making sense of the non-sensical world of American politics

Life Is Good Again!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written almost exclusively about the debt ceiling/budget deficit debate raging in hapless Washington, DC.  Doing so has been at once frustrating, draining, demoralizing and, often times, downright disgusting.  After having written each column concerning the debt ceiling issue, I’ve felt as though I should take an immediate shower in an effort to cleanse my body and soul from slimy Washington.  Frankly, it has been depressing.

But all is not lost in my world – not by a long shot (or pass).  On Monday, the National Football League ended its 4 1/2 month lockout by coming to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement that will remain in effect for the next decade.  Forget that our country is spiraling towards credit default for the first time in her history, the knowledge that there will be football in just over a month is cause for celebration.  Break out the champagne and glow sticks – it’s party time!  But why exactly is a celebration of such epic proportions in order?

To answer this question one must consider life without football as many of us were doing during the protracted lockout.  Many of us were left wondering how we would cope with life’s many trials and tribulations come this fall and winter without football serving as our diversion from reality.  It’s already bad enough having to pass the dog days of summer with baseball alone as our escape.  Although we had yet to lose a single game to the NFL lockout, the mere possibility of such an occurrence was leaving men (and many women) all over this great country in a cold sweat. 

In addition, the NFL lockout was producing all sorts of pressing questions.  For instance: What am I going to do at work now that I don’t have to manage my fantasy team?  And now that I don’t have to intensely study and meticulously scrutinize the spread and over/under of each game, what should I do with all the left over brain power?  And speaking of left overs, what shall I ever do with all the extra money I save from not being able to gamble it away?  Last, but certainly not least, was this question: What in the hell am I going to do on Sunday afternoons (and Sunday nights, Monday nights and some Thursdays) anyway? 

The potential answers to these important, indeed critical, questions sent chills down the collective spines of men everywhere who were beginning to envision Sunday afternoons spent shopping at the mall, doing yard work or other intolerable chores or, worst of all, visiting the in-laws.  To these loyal football fans who were inching ever closer to the proverbial ledge, I say congratulations that these nightmares will never come to fruition – at least not for another decade.  If that alone is not cause for celebration, I don’t know what is. 

I am extremely grateful that the negotiations between the NFL and the Players Association (NFLPA) weren’t led by President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  If this were the case, undoubtedly, we wouldn’t be seeing football anytime soon.  Thank God for Jerry Richardson – the owner of my Carolina Panthers who led the owners’ negotiating efforts – and DeMaurice Smith – who represented the players’ interests – for their ability and willingness to compromise and achieve the best possible deal for their respective sides.  It seems to me that the president and House Republicans could learn an awful lot from the NFL in terms of negotiations and compromise. 

Perhaps the answer is to elect those involved in the NFL negotiations as our new political leaders.  Roger Goodell – the NFL Commissioner – could serve as president with Jerry Richardson as Vice President.  Obviously, DeMaurice Smith would make a fine secretary of state given his superb diplomatic skills.  The NFL players could round out the Senate and House of Representatives.  Now, I bet we could get a debt deal.  And don’t worry about President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  The NBA is still engaged in its own messy lockout – they would be perfect for that job.

So now that we fans know that there will be an NFL season, it is time to put on our home team hats and make completely irrational, unfounded predictions regarding the success of our teams.  One of my good friends from back home in North Carolina is the best at this that I’ve ever seen.  He shall remain nameless; however, his hometown team is the Cleveland Browns.  And every year this friend of mine honestly believes that Cleveland has a shot at the Super Bowl.  And, of course, every year the Browns fall far short of even making the playoffs.  But what’s life without hope, right?

I, however, only make predictions based on facts.  I am one of those rare football fans grounded completely in reality.  My Carolina Panthers were the worst team in football last year, compiling a 2 – 14 record.  Armed with this information, I am now ready to make my prediction for this year’s team.  Based solely on reason coupled with my daily briefings from Panthers super-fan and my super-friend, Landon Betsworth, mark my words:  The Carolina Panthers will win the Super Bowl this February in Indianapolis.  They will win by a stomach-churning score of 27 – 24 on an Olindo Mare (really? push John Kasay out the door) last second field goal.  And whom will they beat?  The Cleveland Browns, of course.

July 28, 2011 Posted by | Boehner, Debt Ceiling, NFL, NFL Lockout, Obama | , , , , , | 2 Comments