Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Election and Football

This was a hard fought election season. In the interest of full disclosure, my presidential pick lost. It is a tough notion have had to wake up to. I sighed, said a little prayer that all be okay for this great land and prepared for my work day as I always do. Albeit, I'm in New Orleans for a program kickoff meeting, but I am preparing for work none-the-less

A quick inspection of social media reveals a lot of animosity.  Honestly, I'm surprised and a little disappointed how sore of losers some are being. I've seen blame and accusations generalized and directed towards whole groups/generations of people. I've seen vitriol spewed as venom towards the winning side. I've seen fear rise and cry out.  I envision people acting like Cam Newton flopping on the sidelines in a tantrum. I've seen a small amount of smugness from the victors, but none of it so far was about who won, but relief about who lost.

I don't want to write on the details of what went wrong, or to compliment what went right. A lot seems to have to do with likability of the candidates. Ms. Clinton, while an established politician and likely a capable leader is vehemently not liked by a large portion of the population. She was seen as the lesser of what is wrong with the system compared to Mr. Trump. To me, that's it. I may elaborate more later, but I'm done with analysis I'm done.

What I really want to do is relate the concept of winning and losing in the election to my own experiences. Particularly, from the old football career.

Losing is hard. Losing by a narrow margin is exceedingly hard. Winning is also hard, it means you put in the work to win.  There is nothing more satisfying than being the underdog and pulling off a close victory. In a sense (sorry mom) I'm mildly impressed that the Trump campaign did what they did despite the financial and support team disadvantages.

At the end of a game, or an election, what will set you on the right track for the next meeting is how you deal with what happened. President Obama knows this, he has shown an immense amount of class and maturity in calling to congratulate Mr. Trump. Instead of dramatic lamenting and pointing blame, which may hurt any reconciliation and could even be professionally damaging. It is important to shake hands and tell your competition "good game". Take a moment to recover, get your composure back, step back and be glad the contest is over.

Then, get back to work! Part of that is studying the game footage. Then training, recruiting, scouting, etc.

First, what were the weaknesses? From football: maybe an opposing player was underestimated or maybe the backside "A" gap wasn't being blocked aggressive enough on a missed goal line stand. From politics: Maybe the primaries should go differently. Maybe the undecideds should be queried to greater depth? Maybe there was overconfidence on account of Nate Silver's blog? Was the message falling on deaf ears due to other aspects? Are you not empathetic or inclusive enough? Did you not get out the vote enough?

Second, what were the strengths. If you're a democrat some good news is you narrowed the gap in the senate and house. If you're me, my daughter's friends dad one his first election to the state house. Also, you still won the popular vote. In that there's a lot of hope and possibility for the left. It may be an opportunity for new faces and ideas.

Being dominant in football, politics, business and many areas is desired, but is only achieved by a few and only maintained by those who put the work in day in and day out. To be dominant as a football team means players, coaches, recruiters, strength trainers, athletic trainers, financial supporters and fans are all giving the best effort they can. They understand the competition and they understand their own weaknesses.

The last truly dominating politician may have been FDR. I say this because his dominance led to a constitutional amendment imposing a presidential term limit. Next dominant may be Ronald Reagan, who had such a way with the people that in 1984 his opponent, Walter Mondale, only carried his own state. My beloved Minnesota.

Politics is a down and dirty institution. It has been since the first civilizations. By comparison "deflate gate" is minor. In both cases though we need to strive for integrity. We need to keep working hard for what we think is right. And we need to be able to win and lose with class and dignity.

No comments:

Post a Comment