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Politics Reimagined As A Sport: The Democracy We Deserve

By February 8, 2016 0

This whole politics thing has gotten staler than the untouched Cheez-Its that have been sitting stagnant in my pantry for the past 8 months.

I tried, I really did. I will venture to say that I have a keener interest in the nuances of politics than most of my peers.

And yet, at the ripe ol’ age of 23, I find myself completely jaded by and burned out on the concept of democracy and its alleged ‘merits’. Merit is one word that should not be mentioned in the same breath as 2016 politics.

Let me explain:

In the Super Bowl, coin-flips are used to determine which squad of athletic specimens is granted the ‘prize’ of absorbing a physical pummeling first. The loser of the flip? They get the chance to ram their heads and bodies against those receiving the ball. Keep in mind, this is the game that these men love. 

Most importantly, it is all part of the Gladiator-like process of determining the winner. The coin-flip, then, is merely a minor, arguably replaceable puzzle piece in the grand scheme of determining the champion.

In 2016 politics, no advancement beyond the coin-flip is necessary. The coin-flip determines the winner.

This dichotomy can be equated to crowning the Broncos or Panthers the champion before they even play the game. Sure, apples and oranges and all that bullshit, but one simple question emphasizes our point: should winning a Super Bowl be more exhausting-mentally and physically-than winning the presidency?

The answer: No. But it is.

I need to see Hillary padded up, tackled by the Broncos’ collective monster of a defense. If Donald Trump can’t run a sub-6 second 40-yard dash, he’s out of the running. Bernie’s socialistic visions for America are fine and dandy, but if he can’t handle the grind of an NFL regular season, there is no chance he is the man to lead the Home of the Brave.

I’ll pump the brakes for a second. Re-reading the previous paragraph, it occurs to me that holding the fragile, coddled politicians of America to NFL levels of physical exertion is, well…..unrealistic.

To be fair, most NFL champions would not thrive in the political arena, either. They are simply too decent. The loyalty one learns in the team-first world of the NFL would necessarily disqualify them from the back-stabbing, intra-party bickering that is necessary if one wants to become POTUS. There is no room for integrity, loyalty, and especially teamwork, in the political arena, ya dingus!

Most of (male) America craves football. It is a national addiction left undiagnosed. Why, you ask?

Some may tell you it is the same fervent machismo that drives frat-bro culture and encourages the sexual assault of young women. False.

Others may argue that it is an irrational gravitation toward gladiator-like violence which appeals to the most brutish and animalistic nature of man. Partially true.

However, I tell you that it is one of the last bastions of true meritocracy left in America. If red-blooded Americans love one thing, it is a good, solid meritocracy.

In politics, it is promises, pledges, and at the end of the day, words that get one elected. This is fine until those promises and pledges go unfulfilled, one of the few remaining certainties among politicians.

In sports, especially football, talk only goes so far. And that is the point in which the talk necessarily gives way to the action of the game. This action is what determines the winner.

This action is also a critical litmus test in any meritocracy, the standard by which success is measured. Without a standard for success and accountability for one’s actions, what are we left with?

Ladies and gentlemen: the 2016 presidential field!

Hillary, Donald, and Bernie, as well as the other candidates running for the allegedly esteemed position of President, have given us enough talk to write a damned novel.

And that talk-lots and lots of it-is how the winner will be determined in 2016. No action is to come. No grand competition of mental and physical will is on the horizon. There will be no sifting through the BS, no merit-based conclusion to the political game. The champion will be crowned President, sure. But ask yourself: will they have earned it?

By the end of Super Bowl night a champion of football supremacy will be named. They will have been thoroughly tested, both mentally and physically. Those playing, as well as those watching, will harbor little doubt as to who earned the right to victory through their actions, not mere trash talk or one-upsmanship.

When January 20th, 2017 rolls around will the person with their left hand on the Bible and the right in the air have earned their spot as President of the United States? Not unless you consider muckraking, self-aggrandizing, and general scumbaggery the test of a president. For now please excuse me, I have some football to watch.