Here’s something I’d tune in to watch. Say, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews, Ann Coulter, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton discussing (arguing) sports, and, say, Colin Cowherd, Erin Andrews, Jose Canseco, Pete Rose, Eli Gold and Paul …
Here’s something I’d tune in to watch. Say, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews, Ann Coulter, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton discussing (arguing) sports, and, say, Colin Cowherd, Erin Andrews, Jose Canseco, Pete Rose, Eli Gold and Paul Feinbaum discussing (arguing) politics.
That isn’t as farfetched as it might seem at first glance. Truth is, I believe we’d hardly notice that these people were involved in a discourse (argument) outside their realms of expertise. Why? Because more and more Sports are evolving into something that mirrors the current State.
Take the ongoing Johnny Manziel controversy. “Johnny Football” has, factually speaking, lost his temper and shoved a grad assistant, been thrown out of a frat party, been imbibing too much, and tweeted some stuff that has kept him in the eye of the storm. Now he is alleged to have broken NCAA rules by signing autographs for lots of money.
Yet, “Johnny Football” is becoming a sort of football-throwing “Robin Hood” for many because, as it’s turning out, he’s going up against the mean ol’ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the authoritarian giant that makes weird, scary rules; pokes its warty nose into every aspect of college athletics; and seems to pretty much screw everything up.
Now, Heeree’s, Johnny! He’s got the brass to buck the NCAA, some fans figure. Johnny doesn’t give a damn; he’s already shown us evidence of that, and that’s just the kind of protagonist this drama needs. Even if Johnny cheated (and I’m not saying he did, and I dang sure am not saying he didn’t) and he can bring down the mean, dysfunctional NCAA, we’re on board with that. Go, Johnny, go!
Here’s the Federal Government, even bigger and meaner and wartier than the NCAA. The same dynamics hold true: dysfunctional if not downright catatonic these days; scary laws; into everybody’s business; constantly raining on our parade. And we’ll do anything to change that and, just like in sports, we care less and less about the “David” who slays “Goliath,” just as long as “Goliath” bites the dust.
We don’t care if we have to cheat to slay the Beast. We’ll purposefully take a path that runs counter to the common good; we’ll adorn the altar of Moloch with flowers and convince ourselves we’re doing it for Christ. We’ll suppress the truth, bend the truth, twist the truth — heck, we’ll shoot the truth right between the eyes and for what reason? Because we’re a Christian nation; a nation with a high calling; a society with principles!
That said if “Johnny Football” succeeds in putting the NCAA in its place on the sports-side of the coin, I can foresee some welcoming him into the political arena as a champion against the Really Big Meany, the Federal Government, in whatever shape or form it happens to be in at the time the crowds starting waving the signs and the banners go up, “Johnny Football for Congress!”
Bob Morgan is a retired, award-winning journalist and an author.