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Football Metaphor

The Gipper

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Football, as you know is a game of territorial acquisition. Lets say you have two teams, the Blue team and the Red team. And the venue for this weeks game is.....let's call it Electoral College Stadium.


As you know, each side in a football game has its own "territory" divided by the 50 yard line.


In politcal terms we are pretty evenly divided in this country between Blue and Red. In our football game we play "first team to 270 points wins". The best demonstration of this even division came in the 2000 playoffs where the Red team narrowly squeaked out a victory with 271 points even though the Blue team gained quite a few more yards than the Red team, the Blue team having had its game winning field goal clank off the upright.


In the game this year, the Red team is going to have to keep all of the yard markers and patches of territory it was able to acquire in 2000 in order to be victorious.


The problem is that this year the Blue team seems to have amassed a much stronger team than in 2000. The Quarterback of the Blue team is just entering his prime. He has a stronger throwing arm, more nimble legs, and a superior feel for the game. He has accumulated an all Star backfield and receivers, and a massive bulk of an offensive line. He also has an experienced backup QB. The Red team meanwhile has a Quarterback that seems far on the downside of his career. His legs are creaky, his arm is kind of a stringy noodle at this point. He keeps losing many of his best surrounding players to injuries or to other teams. His backup QB is a fresh faced rookie who only had two years in college and who seems to have had no practice whatsoever with the team on the field. That QB keeps making one misstep after another causing the veteran QB to wonder if he made the right choice in putting her on the roster.


Now that the gun for the start of the game has sounded, the Blue team has had the upper hand up to this point in the game. They have been constantly pounding the running game and have gobbled up big yardage of territory that the Red team controlled in the 2000 game. The Red team has committed a number of turnovers that give the Blue team several pieces of territory they didn't think they would able to control. Only around the middle of the first quarter did the Red team make any inroads at all into Blue team territory, but the Blue team hit on a few long passes when a crisis moment came just before halftime that had the Red Team reeling. The Red Team has fallen so far behind that they had to rely on several trick plays, including the Plumberooski. But on most of these trick plays the Red team was caught committing a penalty and got pushed further behind.


Now, however, just before the two minute warning of the end of the game, the Blue team has seemed to grab up whole pieces of the Red Dirt acquired in 2000. A handoff up the middle gained them 5 yards (electoral votes:New Hampshire). Another handoff off tackle, another 5 yards/votes (Nevada). An end around gave them 13 yards/votes (Virginia). A quick hitter to the tight end for 9 yards/votes (Colorado).


Another pass down the seam of the zone gains 21 yards/votes (Pennsylvania). On two plays the Blue team first picks up perhaps 3 yards/votes (Montana), but then may give up that yardage with a 3 yard/vote loss on a carry (North Dakota).


With just under that two minutes left in the game the Blue team the final gun is not yet sounded. While they could suffer a sack that nets the Red team 11 yards/votes (Indiana), they can gain back that 11 yards/votes right away (Missouri) on a quick slant. Based on the plays in their 5 receiver set however, the Blue team seems poised to pull off some big gainers of 15 yards/votes (North Carolina), 20 yards/votes (Ohio), and 27 yards/votes (Florida). The Blue team has been pounding and outmaneuvering the Red team all game long. The Red team tries a few blitzes that are picked up by the Blue line. The Red team gets hit with a personal foul penalty on more than one occasion. In the last minutes of the game the Red team crowd has nothing left to do but to yell "Defense, defense", but the Blue team line is too strong, their QB too smart, charismatic and agile.


The Red team knows that it is down to its last timeout and that it must take all that territory it gained in the 2000 game to win this time around...but, the problem is that it is 143 yards away from the Blue team goal line...and brother....there ain't been no Hail Mary ever in the game of football that has gone for that distance.




The Gipper

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