The Gridiron and the Capitol Dome

If your house is like mine, you are counting down the days until football season.  The cooler nights, fans in the stands, and Friday night lights are a welcomed occurrence in our state.  We love supporting our local schools and Saturdays are set aside for the Hogs.  My husband is a football coach, so it’s just part of life for the Capp Family.

I was in Little Rock this past weekend for my state party convention.  We heard from our Governor and elected officials.  With my mind on football season and after listening to the various speakers, it made me realize football and politics aren’t so different after all.

The head coach is over the entire program.  He must make decisions for the benefit of the team and to advance them.  He’s in charge of building momentum, recruiting players, and building community support.  At a state level, the Governor is our head coach.  He’s in charge of our state and making decisions to advance the state of Arkansas.

The offensive coordinator decides what offense we will run and figures out what type of athletes we have and then implements an offense accordingly.  The OC calls plays to help score points and should have a great relationship with the quarterback.   Given our bicameral system of government, we have two OC’s. The Speaker of the House, leading the House chamber, and the Senate Pro Tempore leading the Senate chamber.

The defensive coordinator is the one who decides what defense to run based on personnel.  The DC tries to stop the offense from moving forward and scoring points.  The Attorney General is easily paralleled with the DC. She fights the bad guys to ensure crime and dishonest business practices, among many other things, doesn’t rattle our communities. Her job is as important as the offensive coordinator’s.

The offensive linemen do the dirty work in the trenches.  They don’t get the publicity or notoriety of other positions on the field.  Most people don’t know who they are, but without them the offense would not work.  So many individuals could fall under this category. Most strikingly to me are our city and county leaders. The pay isn’t great, thank you’s are often in short supply, and the work truly never stops. It’s the diligent work of these alderman, justices, county judges, mayors, clerks, etc, that allows the ball to continue moving down the field.

The defensive linemen are like the offensive line where they are doing the dirty work.  They make the defense good. As an attorney myself, I am all too familiar with the public’s general opinion about lawyers. And while I don’t always disagree with the generally negative notion, our judicial system plays the important role of defensive linemen. They are vital to the defense of our freedoms and liberties and should serve as a check on any infringements of our God-given rights.

Of course, there are other positions vital to any football team. As such, there are other players in the political arena as well, all serving different purposes.At the end of the game, there is a winner and a loser, and likely some bruises. But there are also two lines of players shaking hands saying “good game.” Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that politics is a friendly sport and everyone is friends in the end, but, I do believe if we could respect others and their beliefs more, some of these bruises wouldn’t be so deep. And perhaps our constituents wouldn’t be so embarrassed by all the fumbles and punting to future generations that occurs in the Capitol. What an idea!

At the end of the game, there is a winner and a loser, and likely some bruises. But there are also two lines of players shaking hands saying “good game.” Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that politics is a friendly sport and everyone is friends in the end, but, I do believe if we could respect others and their beliefs more, some of these bruises wouldn’t be so deep. And perhaps our constituents wouldn’t be so embarrassed by all the fumbles and punting to future generations that occurs in the Capitol. What an idea!

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