Politics should be more like fantasy football

“The Big Game” is this weekend. One hundred million people of all races, genders, ages, creeds and sexual orientations from Nome, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, to Bangor, Maine, to Monterey, California, and everywhere in between will be gathered, like butterflies to a plasma TV, to tune in “the most-watched TV event in America.”

What about the Super Bowl? Why does this cause so many of us, even those who don’t really understand the game, to hang our Sunday scares and take part in this most sacred ritual of beating local beers, buffalo chicken wings and seven-layer dip, partying like there’s no Europe-wide conference call. business early Monday morning? (A DraftKings Poll Results that “about 17 million people miss work the day after the Super Bowl, which is about $4 billion in lost productivity for businesses”.)

Well, for one thing, any excuse for drinks and snacks is a good excuse. And second, football is fun. It satisfies a natural human appetite for justice and provides a much needed and highly entertaining diversion. In a crazy and unpredictable world, football is – or was, before an encroachment sanction was imposed by the woke up the warriors — a refreshing escape to a place where things make sense. The rules are enforced. Equity prevails. Hard work and sharp strategy pay off. The bigger, stronger, faster guys win – unless they’re outmatched by smaller guys who hustle harder or have better teamwork.

Either way, it’s a simple process with a clear cause and effect. And while the outcome of the game is beyond our control (cheers help, even from the living room, I swear!), there is solace to be found in a grassroots contest of “good” (the Pittsburgh Steelers) and “evil” (the Baltimore Ravens) that unfolds in a linear and rewarding fashion. And despite the different team colours, even the most diehard rivals can cross party lines and enjoy game day in a show of unity that puts our politicians to shame.

Fantasy football takes “entertaining entertainment” to a whole new level by allowing fans to create their own teams with real NFL players, track their stats in weekly games, and swap players based on their performance . The more successful the players on your imaginary team are in real games, the more points you score, and vice versa.

I remember walking through a place out of nowhere on one of our family trips when I was a kid. My father feverishly scanned am radio stations for Rush Limbaugh (this was at the height of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and El Rushbo’s impression of Slick Willy was seared into my youthful brain). Yet all the radio picked up was a sports talk show, with a pair of middle-aged men in a heated debate over the likelihood of Randy Moss breaking an NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown and whether his 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine was 4.24 or 4.28 seconds and which yaw he tied first in the preseason opener.

My exasperated father remarked on how different our country would be if people put as much effort into learning and obsessing over the intricacies of politics as they do with sports.

This casual comment stuck with me. I remember it every time I encounter the impressive memory and dedication of Cris Collinsworth. Also, when I hear statistics like this: fantasy football is a billion dollar industrywith some 60 million U.S. participants alone (and millions more in Nigeria, Guatemala, Philippines and elsewhere).

So it seems that if we are serious about ending the political division plaguing our country, we would be wise to infuse some of the elements of fantasy sports into our electoral process.

Imagine this for a minute: Let’s say that America’s success is rooted in the principles of conservatism: limited government, fiscal responsibility, and personal freedom. To “win” the game of peace and prosperity, we need to reduce the tax burden, eliminate the cumbersome red tape that stifles innovation and industry, stop wasting the money we don’t have on worthless projects and harmful social programs, and respecting our individual rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Your Fantasy Politics “league” is the US Congress. In the name of partisanship, you recruit a mix of RINOs, progressive Democrats, right-wing radicals, and “moderates” to your team.

During the first term, Senator Chris Murphy sponsors a bill that violates the Second Amendment. Minus two points. Senator Joe Manchin is voting against a $2 trillion social and climate spending bill. Plus four points. Senator Roger Wicker threat to bomb Russia. Minus two points. Rep. Steve Scalise is sounding the alarm over the pork-laden America Competes Act. One more point. Senator John Kennedy uses a series of Froghorn Leghorn zingers to verbally blitz and sack a Democratic candidate during a Senate court hearing. Plus as many points as possible.

You get the drift. In this fantasy land where voters actually have some control over how the officials they elect behave once they arrive in the swamp, we can “bank” a player by removing their committee appointments. We “cut” a player by not re-electing that person. And yes, if you’re wondering, someone who repeatedly drops the ball on foreign policy, makes inconsistent play calls, challenges the decision on the field when no penalty has been called and sends a linebacker when his team is in possession of the ball would not keep his job as head coach for long.

Of course, “Fantasy Politics” is just a playful figment of this writer’s imagination, and many will say, “Politics is too important to be treated so frivolously.” But should it be? If government maintained the size and scope prescribed by the Founding Fathers, we should may be able to judge our leaders based on a few simple statistics. The problem is that the power of Big Brother has reached such an immense level that its influence is felt in all areas of our lives, affecting even the most serious questions of life and death.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote on the death of Rush Limbaugh that the radio legend was “an American genius” “deathly effective” in combating both the left and the Republican establishment. Limbaugh was also “a gifted impersonator, impersonator…a master comedian. His pauses, intonations and false tones were far funnier than those of our contemporary late-night TV regulars. Although he clearly enjoyed the potentially devastating ramifications of corrupt government, Limbaugh often kept things upbeat and fun, more like a game to be taken lightly than the doomsday, sensationalist approach favored by so many Rush wannabes. these days.

There’s a reason it drew 15 million listeners every week and was so instrumental in influencing not just the conservative movement, but American politics as a whole. Oh, and by the way, Rush got his start in sports radio and was a lifelong football fanatic.

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