Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In one of the playoff games...

...I attended this year, the home team was trailing, 36-33, with a little over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. On third down, the quarterback dropped back to pass and delivered a perfect strike to one of his running backs at about midfield. The receiver, wide open, dropped the ball which had landed right in his hands. All of the fans around me gasped.

"That was six points for sure!" someone groaned, giving voice to the same thought that ran through all of our heads.

"It would have been the game!" moaned another.

And on the very next play, the quarterback threw an interception. Game and season over. (The visiting team scored shortly after to make the final score, 44-33.)

As I walked to my car, all I could think about was that poor kid who dropped that pass. He was a senior, one of the stars of the team, and that was his last game in high school football. What a shame.

I met his father in the stands once, and he was a real gentleman. He was obviously very proud of his son, but not in a braggy sort of way. He was actually the model of how a high school athlete's parent should act.

So I thought about him and his son; how did they handle the situation? I'll never know, of course. But all I could think was, I hope they don't accept too much blame for that loss. After all, it's hard to win games when you give up 44, or even 36, points. Where was the defense that night?

You're probably wondering right about now, what does all this have to do with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, above?

Well, it seems that some Republicans are still blaming Mitt Romney's loss to President Obama on Christie's behavior after Hurricane Sandy.

In the Times this morning, there's an article, "After Obama, Christie Wants a G.O.P. Hug," which reports (my emphasis):

His lavish praise for Mr. Obama’s response to the storm, delivered in the last days of the presidential race, represented the most dramatic development in the campaign’s final stretch. Right or wrong, conventional wisdom in the party holds that it influenced the outcome.

Inside the Romney campaign, there is little doubt that Mr. Christie’s expressions of admiration for the president, coupled with ubiquitous news coverage of the hurricane’s aftermath, raised Mr. Obama’s standing at a crucial moment.  

During a lengthy autopsy of their campaign, Mr. Romney’s political advisers pored over data showing that an unusually large number of voters who remained undecided until the end of the campaign backed Mr. Obama. Many of them cited the storm as a major factor in their decision, according to a person involved in the discussion. 
“Christie,” a Romney adviser said, “allowed Obama to be president, not a politician.”

And I find this interesting. Just like the kid who dropped that pass, Gov. Christie can't be held totally responsible for Romney's disastrous campaign for president. It's hard to win an election when you have a lackluster candidate whom nobody likes, running on a party's platform more in tune with the nineteenth century, all the while relying solely on a bunch of old white people -- like my mother -- who watch nothing but Fox News, for your support.

My advice to Republicans would be similar to what I would say to those fans in the bleachers: never mind that kid who dropped that ball; work on your defense in the off-season. And Republicans, don't worry so much about Chris Christie; concentrate on how you can attract more votes from women, young people and minorities. (And those of us who believe in all that crazy science stuff. See: Rubio, Marco.)

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