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The Debt Ceiling is Just Another Game

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Right now, as Republicans and Democrats grapple with making the right decision on whether to raise the debt ceiling and its various implications, I’m reminded of other professionals who have to make serious decisions. 

I’m referring to NFL starting quarterbacks.  While it may be a stretch to compare Peyton Manning or Drew Brees to John Boehner or Harry Reid, I would think the case could be comfortably made. 

Both Boehner and Reid have points of view to be made and points of victory to be achieved.  Both decisions and strategies will go a long way in protecting their franchises, the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. 

Like the NFL quarterbacks, their game is coming up against a deadline, much like a game clock.  It would appear the game is close, and both are trying to stick to their original game plan.  Reid, however, periodically brings in the big gun, the President, to run a play or two designed to confuse and disrupt Boehner’s strategy.

One can argue the politicians are dealing with the realities of life that will affect millions of people now, and millions more to come.  Yet, for comparative purposes, is it any less important than the decisions being made by Manning and Brees and how their choices affect their team’s division standings, playoff eligibility, and possible Super Bowl appearance? 

Communities live and die with their professional football teams and demand their quarterbacks give just as much effort on the field as the fans give off the field in effort, enthusiasm, and loyalty.  They expect that Manning and Brees will call the plays in an accurate and timely manner according to the game situation, time remaining, and current score. 

Fans also count on the quarterbacks to be able to read the defense and call audibles at the line of scrimmage, and with 350lb. linemen bearing down on them, they’re expected to make the best decisions possible and then execute.  Boehner and Reid operate in a similar environment, just not required to make split second decisions. 

It would be so much better if politicians didn’t have to worry about being re-elected and would just respond to situations as instinctively as an NFL quarterback.  However, if Peyton and Drew threw too many interceptions their careers could be cut short, just like a politician. 

I’m sure if you ask the majority of people in our country, they’ll say they are more concerned with the upcoming NFL season than they are with the political game being played in Washington, D.C.  Maybe we could get a debt resolution if the politicians knew that hard-charging NFL linemen were viciously approaching in a manner of seconds.    

The game clock is ticking down, and whether its football or politics, only one team can win.  Make no mistake; this debt crisis is only a game. 

So, leaders in Washington, D.C., take a tip from the leaders in the NFL.  Make a decision, make it fast, and make it work.

Oh well, it’s just a thought.                                                       

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