When sports and politics intersect and other musings

Let’s cut to the chase. The average person is tired of politics, but it’s fascinating how some of the terms used in sports apply in politics, too.

For example, in the closing days of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump used a full-court press to try and close the gap against challenger Joe Biden by holding multiple rallies in two or more states daily. Meanwhile, Biden largely chose the prevent defense strategy by staying close to home because of what was perceived to be a significant lead.

Another interesting similarity to sports is that the political candidates with the most money and financial support didn’t always win, especially in some well-publicized Senate races. The same is true with teams in Major League Baseball. Money doesn’t guarantee victory, although it helps.

And then there are the polls. Pre-season polls that predict winners in sporting events are not entirely accurate. The same is true in politics. There were plenty of polls suggesting a blue wave and a landslide win for the Democrats nationwide, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

By and large, Americans prefer a divided government with neither party in complete control of the legislature and executive branch. Based on the split vote nationally, it’s clear neither side trusts the other. Fans largely prefer different teams winning championships over a dynasty by one team, unless, of course, the team that is dominating the sports scene is their own.

When it comes to how mail-in ballots are counted, you might compare it to how different teams of officials call a game. For example, the game is often called much tighter at the Class 1A level than Class 6A level.

If you want to reduce charges of fraud in political races though, why not count mail-in ballots as they arrive leading up to the election. Then include those ballots in the count with those cast in person on Election Day when results are announced after the polls close.

Otherwise, you have a situation like this year in Pennsylvania where one candidate leads by a significant margin. When the trailing candidate catches up days after the election solely with write-in ballots, the side who had the lead looks at the outcome with suspicion.

———————-

Remember when KSHSAA canceled the state basketball tournaments before they were finished because of COVID-19? Hillsboro fans, players and coaches of the boys’ basketball team sure do, because they had beaten the top seed in the first round of the tournament when play was halted.

I was among those who questioned the timing of halting play but understood the dilemma facing KSHSAA officials at a time where COVID-19 was such a scary and unknown disease.

It is interesting that high school football games were played this fall throughout Kansas, even though there were far more cases of COVID-19 than there were back in March. What changed? I’m not sure, other than we learned a lot in the following months. The illness is still serious, and many people still die, although the risk of death is far greater for the elderly and those with other health issues than for healthy children and young adults.

Looking back, the state basketball tournaments could have been completed with very little risk to players, officials and fans. At the very least, they could have finished the tournaments without fans in the stands.

But hindsight is 20/20, as they say. And, of course, we’ll never know if Hillsboro would have completed an unlikely run to the championship.

——————–

While COVID-19 is nothing to sneeze at, I found a few quotes on a website that might make you smile. Of course, if you’re one who is sick and suffering with COVID, it might be some time before you can smile at the following jokes, even while in quarantine.

I used to spin the toilet paper like I was on ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.”

I need to practice social distancing from … the refrigerator.”

I watched the birds fight over a worm. The Cardinals lead the Blue Jays 3-1.