PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, October 23, 2013 – “Inside the Beltway” is now “Inside the Bowl” as the stench and abysmal theater emanating from Washington D.C. reminds me of the infamous “Toilet Bowl” college football game between Oregon and Oregon State in 1983.
Born, raised and schooled in the South, Fall means one simple thing: Southeastern Conference (SEC) Football. (Explained on behalf of those Northerners who may have thought I was referring to the Securities and Exchange Commission).
There were countless upsets this weekend in the SEC: Vanderbilt over Georgia, Auburn over Texas A&M, Ole Miss over LSU, and a surprising Missouri win over Florida.
So my regular Sunday morning six-mile run along Juno and Jupiter beach was joyful. As I ran under a beautiful sunrise over flat seas, I considered the debacle we all witnessed in Washington DC this past week and yep, it reminded me of a college football game.
Back in 1983, two very horrible football teams met in one of football’s storied rivalries, the “Civil War” between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers. The game ended in a scoreless tie, and in fact was the last Division I football game to end in such a way. There were eleven fumbles, five interceptions, and four missed field goals. It was such a miserable outcome, college football changed its rules to allow for overtime.
In fact the game was so bad it was sadly dubbed, and will forever be known as “The Toilet Bowl.”
There are two teams on the field in this latest “Toilet Bowl.”
The Democrat Donkeys and have very loud, rude, and obnoxious fans. The team has really flashy uniforms and a big band that plays music constantly to distract from how bad the team is playing. On the field, the Donkeys are known to be rather predictable and on offense they run the same play over and over again: “student body right, 32 tax the rich dive.” They shift around a lot, never call an audible (a last minute play change called on the field at the line of scrimmage) and regularly run the same play with an occasional “War on Women sweep.”
The Donkeys do have a certain swagger, but it is only a cover for their failure as a team. And when they do get a chance to score, they really love to dance in the end zone.
The other team, of course, is the Republican Elephants. Many of us wish they were as good as the SEC team with an elephant mascot, the Alabama Crimson Tide, but hey, one can dream.
The Republicans’ uniforms are pretty bland. Their fans are rather reserved. There is small contingent of fervent fans that can get rowdy, but the reserved fans scowl at them. The Elephants have only a very small band playing the team songs, but it’s top notch.
The Republicans field a very good team on paper — very talented on the whole, with some really good young players. The problem with the Elephants is that they call audibles too much and lack consistency in their play calling. Their plays are very complex and hard to understand, even for the team itself. And there is infighting between the younger players and the more senior team members.
Adding to the confusion, everyone on the team thinks they can call a play no matter what their position, and too make it even worse, they lack a coach.
The Republicans are very good at moving the ball down the field but somehow once the get into the “red zone” you can count on them to either fumble or throw an interception. When they do score, they are actually shocked.
The only way the Democrats ever score is by picking up a Republican fumble or interception for a “pick six” – in other words a touchdown. The Democrats’ offense is really bad but their defense always pulls it out for them.
The Republicans have all the fundamentals to score and win at will, but as we say in football, they just keep shooting themselves in the foot and often play “not to lose.”
Graduating in 1983 from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, home of the Volunteers there is storied college football history and Neyland Stadium on the banks of the Tennessee River has to be one of the greatest venues in college football.
The Volunteer nation has fallen on some hard times these past four years, including losing to Vanderbilt the past two years. However, this past Saturday, with new Head Coach Butch Jones, we got that big signature SEC East victory beating the ol’ ball coach Steve Spurrier and the number eleventh ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, snapping a 19 game losing streak to ranked teams.
Two weeks ago, we had an agonizing loss in overtime to Georgia. Big Orange football is back.
But these losses do not compare to the losses of the American people.
In this latest evolution of the political “Toilet Bowl” we had to endure a spectacle similar to the 1983 contest between Oregon and Oregon State. And just the same as those fans sat in the stands during a driving rainstorm hoping for a victory, the American taxpayer sat last week, and continues to sit. We are enduring a deluge of debt and insidious government spending that is soaking our hopes and dreams to pass on a brighter financial future to subsequent generations.
Today, as in 1983, the fans were the real losers. Neither Democrats nor Republicans won last week because it was a scoreless tie. But most of all, it was a huge loss for Team America.
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