03 November 2012


by Andy Weddington
Saturday, 03 November 2012

"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Vince Lombardi

Americans do not like to lose. And it follows Americans do not like losers. More Coach Lombardi, "If you can accept losing, you can't win."

How long does an American head football coach last when turning in losing season after losing season? Not long. And not long at all if heading a big program - high school, college, professional - with a winning tradition.   

A new head coach is hired with the belief there's need for change and, though never a guarantee, there's favorably calculated hope things will turn around.

Turning a losing program around does not happen overnight. A new head coach brings fresh perspective. The first task is to change attitudes - to unify the team and instill in them the belief they are winners. Attitude is the bedrock for success - on the gridiron and elsewhere.

If that winning chutzpah takes hold in the players - it's seen in their swagger and hard work and perseverance. Within a year or two wins begin to outnumber losses. Season after season wins pile up. Success breeds success. Champions arise.

But if after two or three years wins are still scarce then it's time to start figuring out why. And the problem-solving always starts with the head coach. That's just the way it is. And it's right.

America's head coach, President Obama, has had four seasons to turn America around. He's had four losing seasons. Why?

It's rather simple. He did not start with the critical foundation - he did not unify the team, our team. Though he said he could, and would, he did not instill that elusive winning attitude in America. The chutzpah is absent. Therefore, failure was inevitable.

So Coach Obama's record stands - losses outnumber wins each season for four seasons. Were he a head football coach, he'd have been dismissed a year ago. Maybe two years ago. Only because politics is a different field of play have we endured four years.     

Americans have had enough. Our head coach failed. Again, Coach Lombardi, "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence."

America has lost confidence in Coach Obama. That's death to a coach. And a president.

A new man - a new head coach - Coach Mitt Romney, like the coach before him, is saying he can do the job. He, too, says he can first instill a winning attitude in the team and then steadily field a winner again and do it well under four years.

The difference between Coach Romney and Coach Obama is Coach Romney has actually done what he says he can do, and he's done so in more than one arena. He's won in business. He's won in politics - as a head coach. 

More than a handful of times since Coach Romney won the Republican Party nomination I've heard and read, "Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan."

Though true, that comparison and comment has bothered me.

But nor was Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan when he was elected president, head coach, 32 years ago. Though he was a man, a coach, who had a winning record in business (Hollywood) and politics - as a head coach.

Coach (President) Reagan did bring a new attitude to America. He did unite us and he built a team and fielded a winner, and he did it in short order - it did not take more than two years. The following six years under his coaching, his leadership, all things considered, were rather remarkable. America was a winner. Our colors - our red, white, and blue - were respected by most and feared by some.

Ronald Reagan became Ronald Reagan. And since his head coaching days, he's only grown in stature, in America and worldwide, as a successful president; a standalone in many minds. How fitting Ronald Reagan played football and played a role in a beloved movie about football.

No, Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan. Yet. But the comparison today is unfair. Ronald Reagan had eight years to make, to become, Ronald Reagan.

Mitt Romney does surely enjoy some similarities to Ronald Reagan at this point in their political lives.

So here we are, the time to hire a new head coach upon us. It's time to hire Coach Romney.

And it will surprise me not one bit if in thirty years we hear opinion about a new up and coming head coach, "Well, he's no Mitt Romney."

And it'll surprise me less so to hear, "Well, Ronald Reagan was a great president but he was no Mitt Romney."

I hope to live long enough. 

Damn, it's great and I am so proud to be an American! And icing on the cake to have had the opportunity to play football and later privileged to "play" - as a U. S. Marine - for head coach President Reagan.

There was only one, and ever will be, Vince Lombardi; a head coach like no other.

It's Saturday morning, three days to election, and today is college football and it's all about winning. Now excuse me, it's time for our National Anthem and kick-off.

Post Script

VOTE! Tuesday, 06 November 2012

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