What if one tiny little prerequisite was added to the list of qualifications for being a presidential candidate – one that would be anti-discriminatory regarding race, ethnicity, gender? What if a wanna-be leader had to have coaching experience in any competitive sport?
Think about it. In addition to having leadership and communication skills, which greatly appeals to the former language arts teacher side of me, they would also have CPR training and be subject to drug testing and background checks just as players are. They would gain valuable experience directing team players in honing skills and talents in a way that benefits team progress, not only for individual fame. Candidates would be keen at assigning positions, implementing drills and developing team strategies. Their focus would be on outcomes for sure but with regard for the welfare of each participant and spectators.
Let’s talk about those referees. A bit like our media, don’t you think? If presidential candidates had coaching experience, then it would be wise for the media to have referee training. That means media specialists would have expertise in the various sports, great vision along with quick decision-making ability and stamina to endure the physical requirements and the pressure that goes with the job. Of course, paramount is the ability to remain unbiased. When it seems refs are unduly directing outcomes, spectators on both sides can get unruly.
Coaches work hard to win, to develop morale and motivate participants to perform at their best. They win some – realizing so many factors contribute to those wins – and they lose some, learning humility and good sportsmanship. Always there is appreciation for opponents. After all, opponents keep teams on their toes, working to savor celebratory achievements because all play by the same rules.
The championship every four years – Inauguration Day – would be a true national celebration. Sometimes we would cheer for the underdog, at other times cheering a team with strong records and longevity. Always, though, the winner would be a team that played by the rules unaided by refs turning a blind eye to affect outcomes, dividing spectators and creating tumult.
COVID-19 has mandated the modification of game rules. If we did not have other grave concerns affecting our inaugural traditions. too, I would be watching with American pride, honoring the winner and the process. Not this year. I will read about it later in the paper.