Lori Falce: Give 2020 election an NFL Draft makeover
All over America, people are doing their research and looking at needs versus wants and paying attention to trends and a final goal and assessing the pool of potential that could get the job done.
And unfortunately almost none of that has to do with the 2020 presidential election.
Nope, in part of my ongoing realization that we would all be better off politically if government was conducted in a stadium, I’m noticing that some people are a lot more detailed in their analysis of what happens with their favorite team’s NFL Draft than they are with who will run the country.
I’d like to say I’m surprised, but as both a political follower and a football fan, it would just be a damn lie. And because Mark Twain tells us damn lies are followed by statistics, let’s look at the numbers.
According to conservative outlet The Daily Caller, the average viewership of CNN’s town halls with Democratic presidential candidates has been about 903,000. CNN did not dispute this, saying the town halls were “the right thing to do.”
The Sporting News put the combined viewership of the three-day NFL Draft extravaganza in 2018 at 5.5 million spread across two broadcast and four cable channels, with the fourth through seventh rounds on Day 3 having the highest numbers ever.
Listen to someone talk about their fantasy team and they will spray percentages and rankings at you like a fire hose. They can tell you the likelihood that this quarterback will win against that coach and how that goes up or down based on who the receivers are. They know all the variables. They watch live-action games with an eye on both how it helps or hurts the hometown boys in their division as well as how the individual ups and downs impact the final fantasy score. It doesn’t occur to them not to know all they can.
I want to start a fantasy political league that will encourage people to pay that much attention to the bills being introduced in Congress, and what the likelihood of passing is. I want people to draft a team that has nothing to do with party and everything to do with issues.
I want people to be able to tell me where a presidential candidate went to college, went to grad school, did military service and first ran for office instead of just knowing if the uniform is red or blue.
I want there to be the same interest and attention — and understanding of personal impact — in the whole process of a presidential primary and general election as there is in a game.
Maybe we need to make over the primary as a draft. After all, the candidates are just players who have announced their eligibility. The states are the teams fighting for a chance at picking favorites in progressive rounds.
We just have to look at education, foreign policy, jobs and health the way we do passing, rushing, receiving and special teams. Not just individually, but how they work together for the best return, regardless of party, irrespective of spin.
Because maybe the statistics are the answer. Maybe we’ve had too many of the damn lies. Maybe we are drawn to football because we want the objectivity of points and scores and averages.
The problem is that while politics may be even more of a game than football, government isn’t and the wins and losses are harder to calculate.
But that’s all the more reason for everyone to pay attention.
Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at [email protected].