With the 199th Draft Pick, The GOP Chooses...
The GOP needs a new quarterback, someone with the boldness of Trump, the leadership of Reagan and common-sense perspective of Calvin Coolidge.
The time for typical politics is over.
America faces challenges from all directions.
Our domestic policies are in shambles. Social and economic upheaval are the order of the day.
There are many similarities between the 60’s and today. I grew up during the 60’s and 70’s, in the midst of racial division, women’s “liberation”, the war in Vietnam and the listless political leadership of weak presidents and a government completely dominated by Democrats, culminating in the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter. Stagflation, spiraling interest rates, the oil embargo, the Iran hostage crisis, the botched rescue effort, constant challenges and spying by the USSR, and or course, Carter’s infamous “malaise” were the order of the day. America was down.
Then Reagan entered the game.
What difference one man can make?
It isn’t the man, per se, it is the vison and leadership he provided.
It isn’t just in government, it happens in the private sector, in religious and political movements, and most notably, in sports.
In every professional sport, the goal is clear. Every player enters the various leagues focused on one thing – winning a championship.
Professional sports are interesting because the timeline is so compressed. Since the physical demands are so great and the skill so specialized, these leagues tend to be a young person’s game. For example, in the NFL, players who make a team’s opening day roster in his rookie season average a six-year career.
Six years isn’t much of a “career”, especially when you compare it to national level politicians who can spend 30, 40 or even 50 years in Washington.
I would consider making it into leadership in Washington to be analogous to reaching the NFL.
The Republicans and Democrats are like two opposing NFL teams, winning and losing and by virtue of their electoral success and failure, impacting both the league and their fans in the process. Each is always looking for good players to fill their roster, each with the hope of drafting the next star quarterback who will lead them to the Super Bowl.
In the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, at the 199th pick, one NFL team picked a quarterback.
He was picked behind six other quarterbacks (Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn). The team that picked him already had a star at quarterback and thought the kid was “pudgy”, “looked slow”, wasn’t in good condition, lacked the confidence of his college head coach, and just wasn’t strong enough to be an NFL quarterback.
His performance at the NFL combine seemed to confirm that perspective, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.28 seconds, slower than all but three of the 300+ quarterbacks in the past 22 years.
His rookie season was spent was buried in depth chart as the team's fourth quarterback, making just one brief appearance that season.
But on September 23, 2001, something happened that altered the history of the National Football League.
In Week 2 of the 2001 season, the team’s big money star QB went down after a massive hit resulted in a concussion, a collapsed lung and internal bleeding. He was losing a pint of blood an hour through a torn blood vessel in his chest and almost died from the violent collision.
The 199th pick of the Draft stepped on the field late in the fourth quarter of a 10-3 loss to the New York Jets. The formerly pudgy last round draft pick improbably led the team to an 11-3 record as the team's starter and an improbable Super Bowl run with an even more improbable title-clinching win over the St. Louis Rams.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The improbable star, the pudgy, slow as molasses, 199th draft pick, was Tom Brady.
Taking over for Drew Bledsoe, Brady went on to win six Lombardi Trophies as a New England Patriot, one with Tampa Bay, five times was selected Super Bowl MVP and is generally regarded as the greatest NFL quarterback of the modern era.
It’s not his athletic skills that made Brady great – even though he is more fit today at 44 than he was when he was drafted, his defining trait is his leadership. The teams he has played with are stronger with him in the game than when he isn’t. He raises every player to a new level. His confidence is the one missing piece that shifts teams into a higher gear.
That’s what the GOP needs.
The roster is stocked with a few good players, but not enough. We need a good 2022 draft to set the stage for a Brady like pick in 2024. We need that one pick that can lead those players to the next level.
It seems we take the field every week with a superior game plan and better athletes, and yet, we find ways to lose to the worst team in the league.
Probably an unpopular position, but I think Trump is our Drew Bledsoe. There is still a lot of support for 45, but he has taken as hard a hit over the past few years as Mo Lewis levelled on Bledsoe that day in 2001. Like Bledsoe did for the Patriots, he showed us how to win and built the team.
My pick for a new QB is Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.
DeSantis has the boldness of Trump, the leadership of Reagan and common-sense perspective of Calvin Coolidge with none of the downsides of President Trump. He has the potential to be the GOP’s Tom Brady, putting the party on a path to dynastic success.
We will see.