Last Sunday one of the greatest travesties in the history of non-lethal, relatively inconsequential events occurred. I am, of course, referring to the referees raping the Vikings of their chance at the Super Bowl.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was needlessly pummeled by the Saints 15 times, and the refs seemed to be on New Orleans’ side, overturning a call in the fourth to hand the Saints a touchdown.
The Vikings had everything going for them, too. They seemed confident and agile while controlling the game. Adrian Peterson established the Vikings tempo by running for 122 yards of Minnesota’s 475 overall yardage. Favre put in a premium performance as well, just to have a late-game interception erase it all. The gunslinger threw for 310 yards on 28 of 46 passes.
What went wrong? As a very amateur football fan, I noticed two problems — besides the five turnovers and three fumbles.
First, Favre became desperate in the fourth quarter. Instead of holding the ball, he threw an interception. Second, the refs just didn’t do their job — especially when it counted. In the fourth quarter, the Saints’ Reggie Bush came within one yard of a touchdown — but one of his teammates knocked him out of bounds.
The initial ruling on the field was touchdown, but once the call was challenged, the refs overturned the call. When you take a look at the replay, it’s quite clear in my mind that Bush did, in fact, fall short.
There are interesting parallels between the Vikings’ loss and the Democrats losing their chance to pass a substantive health care initiative through the House and Senate.
First, the Democrats’ quarterback, President Obama, has become desperate to regain his image of bipartisanship. Instead of maintaining his composure and making forward progress on a health care bill including the public option and hard-hitting reforms, he has thrown the Republicans the ball.
The Democrats are behaving as though they’re the party with 41 votes, not the Republicans. If President Obama maintains this passive attitude, he will regret it well after he has retired from politics — just like Favre will regret another fourth-quarter interception.
And who was there to advocate against Bush’s touchdown? In football, the refs determine the rulings on the plays. But in politics, there’s a chance to argue and debate. The health care initiative is the touchdown for the Democrats. It matters who wins that debate.
Barack Obama just needs to stay on track and not give concessions to Republicans simply because the media reports that the tide is turning in America, and the Republicans won Massachusetts. The Vikings will have another shot at the Superbowl. He won’t have another shot at health care.