After the Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in franchise history on Sunday by pummeling the Denver Broncos 43-8, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin congratulated her team on Monday and praised Fox Sports for a “refreshing” halftime show that honored the troops.
Palin, who has been a part of the Seahawker fan club in Alaska for the longest time, wrote on Facebook about her team from a region some call “Southern Alaska”:
Congratulations ‘Hawks and 12th man! And thank you, Fox Sports, for outstanding coverage and the most refreshing halftime show! Honoring our troops was spectacular. America needs more of ALL that! Hooah!
While I was watching Seahawks–and their “Win Forever”–attitude I thought about how if Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had the mentality of the GOP establishment or the permanent political class, the team would just be a mediocre team mired in the middle of the NFL pack while their owners mistake feverish activity and repeated misses for progress and achievement.
After the team invested nearly $24 million in quarterback Matt Flynn to be their starter in 2012, the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson, a quarterback who, despite his lack of size, always won. And led (he became captain of the Wisconsin football team after his first day). And made plays. And always had a knack of keeping his team in games. If Wilson’s team was trailing by 21 points, one still had the sense that Wilson would give his team at least one Hail Mary attempt to tie the game–and that’s the most one can ask from a leader.
But conventional scouts often do not understand why players make clutch plays or get others to follow them or have a knack for just winning games. They see a jumble of stats often removed from reality and stripped of nuance. As a result, they only saw in Wilson someone who was as short, just like they only viewed Marshawn Lynch as a “cancer.” They saw in Wilson someone whose arm was not strong enough to compete in the NFL just like they felt Earl Thomas was too short to roam an NFL secondary. These are the scouts who make it seem like NFL teams get 7 points before each game based on which players can run the 4o-yard dash faster or lift more weights.
There is a similar dynamic in politics among the permanent political class in the GOP establishment and the mindless mainstream media members who, because they are often clueless about conservative politics and working-class Americans outside their “Boomtown” bubbles, often take the opinions of those in the permanent political class without even realizing they are being played like cheap banjos. It’s a strange symbiotic relationship between often hideously insecure parties. Just like their sports counterparts, the dubious D.C. consultants often do not understand why voters go to the polls. As a result, they constantly try to program candidates into the same robotic templates spewing consultant-driven and focus group-tested talking points that fail every year.
Palin, like Russell Wilson, has none of the traditional metrics that dazzle the know-nothing scouts and consultants who do not watch college football games live (there are things one learns about players while watching the ebbs and flows of a game live than speed-watching on tape) and watch or listen to Palin’s speeches or actually read her substantive policy statements and Facebook posts (one can learn much more from watching a candidate speak live than reading a transcript), respectively.
The conventional types in search of the next Mitt Romney equivalent on the gridiron–and politics and sports are littered with such “mediocres”–would have never drafted Earl Thomas. They would have never picked Richard Sherman, traded for Marshawn Lynch. They hate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) because he is not like them. And they wish Palin would get wiped off the face of the earth. They certainly would have never started an undersized quarterback over a $24-million investment. And that is why they are losers–while Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl champions.