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Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Observer

Masin-Moyer: Imagining the 2020 presidential field as NFL teams

At the beginning of my second semester of sophomore year, former sports writer Daniel O’Boyle penned his magnum opus in a column imagining each contestant on that season’s edition of “The Bachelor” as an NBA team.

So, in my retirement, and having run out of ideas, I’m going to rehash this idea with a few twists. Instead of using the NBA as my subject matter, I’ve decided to mix it up from my typical basketball columns and focus on the NFL as my reference point. Second, I have never seen “The Bachelor,” so I will be picking a different subject area to tenuously compare to sports. If you have read some of what I’ve written in The Observer before, you’ll know I am fascinated with politics, so in today’s column I’ll be assigning an NFL team to five of the most noteworthy current and potential presidential candidates in 2020. Buckle up.


Pete Buttigieg: Los Angeles Rams

According to recent polls, our favorite South Bend mayor is up to as high as third in Iowa in a surge I think we all really expected to happen based on his talent. In a lot of ways, Pete’s meteoric rise mirrors that of the Rams, who went from 4-12 in 2016 to NFC champions in 2018. Additionally, the Rams’ head coach Sean McVay bears a lot of similarities to Mayor Pete. Both are exceedingly young for the stage they’re playing on — McVay is 33 and Buttigieg is 37. Both are also brilliant, young, forward-thinking minds who have a real chance to make a long-lasting impact in their fields.


Kamala Harris: Kansas City Chiefs

Both Kamala and the Kansas City Chiefs are pretty likable as is. Harris supports bold policy measures — Medicare-for-All, A Green New Deal, etc. — is a great speaker and is charismatic. The Chiefs have a great young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, a lovable coach in Andy Reid, and one of the best fanbases in the NFL.

But the real similarity between the two is that they have a fatal flaw. According to Lara Bazelon of the New York Times, Harris “Fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions” while a prosecutor in San Francisco, breaking an already broken criminal justice system. Not unlike Harris, the Chief’s defense has failed them time and time again. These flaws will likely keep both Harris and the Chiefs from reaching the promised land in their respective competitions.


Joe Biden: Dallas Cowboys

Like the Dallas Cowboys, Joe Biden represents a bygone era of American history. Sure, it was great to be both Biden and the Cowboys in the ’90s, as the former was a rising star in the Senate while the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls left and right.

But as America and the NFL moved forward, Biden and the Cowboys seem to be trapped in the past. Biden’s anti-busing and integration stance coupled with his support of detrimental bankruptcy law and the Cowboys’ decision to focus on a shiny new stadium over assembling consistent winning teams, have rendered both a shadow of their former selves today.


Bernie Sanders: Seattle Seahawks

Think 2015 on this one. At this point, the Seahawks are at their peak, having just come off one Super Bowl win and falling just short of another. The Legion of Boom has made them one of the coolest and most formidable teams in the NFL despite having an older head coach, Pete Carroll. In 2015, Sanders — despite being 73 — rocketed to popularity in 2015, winning over millennials with ideas on healthcare and taxation adopted by many in the 2020 race and exhibiting an unexpected cool factor.

Since 2015, both Sanders and the Seahawks have been doing pretty well, but 2019 and 2020 provide big questions. Can each maintain their success despite an ever-changing NFL and America? That question will determine a lot about how the next year or so goes.


Howard Schultz: Oakland Raiders

Honestly, neither are going to do any winning in 2019 or 2020. Not much more I can say.