Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red, White, Honolulu Blue. America

It's hard to sell the Detroit Lions as America's team.  That designation is traditionally bestowed upon the Packers, Steelers, or Cowboys (Jerry Jones' ego resembles American cholesterol levels).

But, no team may represent where our country stands today better than the boys from Motown.

Tuesday, the country re-elected Barack Obama as President.  Obama came to Washington promoting a powerful message of hope and change.  He set high expectations for complex problems.  In his first four years he won some battles and lost others.  But in that time, for various reasons both logical and illogical, the country split quicker than a pair of Phillip Banks trousers after eating a carton of Haagen Dazs.

America became truly divided.  Civility went out the window on both sides of the aisle and that halted progress.  Politicians made it their mission to prove they were right regardless of what that meant for the nation, as a whole.  Agendas were pushed more than progress and because of that, while things are statistically getting better, specifically regarding the economy, we as a nation are still battered and bruised.

Today, we get to hit the reset button, not necessarily on specific legislation, but more so on philosophy.

Unseating President Obama can no longer be the top priority for Republicans and true bipartisanship needs to be the main focus of Democrats.

There needs to be some give and take on both sides.

Enter football.

The Detroit Lions also get to hit the reset button of sorts.

Like President Obama, the Lions entered the year with expectations sky high. Coming off its first playoff appearance in more than a decade, Detroit appeared headed in the right direction as a franchise.

But, off-season arrests, an unbalanced offense, and lack of on-field discipline led to the Lions limping out of the gate to a 1-3 start.

Then, the team changed.  Are there still penalties? Yes.  Is the secondary still inconsistent? Yes.  But, since the passionless, putrid beginning to the season, the Lions have become a more complete offense, establishing a solid running game.  They also have started to get elite performances out of the highly touted defensive line.  And at times, even, dare I say it, playing smart (only at times).  Those efforts have led to the team winning three of its past four and working back into the playoff mix.

Barack Obama is back in charge.  He has another four years to take an economy that is picking up three or four yards per carry to one that busts through the hole for 40 and 50 yard gains.  In his elegant and poignant victory speech, Tuesday, in Chicago, the President said "Despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future."

The President is vowing to move forward.  The Lions must as well.

To do this both must learn from the mistakes of their first term - or half of the season - build on the best parts, and mesh those two aspects together to create something truly special.

There is nothing better than a comeback story. President Obama can author America's and the Lions can be the NFL's.

The Detroit Lions may not be America's team, but it can represent the nation's rebuilding story.

Red, White, and Honolulu Blue.  America.

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