I grew up an avid Notre Dame college football fan. One of my earliest memories was seeing those shining golden helmets and navy blue jerseys running up and down a football field in a cold, Indiana stadium while I sat in my warm California home.
I was 11 years old when Ty Willingham became the new head coach and led the team to an 8-0 record. By the middle of the season commentators were asking, “Is this a Return to the glory days of Notre Dame football?” But then a disappointing loss to Boston College put those hopes of glory in the gutter.
Having watched every game with my father and two brothers that season, I was absolutely devastated by this loss. I vividly recall the feeling when I woke up the next day. I was in a surreal state of mind and everything moved in slow motion, but then later on I realized that life moves on even after having your favorite team lose.
Since then, Notre Dame has had two different head coaches who have shown promise to the fans, but have also had their fair share of disappointing losses. The infamous Bush push of 2005 and the destruction of Alabama at the 2012 BCS Championship are just two examples of many disappointing losses since 2002.
I still watch Notre Dame football, albeit not as religiously as I once did, but even when they do show a promising year and lose, I have learned to accept these losses with grace. College football is a fun sport to watch, but I know that if my team loses that it’s not the end of the world. That’s the beauty of all competitive sports: you can watch it and even if your team loses, there’s always next year.
Regarding the 2016 Presidential election, one person said to me, “You [democrats] are so mad that we [republicans] won. You can’t get over the fact that you lost.” This made me realize that so many men in the United States view politics as if it’s a football game.
An “us and them” mentality creates a division that pits Americans against one another as if Republicans and Democrats are wearing different jerseys. When a team loses, the fans go on about their day. When I woke up the day after Notre Dame lost I was sad, but even at the young age of 11 I knew that life would go on. Unfortunately, there were many Americans who woke up that November morning in 2016 who had to think otherwise. They felt that their livelihood would now be under attack.
Two years later, and they weren’t wrong to feel this way. Even without going into the gross policies that are affecting the lives of so many, the political climate in the U.S. has taken a turn for the worst. Many Americans are rightfully afraid.
Politics affects our daily lives whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Until we stop treating it like a zero-sum game, we will all continue to lose.
Photo Credits: Ben Hershey
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.