It's finally over; apparently the United States did not take the mortal plunge off the "fiscal cliff."
Just like a last second shot in basketball, it came at the very last second before the clock struck midnight, ushering in 2013.
Actually, the Senate passed the bill in the early morning hours of New Year's Day. The vote was 89 – 8. Thanks to my high school history teacher, I know there are 100 Senators.
I guess three Senators couldn't avoid the New Year's Eve celebrations. That would be like a coach going to the bathroom during the final 10 seconds of a tied game.
Just like in sports, the winners can puff out their chests and the losers can find positives to keep them from being fired. The rich will be taxed and Medicare will be reformed making winners from both parties.
It reminds me of a last second situation during a Final Four appearance when I coached at Doane College.
The score was tied with 15 seconds left. The opponents had the ball for a last shot. From my scouting report, I knew exactly what they would run.
My team was prepared and executed perfectly. The first two scoring options were stopped cold. Sadly, a desperation pass to the post player who then hit an 18 footer that hit the rim three times and beat my team. However, in sports there are only winners and losers and there was no pumping my chest for the dead-on scouting report.
Last Monday was dubbed "Black Monday" by sports writers covering the National Football League. Seven head coaches and five general managers got the axe the day after the final regular season games.
However, that doesn't count the coaches' and general managers' staffs that will have to find new work. The "fiscal cliff" won't cost anyone a job, anyway not until the next election. It's all black and white in sports, while politics deals with a lot of gray area.
The greatest sports compromise I ever heard was in a fictional book called "All G.O.D.'s Children." G.O.D. was an acronym standing for Gomer O. Dudley. It was a spoof on the old Kansas City A's owner, Charles O. Finley. The book ended with the Sacramento B's tied in the 16th inning of the seventh game of the World Series.
That was another spoof on the Charlie. He moved his team from Kansas City to Oakland.
The players from both teams met at the pitcher's mound and decided to end the game in a tie. It had been too good of a game and a World Series to have a winner and loser. Just split the money and call it a tie. Just like politics.
Then comes the aftermath; President Obama proudly proclaimed that only the richest 2% would experience a tax hike. I wish I was in that tax bracket. House majority leader, Republican Eric Cantor, voted against the bill, unafraid of the dive off the cliff.
Speaker of the House, John Boehner, another Republican, was instrumental in getting the bill passed. He didn't indorse the bill, but he voted for it. All these politicians can claim victory in one way or another.
That's not the way with fired NFL coaches. Lovie Smith won 10 games but was fired for having a "spotty offense." Andy Reid, who has coached the Eagles for 14 years, was sacked on Monday. I love Andy. He never blamed the players. Every week, as his players fumbled their way through another loss, Andy would say, "I didn't have them well enough prepared."
Gunther Cunningham, the former Chiefs coach, had an annoying habit. If a player screwed up, he would say publically, "I have been telling him not to do it that way." If he had a player improve, Gunther proudly proclaimed, "That's just the way I told him to do it." Gunther should have gone into politics.
My all-time favorite coach, who would have been a horrible politician, was Robert (Bob) Montgomery Knight. When his team screwed up, he would sulk while being interviewed, never giving any credit or blame. However, according to his former players, hell would be paid on the practice court. Sadly, his time at Indiana ended when his nasty practice habits were caught on tape.
Personally, I think Coach Knight would have made the perfect president facing the "fiscal cliff." I can just see the New Year Eve's meeting (practice). If a Senator or House member refused to compromise, Coach Knight would have thrown them off the "fiscal cliff." On New Year's Day, there wouldn't be any chest pumping; Knight would have scowled at the media and made Congress come in for a holiday practice.
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
Updated Jan. 3, 2013 @ 11:30 pm
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