Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who Needs a Bigger Mop?

* The Sports Pants Word of the Day will not be included in this post since osteopath is such a specialized term. I'm not going to shoe-horn that damn word into a post just to keep my word of the day bit going. Thank you for your time, now back to our regularly scheduled post

During the last few weeks of 2008, two major things happened:

1.) Americans s
melled what Barack was cookin' and elected Obama as the next president of the United States

2.) The Detroit Lions did what no one thought was possible and managed to finish an NFL season with a big zilch in the win column.

Soon thereafter my friend Joe texted me with a very interesting question to ponder: Who has a bigger mess to clean up: Obama or new Detroit GM Martin Mayhew?

At first look, the answer is easy-- one is a football team the other is the leader of the free world. Duh.

But Obama has plenty of help around him for decision making and he also has
several ways to make this a successful presidency. Plus, did you see the Lions last year? I'm fairly certain that if you lined the Lions offense up against a blocking sled, tackling dummies, and some chairs, they might score 20 points. Take Calvin Johnson out of the lineup and the score drops to 10.

Here are some similar issues the new men in charge will face:

Convincing- Both men start their runs having to fight non-believers. Obama has to con
vince hostile Republicans that his stimulus is the right way to get our shredded economy moving again. He needs to do it quickly too since the figures get worse every day.

Because of said economy, Mayhew will have his hands full trying to convince Lions fans to spend what little extra money they have on football tickets. It won't be easy: people look to sports to escape their own troubled lives, not get more depressed and surly.

Money Pit- Both men have to stop the money bleeding that is leftover from another administration. Obama has international wars that were started under false information and has been costing Americans oodles of money. He needs to decide when to cut ties with the wars so that
he doesn't turn the middle east into a bloody battle zone between neighboring countries and religious fanatics.

Mayhew has Charles Rodgers, Mike Williams, and any number of busted draft picks that were cut loose and cost the Lions oodles of money for zero production. Mayhew needs to begin bringing players in that earn their money and match the on field production with the payroll.

Speaking of the past- Both men will have to overcome previous administrations who had mixed results at best. We all know about the Bush administration, which finished its run with the lowest approval ratings of the modern era. Whether you blame Bush or not, his preside
ncy ended with the worst economy since the great depression, unfinished wars, a diminished American world image, a growing chasm between the filthy rich and the middle working class, deteriorating education, and a slew of mispronounced words. In his defense, there have been no more terrorist attacks on American soil, but we still haven't found Osama Bin Laden despite all the money and effort that has gone into the search.

Mayhew replaces Matt Millen who would have set new lows in approval ratings if they had those for general managers. Millen's stay in Detroit ended with a team on its way to an 0-16 season, a turnstile of head coaches that were hired then fired by Millen, a slew of horrible drafts, a run where the Lions have lost 9 or more games every year he was in charge, a road record of 8-50, and legions of angry fans. In Millen's defense....no, there is no defense for Millen. The guy was made the second highest paid general manager in football and delivered the worst run in Lions history. But he was offered the money so part of the blame has to go to Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr.

The silver lining- Both men obviously have been given a broken, flawed entity to work with, but there are some things they can be thankful for. Obama h
as a democratic congress that won't stonewall every single decision he makes. He has an American public that is willing to be patient with him (at least for a time), and he has a fawning press that loves his oratory skills after listening to a president who couldn't pronounce basic sayings for the past 8 years.

Mayhew has two first round picks including the first pick of the NFL draft, a new head coach, a nice stadium, and the fact that he's not Ma
tt Millen working for him.

Barack Obama and Martin Mayhew both have a long road ahead of them, but both have nowhere to go but up. Obama has already made strides in that he's gotten Americans to believe in the positives of their country despite all of the depression around them.

Mayhew gets to start with a clean slate, but he has to try and convince players to come to Detroit. That's a feat that might even put a stop to Obama's "Yes We Can" slogan.

They're dirty jobs, but someone's got to do them.

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