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Microcosm Monday: Chargers, Saints, and the Presidential Election of 2000

As the final seconds ticked off the clock last night in New Orleans, the San Diego Chargers suffered their second defeat of the season. The game was not unlike the presidential election of 2000.

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Mi-cro-cosm (noun): a community, place or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.

Mon-day (noun): the day of the week after the majority of football games are completed, you idiot.

As yesterday's game finished in New Orleans I attempted to piece it all together. From listening to the radio on a long drive home from Arizona to the dying moments on the television in my living room I couldn't help but think that the game between the Chargers and Saints was representative of something much larger. For me, this game conjured images of the presidential election of 2000.

Coach Norv Turner is the Democratic Party nominee for President, Al Gore

When Al Gore decided to run for President, the United States was a thriving beacon of light*. The country had enjoyed prosperous times during the previous 8 years under the Democratic stewardship of Bill Clinton. But Bill Clinton was a polarizing figure, and ignoring the perceived prosperity of the 90s, Gore distanced himself from the 42nd President, his salacious sex scandal, and the subsequent impeachment trial . . .


Norv Turner, the embattled head coach of the San Diego Chargers, arrived in New Orleans poised to continue the prosperity enjoyed thus far in the 2012 season. Using an efficient passing and running game that featured running back Ryan Mathews the Chargers took a 10 point lead early in the 3rd quarter and looked like they would ride it to victory. Ryan Mathews, the polarizing San Diego running back with a history of injuries and fumbles, had led the Chargers offense against a porous Saints defense. But for some reason Coach Turner, the offensive genius who invented the internet so we could blog about sports, stopped using the reliable runner and the Saints began to climb back into the game . . .

Running Back Ryan Mathews is the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton

During the Clinton-Gore Administration more than 22 million new jobs were created and unemployment fell to it's lowest point in 30 years but Al Gore ran from these accomplishments in 2000. Bill Clinton was not a trustworthy figure. . .

Ryan Mathews, returning from injury, fell from favor when he put the ball on the ground during the debacle against Atlanta. The young running back was deemed untrustworthy despite enormous talents. Slowly returning from the fumbling scandal of Week 3, the young back showed undeniable talent coming out of the backfield as a rusher and receiver. Yet despite his success on Sunday night in New Orleans his head coach ignored him like a Commander-in-Chief who presided over the lowest welfare rolls since 1968 . . .

Interim Coach Aaron Kromer is President-Elect George W. Bush

With a famous name, Republican Party connections, and a stint as the Governor of Texas, George W. Bush arrived on the scene prepared to take on Al Gore and rescue America from the hedonist reign of the Democratic Party. Despite the aforementioned credentials, the former coke-sniffing, alcoholic, frat-boy was in over his head to be the leader of the free world . . .

Aaron Kromer has never* been a coke-sniffing, alcoholic, frat-boy but he's unquestionably over his head as the head coach of an NFL franchise . . .

*To my knowledge.

Sean Payton is Vice President-Elect, Dick Cheney

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney always seemed like the logical choice to be part of a George W. Bush Presidential ticket, as Cheney had the age and foreign policy chops to balance out the inexperience of Bush the younger. Always a polarizing figure himself, Cheney would often play a central role in the the narrative that he was the puppet master and Dubya was his dummy . . .

As Sean Payton sat above the Super Dome crowd I thought, "What a perfect position for a puppet master to manipulate the strings of this little charade . . ."

Referee Carl Cheffers is Florida Secretary of State, Kathleen Harris

Kathleen Harris and the Florida Supreme Court officiated the Florida recount often appearing as buffoons as the month of November dragged on without the citizenry of the United States knowing who the next president would be . . .

What the hell was with referee Carl Cheffers and the rest of his officiating crew last night? A game which ends with a fan knowing the name of a referee* is never a good one.

*Not named Ed Hochuli of course.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this game and right about now I'm demanding a recount going to watch it again.


I dislike George Bush and Dick Cheney. I dislike Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. I dislike political parties. I've never voted for a candidate who won an election. This post is not about politics but rather some goofy narrative that ran through my mind as I, an amateur social scientist, observed the subtleties of a disappointing loss in New Orleans.

Feel free to add your own characters (or elaborate on mine) to this drama in the comments section. Again . . . not a political post.

[Editor's Note: We still don't allow political discussion in the comments and people will be warned/banned as necessary]