WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP?
Coach Dave Daubenmire
January 15, 2009
“The Buck Stops here,” is an old poker phrase made famous by former President Harry Truman. Here is a picture of the sign that he kept on his desk to remind himself, and others, that he was the one who was responsible.
“Passing the back” is the art of transferring responsibility or blame to another person. If, at the end of the day, you cannot point your finger at the one who made the decision, there was never really anyone in charge to begin with.
That’s why I love football. It is full of accountability. First and ten, second and eight, fourth and goal, punt or grunt all require a decision maker. The average football play takes about 3.5 seconds to complete. Whether it was a gain, or a loss, a good call or a bad one, the effects of the decision are immediate and obvious. That is why we have score boards…to measure the effectiveness of the leadership and the decisions they have made.
As a young teenager I used to love the opening to ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Who can ever forget Jim McKay’s famous line “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; the human drama of athletic competition.” There is something about competition that touches the heart of a man.
I watch our beloved Buckeyes lose to Texas last week. All during the game the TV cameras switched from Texas Coach Mack Brown to OSU’s Jim Tressell. I found that a bit curious until it dawned on me why they were doing it. The producers of the telecast understand something that is common only to sports. “The human drama of athletic competition” is played out by decision makers. We love to live vicariously through the coaches as we watch them manage the ebb and flow of the game. No decision maker is more publicly exposed than a football coach. In a matter of seconds he will be judged on the decision he just made.
The same holds true of the Poker Tournaments that are broadcast on the tube. The show is popular, not because of the money, but because of the guts. We love to watch men with guts. America is screaming for men with guts…men who will go “all in.”
As I sat on the couch I realized that America would be a better place if it were run by football coaches. They understand that leadership requires accountability. They know that even though their team is made up of eight-five players and a dozen assistants, ultimately, at the end of the game, the coach will be the one labeled winner or loser. But the willingness to “stop the buck” is the hallmark of a truly great leader. “It was my decision; I made it, now I’ll live with it.” What is it the song “The Gambler” says…”They’ll be time enough for counting, when the dealin’s done.” A coach knows that all too well.
I don’t know if you have been following the sporting world lately but there are a lot of football coaches who have been relieved of their duties over the past couple of weeks. In fact, when the team isn’t performing well, a hue and cry will arise from the faithful supporters to “fire” the coach. How do they know a coaching change needs to be made? They look at the record? When the team is not performing well you don’t fire the fans or the players. You fire the coach.
Why does this only apply to coaches? You see, athletics is the one place where decisions are not made by committees. As I often hear coaches say, “This is a benevolent dictatorship.” That means he makes the decisions based on what is best for everyone.
There are a lot of folks who need to be fired in America today but it is hard to figure out who they are because it is almost impossible to determine who is responsible. They have done that on purpose. Hiding behind their committees gives them cover.
Let’s face it folks, America is being robbed from within. While the “Joe the Plumbers” of the world struggle hard to make ends meets our “public servants” in Washington are serving up billion dollar bailouts to bankers. Is it just me, or isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Aren’t the bankers supposed to be loaning to the people?
America is not a monarchy. Although since 1988 we have been served up a steady diet of Bush-Clinton-Bush-O’Clinton (Obama as president with all of Clinton machine running the show) the real culprits are the 535 members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitution yet fail to poke their heads outside of their offices as the Constitution is ravaged.
I think it is about time that our “elected officials” received the same fate as a football coach. As Donald Trump would say, “You’re fired.”
We are in trouble folks. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is about to “perish from the earth.” Taxation without representation is now no more than a catchy slogan. Our pockets are being picked.
But the problem is nobody knows who to blame? While our nation is being destroyed by a cabal of unelected government bureaucrats, those given the charge to hold our government accountable hide silently behind the scenes, pointing their fingers of blame at others.
“Don’t blame me,” says Barney Frank. “It’s Bush’s fault” cry the lamestream media. “The Devil made me do it,” says Flip Wilson.
Find me a football coach. He’ll clean up this mess. Let’s bring in Bill Parsells.
The great Ohio State coaching legend Woody Hayes wrote a book called “You Win With People.” In this treatise on leadership Coach Hayes made the point that a leader was only as good as the people he surrounded himself with. As Obama is about to take the stage as the leader of the nation the people he is going to try and win with are frightening.
But remember this; his unelected cabinet can only serve with the approval of the 535 regular Joe’s that we sent to Washington. If you don’t mind me paraphrasing Coach Hayes, “You Lose with People.”
At a time when America needs leaders, Congress is full of losers. With the exception of Ron Paul can you name one person who has had the courage to stand up and speak the truth? One official who has put people before politics? One guy who says “I’ll do it” and does?
So here is a plan. The only way we are going to regain control of this nation is to fire them all. Two years from now your Congress-critter will be up for re-election. Instead of voting party line in attempt to elect someone who will defend your values, the time has come to never again vote for an incumbent. Don’t be swayed by party lines and fancy commercials. Do what they do to lousy football coaches. Fire them all. None of them deserve to keep their jobs.
Our nation is going to hell-in-a-hand basket while we keep sending the same folks back to Washington. “But our congressman is a good one” folks lament. Really? I know some good coaches who have gotten their butts fired lately for not doing the job.
Start today and spread the word….enough already of a system where those who are supposed to represent us are more loyal to a party than they are to the people.
The House of Representatives is known as “The People’s House” because the members have to answer directly to the voters every two years. We can still get their attention. It is time to quit worrying about Obama and start regaining control of this nation.
Some will say it is too late, that we can’t make a difference. But we hired those guys to do a job and they haven’t done it. Just like a football coach who didn’t pass muster it is time to send your representative packing. It is the only way to turn the ship around.
Two years from now your mail box is going to fill up with political fliers with all kinds of promises of the job the candidate pledge to do. But we must have long memories. We cannot forget this tragic time in American history. From bailouts to birth certificates, gun grabbing to tyrannical government, those who where supposed to protect us have sold us out. We cannot forget. Don’t ever again vote for an incumbent.
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Politics ain’t football. The Presidency is not a benevolent dictator doing what is best for the country. It is time we demanded that those in “The People’s House” represent the people and not the party.
The Buck stops with you. Throw the bums out!
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