Letter: Lessons From the Soccer Field

To the Editor:

Looking at the news from the past few weeks, the government shutdown got me thinking. If members of Congress approached their current problems like a soccer game, they might find solutions. Of course, Democrats and Republicans will disagree — that is expected. But, if one side is losing, it doesn’t stop the game. They have to reach an agreement, and there will be some losses and some wins. No one can expect to win them all. Instead, members of Congress should focus on the next issue ahead. Each member of Congress needs to think about how to work both individually but also together as one unit. They all have their own parts to play, but teamwork is essential. When good sportsmanship is honored, both teams feel good about the fact that they played for the love of the game.

Similarly, politicians should look beyond individual agendas and work for the good of the country as a whole. On the soccer pitch, we never want to be accused of being bad sports. Even when your team is losing, you don’t just quit and refuse to play until the other team agrees that they will let you win. Of course there are rivalries in soccer, and the Democrats and Republicans are no strangers to big match-ups. But these rivals have to accept what is best for the country and keep moving forward and focus on the next goal.

Our coach constantly stresses the value of good sportsmanship, which is a lesson members of Congress need to learn. They need to get back in the game. Democrats and Republicans need to shake hands and see eye to eye. There is a bigger picture at stake. Our country needs unity. Our country needs Congress to be one team.

Sam Strohbehn