Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coach Walz Call a Time-out !

Good news, Coach Walz … the Scarlets of Mankato West are returning to the Minnesota State High School League Championship Game. This will be the school’s fourth appearance, and is vying for their third championship, winning Prep Bowl titles in 1999 and 2002.

Obviously, this is a great source of pride for the student-athletes, school officials and the community at large. But everything must be kept in perspective. You’ll recall when you were involved with the team that the key was to keep focused on the job at hand … not dream about the future.

It’s easy to project that high school star going to NCAA Division I-FCS college and to dream of a professional career. But the let’s keep everything in perspective. Does it happen – sure – my high school never lost a football game in four years and every senior was offered a college scholarship … one of my classmates went on to become a QB at Purdue and was drafted by the Colts … but my high school may be the exception (even though there are not many that can claim a Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP as their alumni.) But my high school coaches were smart … they recognized that not everybody could get to the highest level so most of the schools were not Big Ten but smaller schools … some declined the opportunity to play football … but they had an offer if they wanted it.
Sometimes it’s just nice to be considered as their talents might lead them to another career … as another kid from my high school went on to serve as a member of Congress and even visited Minnesota as a guest of then-Congressman Tim Penny.
Sometimes a multi-talented individual has a talent but that actually is bested developed and expanded upon, and not switching to other areas.

So Coach, it’s time for Congressman Walz to call a time-out and squelch these stories that he is being urged “to consider running for Governor in 2010.”

Congressman Walz, I voted for you to represent the First District in Congress. That’s the job that needs your full focus … and a job that you are good at. Politics and policy can be at crossroads … they sometimes connect but too often, people like to speculate about “who should run for this job” … and obviously, it’s nice to be recognized … but your talents are needed in Congress.
At the Federal level, Congress can impact our lives significantly --- positively as well as negatively.
At the State level, the impact is small as a balance budget prohibits making major policy changes … hence as Governor Pawlenty’s $86 million "Green Jobs Investment Initiative" may be a “good idea”, it will face the question of balancing “financial resources”. As will his 21st Century Tax Reform Committee … as will his Teacher Quality proposal, or his plan to revamp health care by permitting access to online personal health portfolios.
Sure some aspect of these programs may be implemented, but it’s like playing football at NCAA Division III … the opportunities are limited by the budget. Congress is NCAA Division I-FCS … it’s the game you want to play in.

The players are different … and there are plenty of “candidates” in the state legislature that appear to be willing to step up. Let them play … stay in Washington and provide them the assistance the Federal Government should provide. That’s the best way to serve the people of Minnesota. Please stay focused on the job at hand … let others dream about the future.

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