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    The Infamous Football Analogy

    Nate Silver has a great blog today, using the infamous football analogy, claiming that Romney is down by 7 early in the fourth quarter with possession of football on his own 20. 

    According to the win probability calculator at AdvancedNFLStats.com, an N.F.L. team down by field goal with 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter has a 34 percent probability of winning the game. A team down by a touchdown wins just 16 percent of the time.

    He goes into some good detail about how this analogy works to explain how Romney's current position.

    Some of the comments were worth the read, too:


    There's down a touchdown, and then there's down a touchdown. It's one thing if the game has been high-scoring and the lead has bounced around. In that game, last-minute comebacks and turnarounds are not surprising. But in this game, Obama scored first with a field-goal or two, Romney made a couple fumbles and interceptions, has not scored a single touchdown, and has never put together an effective ground game. The crowd is not behind him, his bench is not as deep, and his coach has promised a couple secret plays, even though the players don't seem to know what they are. The manager, rather than monitoring the coaches, is out trying to sell more skyboxes. There is dissension in the huddle; the QB can't decide which way to throw, and the RB wants to run with a completely different playbook.

    Worst, it's starting to drizzle, and some fans have already left and more are heading for the exits.



    I like the touchdown analogy. But I think it ought to be elaborated on.

    Obama is up seven points AND has the ball AND is starting to move down the field close to field goal range. He's also playing at home and his defense is one of the higher ranked units in the league. Should Romney not do very well in these debates (particularly the first one), Obama will be in range to tack on three extra points.

    Romney would then need a "two score" strategy with little more than half a quarter left. He's also probably used at least two timeouts on stupid things like not having the right personnel on the field or the QB not having the right play call to work with.

    Tick, tick Mitt...tick, tick, tick tick...

    Of course, this is just an analogy.  Football is not exactly like a presidential race.  But there are few things about football that highlight what Romney faces.


    As eDubs put it: tick, tick, tick, tick.  Eventually people go to the polls.  In old days, it all came down for the most part on Election Day.  But with early voting in many states, like Iowa the other day, this is no longer true.  Everyday Romnney trails in the swing states (and they are the ones that truly matter - it doesn't matter whether Romney wins 53% of Texas or 67%), is another day he falls further behind.

    In football, when one is behind and the clock is ticking away, the tendency is to throw out the playbook of a balanced attack on offense and to try for the big play.  This may happen, but a lot of times it just blows up in their face with a critical turn over or simply just turning the ball back over to the other team with a quick three and out.

    To put it simply - how does one do under pressure.  One stat for quarterbacks used to explain whether they are great ones or just ok is how they do in crunch time.  It is one thing to sit in the pocket with 20 point lead and hit an open receiver doing a crossing pattern, it is another thing to thread the needle with the pocket collapsing with your team down by four.

    The Team

    There is nothing like football when it comes to team.  The reason is that in split seconds, decisions are made by 22 players who are trusting on their teammates to doing something else.  In pro football, the QB throws the football not where the WR is but where he believes the WR is going to be.  The cornerback decides to cover a receiver because he believes the safety is covering the receiver that running past him. 

    Whether Romney is able to succeed is dependent on others as well as him doing his job.  Romney has to deal with Ryan's fumble on Fox News regarding the budget details.  Whether he likes it or not, Aikin is on his team. He can't take back some assistant coach's decision to put Eastwood out there to talk to an empty chair.  Changing the coach staff at this point would be demoralizing and cause chaos amongst the players.

    The Crowd

    There are reports of the donor fans of switching their allegiance.  The boo-birds are out, not just in the visiting team's section, but also from those who are wearing your colors.  Players feed off the energy of the crowd, and when your own fans turn their back, play execution goes down the drain. 

    The time is winding down, some of the players are sitting on the bench dejected with towels on their head while others are trying to rally the troops, most of the fans on your side are just silent, waiting for some reason to cheer.  The pressure is on.

    I would say, given the polls in the swing states, that Romney is down by 9 with possession of the football on his 20.  There is 10 minutes left, and they know they have to score twice, a touchdown and a field goal, but that would be 10 points and a victory.  That is if they can keep Obama's team from scoring a field goal.

    If all they get from the debates is a field goal, then some kind of October Surprise will have to happen: Obama's team fumbles the ensuing kick off giving Romney's team the ball inside the red zone.  Of course, they might just get a field goal, so still down by 3.  Or given Romney's recent history, he immediately throws an inception which is run back for touchdown - the infamous pick six that gave the White House trophy back to Muslim Socialists to the dismay of the fans of the Raging Capitalists.



    Y. A, Romney is kneeling and bloody.  It's late in the fourth quarter, he's on his own 10 yard line.  Bart Obama's team is leading by 12 points, after scoring 6 Safeties in the third quarter.
    A kneeling Romney is trying to remember the words to Hail Mary.  





    And having his bell rung by the linebacker nicknamed 47 Percent, he is asking himself "am I Mary? And why should I hail myself?"

    John Madden: Okay, so you take the ball down the field and if you take that ball down the field all the way to the 'end zone' well then you...ah then you make a touch down unless of course

    Okay so if the Prez gets more votes in the 'election' which is supposedly held on November 6th, 2012 well then he wins his 'seat' back.

    I mean you should not describe the President of the United States as a 'seat' but then again the other guy could win and then he would be President of the United States and Barry would be Carter.

    But then again, someone could throw a flag and then the Supreme Court of the United States might make Barry the Helpful Hardware man.....

    And then...

    Bingo was his name!




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