New York needs you, Phil

In my short time on Earth, Ive found that the easiest way to explain something to me is by translating it into a sports analogy. Of course, theres a multitude of reasons for this that I cant explain presently this is, afterall, a family venture but mostly, I just love sports. All of them. Im completely obsessed. I need help. Indeed. Im no whiz at math, but find a way to explain quantum physics to me by analogizing it with a baseball game, and I might just nod my head in understanding. Most likely, though, Im wondering what time the Mets are playing and not listening to you, because you are talking about quantum physics. Anyway, it is my firm belief that sports provides a fitting model for other aspects of life to follow. Professional sports in America can teach us a lot: business, discipline, team-work, morality it can even teaches us a few things about effective governing. Case-in-point: New York State Politics. Before I go any further, let me assure you that I have no background in politics. I am an English major, which means that other than reading and writing, I have few Real World skills. Seriously. Often times, I find myself doing important things like filing taxes or paginating a newspaper, and I wonder, what am I doing? or, more importantly, who allowed me to perform these tasks? Im running out of space, so lets get on with it. I have the solution to all of New York states problems: elect Phil Jackson as our next governor. Why? Well, for starters he has an excellent resume. The guy has won nine NBA championships. Nine! Dont quote me on it, but Im pretty sure that David Paterson and George Pataki never accomplished that feat. Im too young to remember anything about Nelson Rockefeller, but Im pretty sure he never even coached a basketball team. Think about it: if you were to personify each unique section of New York as a player from one of Jacksons teams, you would have a starting lineup plus a sixth man at least. New York City would be Shaquille ONeal or Michael Jordan the most recognizable player, and perhaps the driving force behind the rest of the team. Long Island would be Kobe Bryant or Scottie Pippen, the prima donna (does not apply to Scottie) superstar that longs for the spotlight but knows he has to play second fiddle to the Big Diesel, or in this case the Big Apple. Western New York Buffalo, Rochester, et. al. would be the blue-collar guy, the rebounder/hustle man Horace Grant, Karl Malone (from that Hall of Fame team that failed to cash in), Luc Longley, one of those guys. Albany would be the point guard, who on most teams would be calling the shots, but everyone knows hes only there to make the Big Aristotle or His Airness look good. And of course, theres the Adirondacks, the old reliable player who comes up big every once in a while but for the most part is ignored. See: John Paxon, Derek Fischer, Luke Walton... Who better, then, to fit these pieces together than Phil Jackson? Ive heard people say that he is overrated because of the talent hes been blessed with, but I appreciate what hes done. Hes taken all sorts of personalities with different egos and different needs and made them gel. The result? Unprecedented success. Of course, I dont see Phil ever getting into politics hes too even-tempered, I think. But theres a formula there that may translate into the political realm. Perhaps a future governor, or Paterson even, can find a way to fit New Yorks pieces together. Or maybe not. Like I said, I dont do politics. Plus, Im a Knicks fan, and I probably wouldnt vote for Phil just out of principle. Hopefully, Ive explained New York politics to those of you who think like me. Or, if youre really like me, youre wondering if quantum physics is the name of a band you used to like and you still havent found the start time for the Mets game. Chris Morris is the news editor at Denton Publications. He can be reached at chrism@denpubs.com

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