BY ALLEN WEST
As predicted, it was a rough college football Saturday for me. The third Saturday in October is an SEC tradition, Tennessee versus Alabama. It was a bloodletting as my Vols went down to the number one ranked Crimson Tide 45-7. I sat there watching bits and pieces, and remembered my senior year at Tennessee when we beat Alabama and ended a 12-year losing streak. The year was 1982 and it was also Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s last coaching season.
I thought about how good the Alabama Crimson Tide has been in the past eight years, and throughout college football history. Later that evening I watched Michigan versus Penn State. Penn State’s coach, James Franklin, was previously the coach at Vanderbilt, who beat Tennessee in back-to-back seasons. The Nittany Lions, who also have a storied college football team, took Michigan to the woodshed winning 42-13. I thought about how Franklin had come there and restored a program that had a serious black eye.
Now, why do I bring this to your attention? It’s simple, one word: equality.
Some players in the NFL are still kneeling to protest “inequality” but the crazy thing is, they go on to play a game which celebrates that very thing! They play to win, to be better than the opposing team. To be unequal. Where’s the justice in that?
Saturday night the Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees and will go on to play in the baseball World Series, the fall classic. How many teams are there in the MLB? We know one thing for certain: there will only be one who holds up the championship trophy.
We gather for sporting events and cheer for our favorite teams to win, and are seriously discouraged when they don’t. Man, my heart sank when Oklahoma scored a 22-yard touchdown with :07 left to beat my Kansas State Wildcats. The reality is that everyone takes the field of competition but there will always, only, be one champion.
You see, no one is sitting in the stadium or arena trying to make the game fair or equal. Yes, there are officials, referees, who ensure those breaking certain rules are penalized. However, those same officials and referees are not there to determine the winner, nor the outcomes. It just comes down to the talents, abilities, skill, and competence of one team against another. It comes down to who can train, practice, and prepare better…then execute on the field of competition. Do we feel bad for those who lose? Well, I don’t think many Bama fans were hurting about beating the Vols like they stole something. But guess what, you can go back, practice harder, recruit better, coach better, and maybe just maybe, notch a win next time.
We don’t go to these sporting events to see anyone determine the outcomes except for the players on the field. We certainly don’t go just to see everyone have a great time participating and no one keeping score. We love the competition. And we love to play Queen’s song, “We are the champions” — not “we are the participators.”
In the game of sports, these teams are free to compete, and each has the opportunity to win. And that means one thing: they are not all equal. If all of these teams in all sports were made to be equal, then they are not free…and they don’t have opportunity, as someone else will be determining their outcomes.
And so it goes — why do we want that to be the means by which our lives are determined? If we are indeed a free people, then we are not equal. We all have our respective talents, abilities, and competencies that in a free society we’re able to develop. I was never intended to be a college-level athlete. Nor was it in the works for me to be a renowned artist, musician or engineer. However, I was free to pursue my happiness and with the grand opportunities this great nation affords have been successful in my own ability. This is the same for us all.
Now, some have the disturbing, distorted and delusional perspective that they can render us all equal to some degree. We are then no longer free as our lives, our outcomes, are determined, regulated, or prescribed by others. Instead of being the officials and referees to ensure there is a level playing field of opportunity for us to win…they instead try to create the winners, according to their ideology and agenda.
The poison of social egalitarianism tells us there’s no exceptionalism. That Alabama would have to give up, forfeit points to Tennessee in order to make it a fair game…according to whom? Free throws in basketball are not just given, they’re awarded when someone commits a foul. A walk in baseball doesn’t just happen when you show up with bat in hand…it’s given if you’re skilled enough not to strike out, and the pitcher isn’t skilled enough to throw a strike.
The progressive socialist left will say this is over simplified; it’s not. Life isn’t about penalizing and taking away from others what they’ve accomplished, what they’ve earned and achieved. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (not guarantee of happiness) is what makes America special, unique and exceptional. It’s the reason why people can come from anywhere in the world with nothing, and with their own drive and determination become winners…champions.
We need to reject this notion of being an equal people…being free means we’re not equal. And that, folks, is a good thing.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at AllenBWest.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.