Saturday, April 09, 2016

Basketball, Physics, And Presidential Politics

Momentum. Mojo. Motivation. Whatever you'd like to call it, this is a time to get it, whether you are a playoff bound basketball team or a presidential candidate. Take a simple example like a ball rolling downhill. It responds to simple Newtonian Physics. These are rules as simple as an object set in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Sometimes that force could be as simple as the end of the slope that helped the ball gather speed in the first place. Gravity would do its work over time. Gravity is one of the chief reasons for basketball players and that ball they are trying to get through that hoop fail. All that running ans jumping and pushing themselves and that ball through space is working against gravity. If you continue to battle against one of the oldest and strongest forces in the universe, Over an eighty-two game schedule, with months of practice and travel and attendant injuries, playing hard night after night under those harsh lights can become a burden not unlike pushing that ball, a much bigger ball made of stone, up a hill.
That's where things are for the Golden State Warriors these days. With gravity and a lot of history standing in their way, they continue to bounce that rock to the finish line. The same can be said of the presidential primary process. That ball that seemed to be rolling down the steepest of all hills, seemingly unaffected by gravity or reality, the Trumple campaign, seems to have found its outside force. In this case, it seems as though it is more of an inside force, one that seemed visible to everyone else for the longest time in spite of the speed, distance and delegates covered over that blurry pace. The same could be said of Hillary Clinton's path to the White House that, a year ago, seemed like a pretty straight path down a pretty short hill.
Now here we are, months into a presidential race that still has months to go. The simple math of picking up enough delegates to show up at the party convention and being nominated by that party is becoming more convoluted. There isn't one simple path. Newtonian Physics no longer applies. Gravity and friction and John Kasich are making things more challenging. Just like every team that runs into the Golden State Warriors brings their best game on the night they play the once and future NBA champions, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders win in Wisconsin. Their momentum seems to be on the rise, but it could be that is the perspective gained from being on a train going in the same direction. Everyone's momentum is slowing. Gravity is doing its work. The NBA season and the presidential race are long, bumpy marathons. They aren't a sprint. And this is just the regular season. The playoffs are still to come.

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