Why professional athletes should run for office

Because they solve their problems.

And when did you last hear this from Washington: “I’d like to apologize to the fans, that for the last five, six months we’ve been talking about the business of football, not what goes on on the field.”

That from Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, whom players say was instrumental in reaching an amicable agreement, even as his wife was dying of cancer.

Granted, Kraft is a towering figure, and rightly, we have come to expect more from men like Kraft and Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and player rep Jeff Saturday, center for the Indianapolis Colts, well-pictured on the front page of The New York Times this morning, affectionately comforting the mourning Kraft cuddled under his wing; big and bearded, vaguely giving the impression of God the Father. Because America is still healthy in the center, even if it is fraying on the edges, and at the center of the American journey at this moment is football.

It forms the matrix of who we are and what we will become. Up to 100 million Americans will watch at the best moment and most times, almost no one outside of our boundaries will watch. As it should be. It defines our parameters, just as hockey does to Canada. It tells us who we are and who we are not and protects us from the gargantuan, Leviathan, totalitarian illusions of universalism. We are people in a specific time and place and this is our time and place.

So the contrast with the Washington debt deliberations is startling. And it has been like this for a long time. There is crisis ahead; there should be, there must be, but it will all work out well because the center holds; the center is strong.