A Full Line Up of Fiscal Football This Weekend

Get in your three-point stance to prepare for a safety blitz of football analogies this weekend. Anyone who has followed budget negotiations even casually knows that Governor Dayton’s budget communications playbook is heavy with fiscal football framing.

“We both need to come to the 50 yard line,” Coach Dayton has barked since training camp.

Taking that cue, imagine the sports analogy possibilities for bleary eyed reporters covering the gridiron gridlock at the CapiDome this weekend…

Will DFL Governor Dayton use his veto pen to stuff the aggressive Republican offensive gameplan to go right on every play?

Will the GOP team’s large rookie class “win one for the Gipper” by completing their trickle down economics Hail Mary?

Will the homefield advantage (reflected in recent pro-Dayton approach polls) make the difference for Dayton?

If the Management and Budget Office referees throw a flag, will anyone follow the rules?

As we enter the two minute drill of the fourth quarter, will the Republican-controlled Legislature finally leave it’s 20 yard line and move to midfield and declare it a draw? Or will they take a knee, run out the clock to take their chances in an overtime, or three?

And, of course, will the Vikings’ game once again get cancelled due to multiple overtimes in the previous game?

Personally, I can’t wait. As far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty much impossible to overdo sports analogies.

– Loveland

10 thoughts on “A Full Line Up of Fiscal Football This Weekend

  1. Gary Pettis says:

    The main reason why a football game is played so one of the teams comes out the winner. Duh? The football field is a field of battle. So Dayton’s analogy is out of whack. A coach doesn’t ask his players to make nice on the fifty-yard line with the other team, making chit-chat, making plans for pizza and beer later, and showing pictures of the family and kids. It’s silly to imagine two teams making gentleman-like concessions so both can go home with a tie.

    Maybe that is Dayton’s point: a tie is just okay.

    I don’t mind sports analogies, so long as they relate somewhat sensibly to the real world in which we exist. Dayton it appears never played football in his youth. Maybe we should switch the analogy to playing checkers with both sides playing with only the red checker pieces with the thinking of:

    “Be careful which piece you jump next because it just might be your own.”

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:


      Don’t over think it. He’s not using the game itself as a metaphor, just the grid iron template. The 50-yard-line, the middle, the center, compromise, the Golden Mean, rather than either end zone. It’s not that complicated a concept. Sheesh.

      1. Gary Pettis says:

        By golly, Jim, you’re right. I was way over thinking this comparison of the budget battle to a football game. I credit my brain spasm to the quality and intricacy of the football field graphic. I am guessing that the graphic was a homegrown piece of work created in Loveland’s own artist’s loft.

        We all know Loveland is a smart guy, highly capable, and he is no doubt a student of the Psychology of Color. The graphic had an simple but complex mixture of contour and French-curvy lines, and the juxtaposition of the contrasting colors can only be described as Freudian in nature. The layout of the lines and the colors delivered subliminal messaging with the power to bend an average mind such as mine.

        I was sucked into the graphic much like a teenager fallen prey to the hypnotic banter of a carnival barker, who plucks down $5.00 for the honor of picking up five little yellow floating ducks and seeing if there is a winning number on one of ducks’ butts.

        I will be more levelheaded in the future and will spend no money on the fantasy that there is a “winner” among the floating little yellow ducks.

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        I agree with both of yous.

        The analogy isn’t athletically correct. In real football, progressing toward mid-field is a happy development. But in Dayton’s fiscal football analogy, progressing toward mid-field is a discouraging, but necessary, development. So the analogy is off. I (over)thought the same thing.

        At the same time, I do think Dayton’s football field framing is very effective in selling his position that both sides need to move to the middle. It gives people an accessible mental image to carry around in their heads to help them see that both sides need to move to reach the middle.

        Though athletically incorrect, I think it does a good job leaving a lasting mental image that makes his point.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    Despite Governor Dayton twice making significant concesssions on taxes, this morning it is reported that “neither side had given an inch toward resolving their differences.” False equivalence rears its ugly head.

  3. Joe Loveland says:

    It’s worth noting that even Governor Dayton’s “balanced approach” tips toward spending cuts. While “balance” connotes a 50-50 spending cut-tax increase mix to many, Brick City Blog points out that Dayton’s compromise proposal is actually closer to two-thirds cuts, one-third tax increases.

  4. Newt says:

    I watched the legislature on MPTV late last night. And it rapidly became obvious that the only tool in the DFL’s box is appropriations. Without the power to spend, they have virtually nothing. Floor debate on the bonding bill was full of make-work construction and building projects – under the guise of economic development.

    Listening to Rukavina and fellow DFLers whine about their inability to pass a porkulus bonding bill served as proof that they are NOTHING without the power to spend. They have no ideas, no influence, no clout, and ultimately no relevance. I hope the GOP sees this and stands tough through July and through the government shutdown until Dayton folds. The GOP holds all the power right now. They need to know this.

  5. Newt says:

    Like fashion, trends that start in Europe come our way …

    MADRID — Spaniards began voting on Sunday in local and regional polls expected to deal heavy losses to the ruling Socialists, who are blamed for widespread unemployment that has off a wave of pre-election protests.

    The elections are a key test of how much the party’s support has crumbled due to soaring unemployment and its handling of the financial crisis, and are seen as a prelude to general elections next year.

    Tens of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated in the past week in city squares around the country against austerity measures that have kept a fiscal crisis at bay but aggravated the highest jobless rate in the European Union.

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