The irony of this week’s AFC championship game is not lost on any football fan: Had the Indianapolis Colts had the moral fiber to give a decent effort in week 15 of the NFL season, the New York Jets would be watching this week’s big game at home instead of playing in it against the Colts. Now Peyton Manning and Co. must play the most dangerous team in football. Goes to prove that you should always give 100% and play the game straight. Indy got cute and may well get screwed.
The Jets aren’t a particularly skilled team, but they are an effective one that makes the most out of what talent they have. They are also a brutal opponent that grinds down better teams while waiting for a mistake they can capitalize on. As the Bengals and Chargers discovered, they win through naked animal force, not finesse or skill.
Conversely, the Colts are everything we admire in a football team. They have a charismatic, popular quarterback who is one of the best of all-time and still at the peak of an excellent career. They score touchdowns in bunches, mostly through the air, and look like a well-oiled machine on offense, a machine that cuts through defenses like they weren’t there.
Consider that football, like ideological warfare, is a blood sport. The Colts are the United States in this analogy, their free-flowing, explosive offense akin to the competitive, complex engine of the American economy. They are, beyond a doubt, the best offensive football team to have played the game over a period of several years. Only one thing has ever been their undoing – their failure to remember that they have to defend themselves against less-skilled but equally determined opponents.
Their opposition, the green-shirted Jets, represent the forces of might-makes-right fascism. Lacking the ability to compete with their betters, the Jets will bully, beat down, and do their best to utterly brutalize the Colts in an attempt to steal what they could never win in a straight-up game.
A comparison to the problem America faced in the violent, repressive Soviet Union during the Cold War would not be amiss. No aspect of Soviet life was comparable to its equivalent in the U.S. America was socially, economically, and culturally superior in every way to Russia and her enslaved satellites. Only in the realm of military force could the Soviets compete with us and compete they did, pressing us hard for two decades before the effects of their inferior economy – the very aspect of Communist life that was supposed to set them free – made it impossible for the Russians to keep up. The death of the free world was rather narrowly averted, primarily thanks to the offensive firepower of our free market economy.
In 2010, a new sort of fascism threatens the free world in the form of Islamic terrorism. Like the Indianapolis Colts, the U.S. must defend itself vigorously against an unskilled, brutal enemy that could never defeat us in a fair fight, whether the arena is military, economic, or cultural in kind. Do we have the resolve to fight to preserve our way of life? Or will the thuggish killers who despoil their own religion wear us down in the long game of asymmetric warfare? Public opinion poll after poll suggests we lack the will to defeat such an enemy.
Scoff if you will, but demographics and determination, two very important factors in a long-term struggle, are on the side of the terrorists and those mainstream Muslims on whose tacit support they depend. Unlike the Soviets, the jihadists from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan actually believe in the vile doctrine they espouse publicly, a fact that makes them infinitely more dangerous, man for man, than the Russians ever were.
To claim victory for future generations of Americans we have to play both sides of the ball. This means fielding a strong defense in the form of a military able to match terrorists cut for cut. We also have to continue to play offense using our economy as an engine of wealth – and choice – generation. Realize that this cannot happen while taking on excessive amounts of debt by borrowing largely from our competitors and enemies. Nor can we afford expensive government programs like President Obama’s about-to-fail health care plan that sap the life from our economy. Personal freedom has always driven our success and now is no time to give in, whether to those who believe that we cannot be trusted to care for ourselves or to those who wish us harm simply because of our desire to be free of the oppression they so desperately prefer.
In football as in life the choice is clear. Go Colts!