Why I Left Politics For Football

“Will Edwards try cutting some sort of deal with Clinton or Obama?”

“Does Huckabee have any appeal outside of the Bible Belt?”

“How about those super-delegates, huh?”

But in between this election and that, a new love stole my heart away from politics. She found her way to my heart through my mind. I was helpless to resist.

Football, you see, appeals to me in much the same way that politics once did. Politics arouse my instinct for justice, but so does a healthy debate about the BCS post-season and a hypothetical playoff.

The competitive fire of politics called me to tune into many a TV debate, but differences of opinion flow just as freely on SportsCenter (with Lou Holtz as Ron Paul, except nuttier).

Instead of guessing who will win the New Hampshire primary, I now jaw about who deserves a BCS bid. Should a one-loss SEC team get priority over an undefeated Kansas State? The question captivates me more than the significance of a win in the Iowa straw poll.

But why, if politics and football share much of the same attraction, did I bother to divorce my first love and invest so much time learning the ways of a new idol? Could I not have been content to stay married to politics, keeping football as my weekend mistress?

No, I could not wait for politics. A presidential election every four years? I have needs—needs that football satisfies four times as often as politics.

But more than that, I could not abide the diseases that politics carries. Yes, football has her flaws—a little corruption (Ohio State), some criminal history (Miami), a touch of greed (BCS). But what is unattractive in football is ten times more pronounced in politics. She is corrupt from head to toe, has no standards whatsoever and lets nothing rule her more than unbridled covetousness.

She is violent and abusive. Whether you love her or not, she will beat and bind you with her laws and police and wiretaps and zoning codes and regulations. With football, a difference of opinion usually boils down to sentiment and regional affection. With politics, every disagreement is deadly serious; she will not let you agree to disagree. One point of view will prevail over the other, with all the force of the justice system brought to bear on the losing opinion.

I left politics for football because my life goes on just the same whether or not my team wins or loses, while politics continues to impact my life in real, usually negative ways. I left politics for football because I like speculating about whether Florida is better than Alabama more than whether I will be ruled by the greedy slimeball or the self-important fool. I left politics for football because there are better ways to fix the world than through politics, and there are more fun things to enjoy.

So forget the polling booth. I'll see you at the game.

US President Gerald Ford played center and linebacker for the Michigan Wolverines, participating in two national title-winning seasons and becoming the only US President to ever tackle a future Heisman winner when he brought down Chicago's Jay Berwanger in 1934.


Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.