CPAC coverage from the HipHopRepublican blog (DC area libertarian Amanda Anderson is pictured far right)
CPAC: The NFL combine of politics
Every year the National Football League operates a scouting combine so scouting personal of the NFL’s 32 teams can have a formal and structural way to determine collegiate talent that have intentions in taking part in the NFL amateur draft. The combine is designed to give an accurate read on a player’s athletic ability, however not football ability.
The football ability should have been properly documented by scouts over a player’s amateur career. The combination of playing time and combine performance helps the scouting person give proper listing on where said player should fall in the NFL draft. For a player, his ranking could mean millions of dollars lost or gain. For an NFL team it’s much more.
Not only can a team incorrectly judge a player, spending millions doing so, but monies diverted to that misjudged player could have went to a wiser pick, enabling that team to be a better club. Since the combine in its present form has been around since Ronald Regan’s first term, you would think by now NFL operatives wouldn’t drool over the wonders of some combine participants pure athletic ability, but merely take it in consideration.
Athletic ability alone is rarely enough to deliver victory on the football field, let alone match up against the countless other professional players in the league with their own great athletic ability. The combine is a sole event, with each player displaying his talent under direct spotlight. The talent displayed can be very misleading, because it’s a lasting imagine of a player and certain players can perfect a particular event.
The combine event that displays the most hoopla and drool is easily the 40 year dash. The top performers of this event have produced the likes of Bo Jackson, Dieon Sanders, and Champ Bailey. It equally has produced Darrius Heyward-Bey, Fabian Washington, and Tye Hill, the two latter names not even in the league anymore, despite being drafted in 2005 and 2006 respectfully. Teams incorrectly judged more Tye Hill’s than Dieon Sanders, many times based on combine performances, thinking their athletics can overcome any football playing shortcomings.
CPAC, the conservative political action conference, is much like the NFL combine. It’s an annual event of not the scouting of talent, but the display of issues and ideas. Like the NFL combine, CPAC takes place in a vacuum, without outside interference or hindrance. Many of the speakers at CPAC and the issues aren’t in line with the people who matter the most, the voters.
The NFL combine purpose is to judge playing ability; however, the measurements don’t mirror actual real NFL game time situations. Sure speed, strength, and jumping ability is vital to a players performance, however true performance is more predicated off football knowledge, decision making ability, composure under pressure. One of the worst combine performances of all time was Tom Brady. His field performance was horrific; however, his one on one interview, which is allotted to all combine participants, impressed his future coach Bill Belichick. The rest, 5 super bowl appearances and 3 championships as a tandem, is history.
CPAC is filled with issues and ideas, ranging from gun buffs to pro-lifers. Speeches given by the who’s who of conservative officials and figures jolt up hundreds of CPAC participants to rally around the most near and dear issues to conservatives. Like the combine, CPAC doesn’t take into account real world situations. CPAC could be more useful and impactful if teaching the actual ways and means on carrying out the conservative cause was disseminated. In order for such a strong following like CPAC to truly make sense, it should be geared to one goal, how to win elections. Speeches about liberty, how great America is, and gun rights are great boosters to fuel cause of action amongst the crowd.
However those speeches are given to a crowd of supporters, not voters. Of course voters aren’t expected to go to CPAC, but since enthusiasts are, using their time for goal orienting results is key. Additional value outside booths to support pro-life, should be coaching sessions on how to carry the conservative cause, for unfortunately, where most Americans live it’s become a pejorative. CPAC participants know why they are conservative, but their family and friends don’t. And since their family and friends don’t, they don’t vote conservative. Just like combine speed doesn’t equal a rush to a super bowl, a great speech doesn’t equal victory at the polls.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trae Lewis is a graduate of Howard University with a BA in political science. His career is being a member of the financial services industry as a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, however is an active voice and participant in the political process. He served as the field coordinator for the 2010 gubernatorial Baltimore City for Ehrlich campaign. He also served on the Young Republicans National Federation board from 2011 – present day. He currently is president of the Baltimore Area Young Republicans, a service that began in 2010 and continues until today. He’s appeared in numerous local radio and television programs regarding his position on conservative values and causes.