I'm a rabid hockey fan. I used to play the sport some years ago and I would like to relate to you a tale of a game I played, the results from said game, and finally how it relates to this election cycle.
In the game the team I played for were ahead in the score by two points, a sizable margin going to the third period. However we lost the game ultimately in Over Time. Lets drop the puck below the orange whistle and I'll share the tale.
Game 3 of our season and we found ourselves ahead, granted it was just an intramural hockey club, but having just won our last two games it felt good going into the third period with a two point margin. The smiles were large and the bruises from the last two periods felt as if they weren't there. We skated onto the ice with the confidence of giants.
Fast though, our fortunes changed. 4 minutes in one of our forwards missed a line change and to keep things in check for rotation I was forced to stay on the ice an additional minute. Being mostly an enforcer I lacked the stamina to put up anything longer than a two minute shift and because of this fatigue I missed a play and fouled up a poke check. Two minutes in the box for tripping.
The other team scored on that power play cutting into our lead.
At 16 minutes in while sitting on the bench waiting for my shift our captain missed a line change which forced the forwards to stay longer than normal. This time it wasn't a power play, it was our forwards missing a pick up from the shift change of the other team. A break away got them a three on one left our defender and goalie helpless, flail he did but the puck sailed over his glove side shoulder.
Minute go and I'm on ice this time. Again we miss a shift change from the other team but thankfully my partner on defense and I pick it up. Instead of a three on one we got a three on two, better odds but still a rough play. Thankfully this time the two of us were able to pick up the drop pass between two of the three and clear the forest for our goal. I dropped to the ice to get the bottom, and stopped the puck by taking one for the team in my leg.
Overtime was more of the same. Another defense man got sloppy and got called for holding earning us another two minutes of penalty time. During that power play, sure as crap we lost the game, they scored. A back and forth along the blue line and one slap shot later and the puck was in the net. Our goalie had picked it up, just a little too late. It was off his right pad, hit the iron and bounced in.
After the game, in the locker our, our coach flayed us. He told us that we got sloppy, we forgot our fundamentals, and ultimately forgot to play as us. The reason we got sloppy though?
We got overconfident of our position and thought we could skate easy street for the next twenty minutes. The overconfidence is what led to the forward thinking he could get a few minutes more of ice team, that led to me out on the ice and taking a sloppy penalty. Its what led to again sloppy shift changing by people thinking they could be out there when previously sticking to the game plan the last forty had produced that two point margin. Its ultimately what led to another sloppy penalty which eventually led to our loss.
So what does all this matter here?
Lets not get overconfident here this election cycle. Sure its nice to see the President up in the polls in important battleground states. It's great and wonderful to see the Senate looking better and better every day. Hell its nice to see the House almost looking possible to grab despite what every past election cycle would tell you about post recession years.
But lets not get overconfident. Sure Mittens has given us several power plays recently what with the Libya muss up and more recently with the conflagration over the fund raising video. But we cannot think that this is in the bag, because that will breed an overconfidence that could lose us the game.
We need to stick to the fundamentals of our past two periods so far in this game. Continue to raise money for candidates including the President, continue our voter registration efforts, continue our GOTV efforts and work even harder. If this were a hockey game and we're going into the third period, as a coach I would say lets stick to our fundamentals and work like we're only one point down.
We learned that lesson by the way. We lost that game 4-3, but the next game? We crushed our opponents in a 5-0 blow out. I even scored a goal that game...rare for an enforcer for those unfamiliar with the sport. If anything, its very similar to 2010. We lost our fundamentals and got over confident, lets not forget this time around.
So in conclusion, we're ahead. Yay.
Now lets get our heads down, our feet moving as fast as we can and lets crush the Republicans.
My coach always had a saying, one that I think applies here.
Let us make them remember they played us so next season they come back scared.....