Federal Government Shutdown- More Collateral Damage
October 1st represented Day One of Congress allowing politics to get in the way of leadership and governance in the best interests of our country.
I won’t give into temptation and discuss politics and for those of us who live inside the beltway, it’s harder than you think. What did pique my interest among the various reports of what would be closed and what would remain open was the impact the federal government shutdown may have on the three service academies and their scheduled athletic contests.
In football, the United States Naval Academy (Navy) is scheduled to play its intra-service rival the Air Force Academy (Air Force) on Saturday. The Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (Army) are slated to travel to Chestnut Hill and play the Boston College Eagles.
Collateral damage is defined as any damage incidental to an activity. Who imagined this congressional inaction would affect collegiate football ? It caused me to further consider how, if at all, proposals to pay collegiate athletes would impact the men and women attending the service academies and playing athletics.
Navy is the only one of the three service academies that finances its sports programs through sources other than congressionally appropriated funds. Army and Air Force both rely partially on such government funds. I have yet to see this consideration debated or discussed, but it’s a topic worthy of note.
I’ve worked in and around politics most of my professional life, so I understand and fully appreciate there are larger considerations to this shutdown then postponing or cancelling a few football games. However, it’s often the road or topic less traveled that sparks interest and engagement from west coast beaches and Silicon Valley to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Places in this country where a government shutdown without a direct impact and thousands of miles away might otherwise be met with sheer apathy or a feeling that there isn’t anything one individual can do.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. ~ Margaret Mead