It is play-off season. The first of four NFL weekend wildcard games is about to get underway. Meanwhile, in that other series of play-offs, Iowa wrapped up its caucuses a few days ago and New Hampshire is about to host its primary. What does all this have to do with bipolar? Read on ...
People who get paid to observe both sports and politics point out that it is all about peaking at the right time. Thus, among Republican Presidential hopefuls, we had the startling spectacle of an endless succession of flavor-of-the-month candidates. Forgive me if I get the sequence wrong or leave out a few names. Anyway:
First we had Sarah Palin in the media spotlight, but she wound up dropping out of the race before she could even declare her candidacy. Michelle Bachman seemed to assume Palin’s mantle, but her fifteen minutes of fame lasted maybe fourteen. Then Rick Perry’s star burned bright - and dimmed. Then it was Herman Cain's turn. Next came Newt Gingrich, who seemed to peaking at just the right time, so the pundits said. Wrong. The master of the perfect timing turned out to be Rick Santorum, who emerged from somewhere in the back of the pack to claim a second-place victory in Iowa.
A second place win? The new year is only seven days old, and already it is shaping up to be a very strange one. Meanwhile, Ron Paul could claim a third place win, while perennial front runner Mitt Romney had to settle for first place.
Stay tuned for New Hampshire ...
Meanwhile, in the NFL we can only wonder which teams will show up. For instance, will it be the New York Giants Number One or New York Giants Number Two? There is a world of difference between the two, and if it turns out to be the latter one taking the field tomorrow then the Atlanta Falcons will be advancing to the next round of the play-offs.
The NFL story of the year, of course, has been Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. Tebow is that strangest of all NFL animals - a quarterback who is unfamiliar with the concept of throwing a football. Nevertheless, over a two-month span, he engineered an improbable series of miracle come-from-behind victories, setting off the phenomenon of Tebow-mania. But then his luck ran out and the Broncos closed out the season with a three-game losing streak. But - who can say? - tomorrow Tebow may well have one more miracle left in him.
The only thing we can predict - whether NFL or Presidential politics - is that eventually there will be a winner. One winner - or team of winners - marveling over their luck, a whole bunch of losers cursing their fate.
This is crazy, you are probably thinking. Bingo! the bipolar connection. Up and down, down and up - life for us is an improbable series of cycles. Just when we think things are going right - wham! - life deals us a cruel blow. Just when everyone has written us off - hold onto your hats - we shine. It’s as if the same people who came up with the Presidential primaries and the NFL designed our brains. Up-down, down-up, where are you today? Timing is everything.