Cardinal Sins Of Payson

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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As I write it is election day, and I feel a tremendous burden has been lifted. After today, there will be no more television debates, no more disputes over Pell Grants (whatever they are), and no more messages on my answering machine from Rick Renzi's father, bragging on his own military service and shilling for his carpetbagging son who actually lives in Virginia.

Or from Eddie Basha, who is a really good guy. But instead of how long he's known Jack Brown, I want to know how long those bananas have been sitting on his supermarket shelf.

I don't even care who wins anymore. Just leave us alone and let life return to normal -- complete with a skyrocketing national debt and Social Security headed straight for the dumper.

Along with a really bad taste, the election season leaves a lingering thought -- there has to be a better way to run a country.

After pondering this question for six or seven minutes, it came to me. This nation needs to adopt the Cardinal Model.

No, not the St. Louis Cardinals, those losers who choked in the World Series after posting the best record in baseball. I mean the Arizona Cardinals, who never choke in big games because they never play in them.

Here's how it works. Instead of electing or appointing new government officials, we just keep firing the incumbents every year the way the Cardinals fire coaches. Besides helping us avoid election campaigns, this solution has the added advantage of allowing hope to spring eternal in we the people.

Although the Cardinals always end their season with a 4-12 record, the firing of the old coach and hiring of the new, makes people think it will be different next year. The new coach comes in brimming with optimism and BS, and then proceeds to go 4-12.

Near as I can see, it's a foolproof system. Owner Bill Bidwill is still a millionaire even though his football team plays before more empty seats than filled ones. Besides, there's a glut of old Cardinals coaches around who could put their optimism and 4-12 records to work keeping our nation dysfunctional.

If you're still skeptical, allow me to show you how it would work on the local level:

Headline: Walker dumped as water shortages stunt growth

Let's stop blaming drought and consumption. It's much easier to fire Buzz Walker and bring in ex-Cardinals coach Buddy Ryan to run the water department.

At Ryan's first press conference he confidently proclaims, "You've got a winner in town. Your water problems are over."

Headline: Town Manager canned for sub-par DJ performance

A town manager is expected to be a jack-of-all-trades, and we can't afford to keep one around who gets hoarse just before an important disc jockey gig. So Carpenter is out and former Cardinals coach Joe Bugel is in.

At his first DJ gig, Bugel is in classic form:

"We're gonna belly up to the line and we're gonna belt this song out and we're gonna do it as a team ..."

Headline: Mayor ousted by political foes

If Jerry Colangelo can be removed as head of the Diamondbacks, then Barbara Brewer cannot be considered safe either. True, she hasn't done anything wrong, but since when does that matter. Please welcome the new mayor of the town of Payson, soon-to-be-former Cardinals coach Dennis Green:

"I promised we'd win more than we lose, so some heads are going to roll. And don't try to turn me in for making you work overtime, or you'll be the first."

Headline: Tax revenues down; Smith gets boot

Why blame it on the economy or the drought or the Willow Fire? If the numbers don't crunch, can the cruncher. But any replacement for Glenn Smith must have a low-key personality. For that reason, the town's new finance guy is none other than Mr. Beige -- former Cardinals coach Vince Tobin:

"Good afternoon, folks. According to the numbers on my ever-present clipboard, we should be able to break even this year."

Headline: Bad streets doom Garrett

Just how long did they think we the people were going to put up with McLane Road and Manzanita Drive. Somebody's head was bound to roll, and when it turned out to be LaRon Garrett's, former Cardinal's coach Dave McGinnis was ready to take the throttle:

"We're gonna get down in the trenches with those backhoes and we're gonna clean up this mess, by golly."

The nice thing about the Cardinal's model is that it's self-perpetuating. When nothing changes, you just fire everybody, build up hope by hiring new people, and then smash all those hopes to bits once again.

Beats election campaigns.

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