The tax compromise – taking the easy points before halftime

[Sports Analogy Warning]

Okay, Coach O. It’s fourth-and-two, and your team is on the opponent’s 20 yard line. You’re lead has narrowed, but you still have control of the clock, and most of the coaching staff is still down with your game plan. You expect their support, you’re counting on it, at the beginning of the second half.

“Go for it,” yell the rabid fans, afraid the team they support will blow this easy opportunity to move closer to a score. You know you do not have to go for it, because you see the big picture; sure, you could push it, but with your offense having trouble holding the line, and lots of time left, you don’t want to risk coming away with nothing.

You send the field goal unit on to the field. “Boo,” drone the fans, and those who don’t get the game say, “He’s punting!” It doesn’t matter that it’s a field goal, not a punt. They see a kicker on the field and assume you are just giving up without trying. At least you’re not just taking a knee. They don’t get that this isn’t the end of the game. It’s only halftime, and you’re three points closer to getting a victory than you would have been had the offensive line collapsed again.

The pretty field reporter stops you on the way to the locker room at the end of the half. “Why didn’t you go for it?” she asks.

“Because,” you explain to the live TV audience, “we now have three points we didn’t have before, and probably couldn’t have gotten any more, the way we’ve played this quarter. We can do a lot, even with just that little bit added to our lead. We’re going to regroup, and come out with some real surprises in the second half that will ultimately give us control, even over those parts of the field that those Mastodons seem to be dominating.”

“Okay. Good luck second half, coach,” she says as you trot off for the mid-term break, knowing you have to deliver one helluva motivating speech to your team to get them out there for the second half.


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