The Times They Are A Changin', 0317 UTBJ, Vol. 30, No. 2. 22

Author:Learned Ham, J.

The Times They Are A Changin’

Vol. 30 No. 2 Pg. 22

Utah Bar Journal

April, 2017

March, 2017


Learned Ham, J.

I know, I know, the electoral college wasn’t just a prank that sounded like a cool idea to James Madison after one of his all-nighters with Ben Franklin and the wild and crazy Pinckney cousins (Charles and Charles). What happens in Philadelphia stays in Philadelphia. It was a necessary inducement to the smaller states and a wise bulwark against mob rule in a future out-of-control democracy. But still.

As long as this is going to be a history lesson, let’s go back to December 19, 1980. San Diego, California. Jack Murphy Stadium. Stick with me, I promise I’m not just changing the subject. You know the story. It’s the Miracle Bowl. Jim McMahon and the Coogs come up with 21 points in the last two minutes and 33 seconds to beat SMU 46 to 45 on a Hail Mary to Clay Brown as the clock expires. BYU wins.

It makes a great story, which gets retold at least as often as the one about how “This is the Place,” but let’s do a quick recount – applying the rules of the electoral college.

Who cares who gets the most points? The final score doesn’t mean anything. The game is divided into four quarters. There must be a reason for that. Those quarters are really important. If the lights on the scoreboard at the end of the game are all that matter, why not just skip the first 58 minutes and free up a couple of hours for everyone involved? No, the thought makes reason stare. The first three quarters are no less important than the last one. Just like Delaware is no less important than Virginia. And we must safeguard the integrity of the game by protecting against the possibility that a team gets unbelievably lucky in the last two minutes. Each quarter gets a point, and it takes three points to win.

SMU wins. And if you voted for Donald Trump or George W. Bush or Benjamin Harrison or Rutherford B. Hayes or John Quincy Adams, you’ll see the logic behind that and join me in petitioning Kevin J. Worthen to FedEx the 1980 Holiday Bowl trophy to Dallas. No whining, it’s for the good of the game.

OK, I admit it. The analogy is flawed. Football is not an election; I’m the one doing the whining; and it isn’t fair to compare the BYU football team to Hillary Clinton. I doubt that either of them would appreciate it.

Because I’m all about being fair and balanced, here’s the argument for the...

To continue reading