If New York and New England were to play that game hundreds of more times, there would probably be hundreds of different outcomes. Unlike politics, the nation would have ended up with a super champion regardless of the outcome.

This is a tribute to the NFL, but like real life, the winner has to overcome the red flags that get in our way. We all make mistakes and have to pay the price, but let’s make this election more about yards gained, passes caught, and touchdowns.
I learned this lesson the hard way, when I got my first taste of politics back in high school — when chosen in both my junior and senior years of high school to attend Boys State. This was not only an honor, but a chance to prove my adeptness as a politician. I had been pretty successful at such things in class elections and county 4-H councils, etc. — but had never competed at this level before. In fact, it was because of some success in my junior year, that I was encouraged to make enough effort in my senior year to become Boys State Governor. This was no easy challenge, as I was soon to find out.

The first year was just about excitement and the exposure to the possibility of winning the grand prize. Like real politicians the vision of grandeur gives one a false sense of invincibility. I just knew that given a second chance, I would capture the notoriety of being the champion.

Little did I know that it was more than just a popularity contest. There comes a time when substance and sustenance take precedence over smoke and mirrors. Hand shakes and promises were no longer enough to build a platform. With no meaningful agenda, I was soon out-debated and left in the dust, like road kill left to the vultures.

It was humbling and downright embarrassing to lose, but it taught me some lifetime lessons that I’ll never forget. You would think that professional politicians would have learned this lesson long before entering the political arena. I know that before stepping into a livestock arena, I had better have done my homework. In fact, those lessons learned at Boys State may have been the best teaching tool I’ve ever experienced.

Through that experience, I met a lot of people that have been a positive influence in my life to this day. If you happen to be among those that shared this special time together, I would appreciate hearing from you.

The lessons learned are as relevant today as they were then. The purpose of Boys State is to teach leadership, the mechanics of politics, and the importance of the role that each of us plays in the outcome of this presidential election year.
JEREMIAH: 32:19 "To give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings."

  "PONY TALES by" Ponty is written by Ken E. Knight, the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in the "Farm And Livestock Directory" every month.