"In coaching, you've got to have more discipline and you've got to be more strict and just conservative, I think. It fits with the Republicans."
So said longtime Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden in an article published by the Wall Street Journal Wednesday titled "Why Your Coach Votes Republican."
With the college football season just hours away from kickoff, and traditional conservative values surging throughout the nation, the Journal's piece is as timely at it is fascinating (h/t Alan Murray):
During the 2008 campaign cycle, college and NFL head coaches (and their wives) contributed a total of $13,286 to John McCain and the Republican National Committee. From that same group, Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee received just $4,600—half of it from Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and the other half from San Jose State's Dick Tomey.
In all, 20 coaches active in the 2008 season gave to Republican candidates seeking federal office. Three donated to Democrats. This disparity is even more striking given that, among the individual donors in the '08 campaign cycle, Mr. Obama outraised Mr. McCain by more than a 5-to-1 margin.
Some of the biggest names in college football history are Republicans:
Mr. [Bobby] Bowden, a 79-year-old native Alabaman, describes himself as a lifelong conservative who—like many white Southerners of his generation—migrated from the Democratic Party to the GOP a few decades ago. There is, he says, a natural connection between his political and coaching philosophies.
"In coaching, you've got to have more discipline and you've got to be more strict and just conservative, I think. It fits with the Republicans," he said.
Mr. [Lou] Holtz, who coached Notre Dame to its last national championship in 1988, draws a parallel between the standards and rules that most coaches set for their players and the Republican vision of how American society ought to operate.
"You aren't entitled to anything. You don't inherit anything. You get what you earn—your position on the team," Mr. Holtz said. "You're treated like everybody else. You're held accountable for your actions. You understand that your decisions affect other people on that team…There's winners, there's losers, and there's competitiveness."
Sounds like traditional, conservative values, doesn't it?
Tom Osborne, who coached the Nebraska Cornhuskers for 25 seasons before serving three terms in Congress as a Republican, suggested that football coaches probably look at their own lives and careers as testaments to the conservative principle of self-reliance.
"There's an awful lot of people who want to be in coaching for the number of jobs," he said. "It's highly competitive. And many of them have had to spend a fair amount of time as graduate assistants, interns—as much as four, five, six, seven, eight years—making very, very little money to get into the profession. And they will work 70, 80, 90 hours a week during the season.
"I think that background—adherence to discipline, sometimes sacrifice, loyalty to core values—those things tend to have people move in that direction."
So, what Party ID is in YOUR coach's wallet?