Bill Shanks

Could sports and politics mix at some point?

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein holds the Commissioner's Trophy while his son, Jack, right, and Chicago Cubs vice president of baseball operations and general manager Jed Hoyer, left, look on during a parade outside Wrigley Field honoring the World Series champions Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago.
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein holds the Commissioner's Trophy while his son, Jack, right, and Chicago Cubs vice president of baseball operations and general manager Jed Hoyer, left, look on during a parade outside Wrigley Field honoring the World Series champions Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago. AP

In two days, we will elect a new president. Despite all the angst of the election cycle the past few months, the decision is almost near.

Thank goodness.

Last week, when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in forever, talk started to circulate that Theo Epstein might one day run for office. He’s the man who made the Cubs winners, after he had done the same thing with the Red Sox in the previous decade.

It makes sense that a man who could turn two doormat franchises that haven’t won championships into winners should be in that conversation. Epstein is a brilliant young executive who is destined to make the Hall of Fame one day, so that seems like the type of person we’d want as the commander-in-chief.

Of course, Epstein could run for any job he wanted in Illinois right now and get elected. Chances are however, Cubs fans want him right where he is so they can continue this euphoric feeling they’ve craved for years.

There have been sports personalities who have jumped over the line into politics. Jack Kemp, J.C. Watts, Tom Osborne, Steve Largent, Heath Shuler and Jon Runyan are just some of the football players and coaches that have served in office. The biggest name in baseball to serve in Washington was Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, while basketball star Bill Bradley served as a senator and ran for president.

Remember when Vince Dooley retired as Georgia’s head coach in 1989? The talk then was he was running for governor, but it never happened. Dooley should have run for president, as long as Erk Russell would have come along as his Secretary of Defense.

Kirby Smart is trying to make Georgia great again, and if this season gets more out of control he might believe being president of the United States is easier than being the Bulldogs’ head coach. His current constituency may be less understanding than the entire country if his team loses to Auburn and Georgia Tech in the next few weeks.

Not sure if Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson would make a great politician. It seems it’s his way or the highway, and that doesn’t always work in Washington. And people would probably think he’s just a small-town politician, just like many wonder about his high school offense working in college football.

If Falcons head coach Dan Quinn were elected, we’d never believe anything was wrong. He’s so optimistic and positive about things, which can be great as long as things are going well. But if someone fired off a nuclear weapon, a President Quinn likely would tell us we’d still be OK.

Brian Snitker may be the Braves’ version of Gerald Ford, as he took over after Fredi Gonzalez was impeached last May. Talk about someone waiting outside the Oval Office for years for a chance to be at the big desk, Snitker hopefully will soon sign legislation to find his Braves a new starting pitcher.

There’s likely no one who would be better to serve as a politician than Alabama head coach Nick Saban. He would make every enemy around the world scared to death. But the best part is Saban would leave the SEC and give other teams a chance to win again.

If I had my choice of a sports personality to lead the country, I’d choose former Braves’ star Dale Murphy. If he couldn’t make our lives better, who could really? Murphy wouldn’t call anyone any names, and there’s certainly a need for genuine goodness in these 50 states.

What player or coach or executive would you like to see in office one day? And could they do any worse than the ones there now?

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

  Comments