Late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, played a one-on-one pick up game of basketball. The stakes were that the loser would have to donate $5,000 to the charity that the winner chose. The game was ugly, in that neither of the two demonstrated a whole lot of basketball skill. There were words that were ugly as well, more particularly coming from Kimmel, who is adjusted and used to roasting those that do not agree with him. That is his platform and that is where he excels. Cruz was too modest to make any real big retorts. At one point Kimmel jabbed, “Did you spend more time this week practicing basketball than trying to get those kids out of that detention center?” That is one that hits close to home and below the belt.
Ted Cruz came out on top and won the game 11-9. Of course Cruz was even more modest and donated money to Kimmel’s organization as well. All would win out in the end. I can’t describe how good it felt to see those two playing basketball. These are two men that sit decisively on two different sides of the political aisle. They are not friends, nor do I believe that they could really pretend to be. The roasting was uncomfortable at points, but they both took it in stride. There are a few things to take away from this though that are worthy of discussion.
The first is that there needs to be more opportunities for those who disagree to come together and at least talk with each other. Social media and the media platforms have given people the perfect opportunity to yell at each other and cut each other down without getting together to make real change. That is what people want right? Obama was made famous for his calls for change and those calls should continue to echo throughout the halls of our society. If there are not decisions made to talk to each other, no matter how discomforting it may be, then there can be no progress. This was a great stepping stone and I pray that other events such as this will continue to gain favor and becoming habitual.
Next it must be pointed out that there does not have to be a winner and a loser in everything that we do. Sure they played the game of basketball, but there is not going to be any deep seeded debate on who the better basketball player is. Cruz won, but winning the game was not the point. The point was progress. Just like this game, in the real world when working with each other there does not have to be a winner and a loser nor does there have to be in politics. There will be political elections won and lost, but working together all can win. All will not get what they desire, but working together and coming together then that is when real action takes place.
There is too much noise in our culture. So much of what is spouted out is so loud and so irreverent that it disrupts the whole of our society. More can be said with a handshake then with a megaphone and I hope that we can one day come to know the difference. It will take patience, humility, and persistence, but it is possible and it is truly within reach. I’m an avid basketball fan, but this was the best basketball game that I have seen all year.