Credit: CNN

Credit: CNN

Despite the television sets built to look like SportsCenter,  terminology used by pundits (front-runner, battleground, knockout punch, etc), and the endless analysis/highlights …

Politics are not sports.

You ever have one of those “Ouch, I touched a hot pot, moment?”

Hours after George W. Bush defeated Senator John Kerry in 2004, I went to school and gloated about Bush’s victory.

My high school teacher turned mentor – the one who taught me how to write – shared with me sometime during that Presidential race that he once voted Republican – Ronald Reagan in ’80.

I knew he associated more closely with Kerry. After the projected Bush win, I approached to him and exclaimed, “We won!” as if it was ’96 and the Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

He tensed up, gritted his teeth, leaned in and firmly said, “Politics are NOT sports.”

I walked away, quietly, suddenly not sure what to think.

For a moment, I didn’t view him as a teacher. I stopped viewing him as a political opponent.

I thought to myself: That’s a married man – three daughters, none older than eight. That’s a man with a mortgage. That’s a man dedicating his life to teaching youth of all beliefs and backgrounds.

My happiness is his worry. And perhaps, I should be worried, too.

What would happen to me when I live through a political landscape that I don’t support?

It shaped me. It changed my views of patriotism, the importance of voting, and how to move forward with someone or groups of people who don’t share my vision of this country.

To his credit, he never held it against me. In fact, maybe he felt the responsibility to educate and talk to me more so than ever before.

But I think about that sequence of events during every election, every time I vote, and every time I talk to someone with opposing views.

It’s important – more than ever today – to remember that your team didn’t win. My team didn’t win. Your team didn’t lose. My team didn’t lose.

This isn’t sports.

People feel upset after their team loses a big game.

But people – some neighbors, family, and friends – are fearful and worried today.

That’s how you know that this isn’t baseball – It’s certainty not football.

Donald Trump pulled off the most stunning upset in our young political history.

But the language of that sentence is where the connection to sports should end.