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Playoff football and a few inches of new snow – sure feels like winter.

Speaking of football, last weekend I was watching the final Raiders game of the year (after a long, sad season) and was interested to hear the announcer quote Lane Kiffin, first year coach of the Raiders and youngest in NFL history, say that upon moving from college to professional football he was taken aback at the pervasive unprofesssionalism displayed by NFL players.

This is exactly my problem with pro sports and I think many fans share my disillusionment. It feels like the same thing that’s turned people off to politics: they’ve both lost much of their passion and substance.

Where is the love for the game, ala Rudy? It used to be that players were happy to simply be able to pay their bills doing what they love.

Where is the passion for positive political change, ala John and Bobby? It used to be that candidates actually wanted to be divisive rather than simply pander to the largest demographic group.

These days, it seems I only find stories to make me wince, whether it’s A-Rod’s contract negotiations or Hillary’s amazing futures trading.

Bottom line is there is a void of integrity and passion that needs filling.

Guys like Rod Brind’Amour are why I stopped watching basketball and became a hockey fan. At nearly 40-years-old, Rod is in better shape than probably any other player in the league; his work ethic is blue-collar through and through and when asked how he maintains such discipline and commitment to his sport he responds, “that’s what they pay me for.”

Maybe Lane Kiffin should switch to coaching hockey. And maybe Rod Brind’Amour will run for president.

Well I can dream, can’t I?