BY Art Thiel 06:00AM 11/03/2020

Thiel: For Carroll, Election Day is another thing

As the world awaits the outcome of the presidential election Tuesday, Pete Carroll is prepping to answer questions from players Wednesday. Even then, it’s not over ’til it’s over.

Pete Carroll keeps up with the world on four TV monitors in his office. / Art Thiel, Sportspress Northwwst

Working in the sports world on potentially the wildest Election Day in American history is a bit like running a second-floor church above a bar having a massive brawl. Not supposed to take a side, but everyone has a stake in keeping the building from burning down.

The NFL is in full operation Tuesday, but it is, conveniently, the players’ off-day, so some of them may watch the drama on TV. Or they may try to ignore it. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll figures to be in his office, where he said Monday he often has four TV monitors on at once.

And I thought I was an information junkie.

“All different loads of information coming in, which I kind of like it like that,” he said via Zoom, wearing a “Coach the Vote” T-shirt. “So it’ll be the same as always. I always have stuff going on the background. I like to see the different variety of opinions to come out of the different networks. That’s the constant for me.”

What he and the rest of us may learn Tuesday is that the presidential election won’t be decided before we go to bed. Which is hardly unusual, according to presidential historian Michael Beschloss:

If there is not a decisive outcome by Wednesday morning, when practice begins for the Seahawks game at Buffalo Sunday, Carroll said he’ll have a discussion with players during team meetings.

“It’s not a big deal for us to bring up the topic because we’ve been on it the whole time,” said Carroll, who has been active locally and nationally in the get-out-the-vote campaign. “We’ve been on the on the topic of voting, just kind of keeping it alive. I mentioned all the time to start meetings, how many days you have left to do it; what have you done lately; will you call and how far along are you in your process.”

Carroll said events will dictate the course of any discussion Wednesday.

“I’ll just go with the flow of whatever’s happening,” he said. “We’re all waiting to to figure out what’s gonna happen by Wednesday morning, then we’ll see.

“Certainly it will be topical, and if there’s something to talk about, we’ll deal with it at this time. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen, and it sounds like that nothing will happen to be definitive. But who knows? We’ll see, so we’re gonna stay on it. Any questions, we’ll talk talk about it, then we’ll move forward.”

Moving forward is, of course, the trick. President Trump already has said if he is trailing he likely will contest the results, despite offering no immediate evidence of voter fraud.

The prospect of a court fight and the anxiety of uncertainty, coupled with the growing fear of civil unrest, would be a distraction to millions of Americans, including players on the only two in-season sports leagues, NFL and MLS — as if they didn’t have enough to deal with regarding compliance with covid-19 restrictions.

Asked whether he was concerned about distractions if things drag on much past Tuesday, Carroll said, “At this point, no.”

The low-key answer is about all that could be said Monday. The reveal about a turning point in U.S. and global history begins Tuesday night.

The election is important on sports fronts besides personal politics and the conduct of a coronavirus policy that has damaged many lives and the livings of the sports leagues.

A number of issues that impact the sports industry are explained here in a Sportico story that assesses the policy differences between the Trump administration and a potential Biden administration.

The subjects include college-athlete rights, Title IX, taxes (especially for sports-team owners), health care, the reckless trade war with China, climate-change environmental rules on stadium and arena construction, marijuana and other drugs, antitrust-law changes, immigration laws that threaten sports and esports teams, and online gambling.

As much effort as the sports teams have put into encouraging voting, the long-anticipated arrival of Election Day as a conclusion to tension and despair may be closer to halftime.



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  • Tim

    Go Biden…go Hawks!

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    • art thiel

      So you’re not taking Trump/Bills and the points?

      • Husky73

        How would have America and the NFL been different if Trump had succeeded in buying the Bills?

        • art thiel

          Seahawks would be 100-point favorites Sunday.

  • jafabian

    Assuming Joe Biden wins the election he should invite all athletes who bypassed visiting the Trump White House an opportunity to come back. Maybe the Clemson football team could go and get something other than fast food served to them.

    If POTUS pulls a DangeRuss comeback and wins he’d be the first impeached president to be re-elected. It would be a statement that to American voters that falsehoods, division and misdirects mean little. That would be sad to see happen.

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    • Willie Green

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  • Husky73

    Tremendous opening paragraph, Art. Bravo.

    • art thiel

      Thanks. It was fun.

  • Kirkland

    What I will say about having a deliberately divisive chief executive is that he’s inspired virtually everyone to vote, either for or against him. Even my six-year-old niece has an opinion on him (“He says a lot of bad words”).

    Meanwhile, MLS and the Sounders have been very active in get-out-the-vote efforts, as well as social justice initiatives. Sounder alumni scheduled socially distanced meetups at ballot boxes to encourage voting, while the league has been working closely with the new Black Players Coalition, and games continue to begin with the pregame kneel for racial justice.

    • art thiel

      Sounders and MLS are forward thinkers, befitting a sport that draws from so many countries and races.

  • 1coolguy

    Art – your lack of journalistic equity is truly sad.
    As the article below describes, BIDEN began assembling HIS election army of attorneys in SEPTEMBER, so when you write, take 5 seconds, as I did and use Google, ok? It would help your cred.
    Also, every US professional athlete that did NOT vote FOR Trump just foolishly voted for a tax increase. They can say all what they want about Trump, but they will get a significant tax INCREASE under Biden.
    So, you and all the bright ones here voted for:
    Harris for president, certainly within 2 years of Joe’s dementia taking over, Warren, Sanders, AOC, Booker and Beto in his cabinet.
    After the mess these fools will create, the R’s will crush the D’s in the 2022 elections.

    • art thiel

      So many things to say here, but I’ll just suggest that for some people, you excluded, there are more important things in a presidential election than a few bucks one way or another on a tax return. Like intelligence, competence and decency.