4 months after emotional baseball counterpart, Congressional Football Game takes field
In June, the Congressional Baseball Game transformed from a little-known, inside-the-Beltway tradition to a national event emblematic of the fractured, fragile state of our democracy. When a gunman opened fire on the Republican practice the day before the game, injuring four, including Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) it thrust a national spotlight on an event intended to bridge the ever-growing fissures in a politically divided Washington.
“We always enjoy giving back to the Capitol Police that protect us all the time,” Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA), one of the Congressional captains, told WTOP at a recent practice. “But what they’ve done this year in protecting and saving many lives makes this game extra special, and we wanted to do even more to help raise money for their foundation.”
It has already translated to new faces at early morning practice.
“Even members that have been here for many years but never played before have come out this year to show our unity,” said Denham.
Regardless of where they stand, both sides seem aware of how that public division in Washington has spread into seemingly every part of all of our day-to-day lives.
“I think it’s more important now that we come together,” said Denham. “Not just coming out for a game, but practicing every single morning together. When you’re getting up at 6 a.m. to come to a 7 o’clock practice, you’re committed to working together, and having some good conversations on the way back.”
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