Home Columns Sunshine on the Sideline: Voting, Our Sacred Civic Duty

Sunshine on the Sideline: Voting, Our Sacred Civic Duty

by Tom Cuda

Voting is one of the most important activities in which we, as a community and collective people, can participate. It is one of the basic building blocks of a functional democracy; and yet, it’s something that nearly half the country doesn’t do. 

I know there are a multitude of reasons why people may feel they do not need to vote or why they feel cynical toward the process. Many feel it doesn’t matter or their vote doesn’t change things. I’m here to tell you, this simply isn’t true, especially when it comes to local government. 

We pay taxes to these people. We give them our hard-earned money in return for services and actions that affect positive changes in our communities. It’s what gives us a functional society, schools, roads, parks, libraries and other public goods. 

So, knowing this, why do so many of us have such a lackadaisical approach and such a disinterest in who manages our money? Surely you wouldn’t let some random person elected by fewer than half your peers manage your personal finances for you. Why let it happen with the government?

I know that many people lack confidence in the government or hold to the belief that no matter what they do nothing will change. According to a Pew Research Center study, only 20% of American adults say they trust the federal government to do the right thing. That is an abysmally low number, and to be fair, it is earned. Trust has to be established through competency. 

The ironic thing about it, though, is that if we don’t trust the government, we have the power to change it. We regularly hold elections to change public officials at all levels of government. In 2016, 100 million eligible voters didn’t vote at all. But, if our trust of the government is low, then maybe it’s time to rally those 100 million and vote for those who can change that notion. 

Let’s make 2020 the year we realize the full power we have in our votes. If you aren’t sure if you’re registered or you want to make a voting plan, please head to I Will Vote and set yourself up for success this election. If you aren’t sure whom to vote for, head here, and take a quiz that will help find with which candidate you most closely align. 

This election may well be one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. There are many problems in America, but if we keep our public squares open and engage one another we can work toward fixing them. And that only happens if everyone takes their civic responsibility seriously and becomes regular, engaged voters in the long term. Nov. 3 is Election Day in America, and we’re counting on you. Our democracy truly depends on it. 

On the lighter side of voting, here are three rookie players to whom I’m giving my vote of confidence.

J.K. Dobbins (RB, Baltimore Ravens)

J.K. Dobbins has led Baltimore’s backfield with a 35.3 percent snap share through Week 5.

If you’ve heard or read anything from me this year, you’ll know how highly I think of J.K. Dobbins. He was my favorite running back coming into the NFL this year, and when the Ravens drafted him, I swear my body left this plane of existence. I was overjoyed, to say the least. 

He’s been electric with the ball in his hands. But, his usage has been nothing short of frustrating so far. He’s carried the ball 16 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns, leaving him with 7.25 yards per carry. 

The Ohio State product has also been nearly perfect in the passing game, catching nine of 10 passes for 73 yards, so far this season. But, he just hasn’t gotten the full workload yet playing under 50% of snaps and getting only a few attempts each game. 

That said, the Ravens didn’t pass up on filling needs they had at linebacker and wide receiver to not utilize the skill set and talent of Dobbins. He’s my top trade target in every dynasty league; I want to buy now when people are maybe not so confident in his future. 

CeeDee Lamb (WR, Dallas Cowboys)

CeeDee Lamb was my top wide receiver coming into the draft. His tape impressed me to no end, and it’s clear that the potential for greatness in the NFL is there. But, my outlook cooled when he got drafted by the Cowboys. It landed him in a situation where Amari Cooper was the top dog, and there were plenty of other mouths to feed. 

But, I’m happy to say I may have judged too quickly and his talent seems to be affording him the work he deserves. So far this year, Lamb has caught 29 of 40 passes for 433 yards and two touchdowns, making him the WR11 in Points Per Reception (PPR) leagues.

It’s impressive for a rookie, and with Dak Prescott injured, I’m targeting him anywhere I can. Lamb has a bright future ahead of him, for years to come. 

Brandon Aiyuk (WR, San Francisco 49ers)

Maybe I have a soft spot for my alma mater, Arizona State University, or maybe I have a soft spot for receivers with speed and great footwork. Either way, Brandon Aiyuk finds himself with my full vote of confidence. Every great dynasty team needs a full roster, and finding a great WR2 can win you championships. I don’t think we’ll be marking him among the greatest or seeing him finish as a top-12 WR, but I could see him finishing in the top 24 every season and being a good piece for your team. 

Aiyuk may struggle in the contested catch area, catching just three of 14 through college, but he more than makes up for it with how frequently he bears his coverage and makes grabs with his larger-than-average catch radius. 

He has great coaching in San Francisco, and his route tree and running are becoming better and more refined as he adjusts to the NFL. His playing time has only increased, reaching 97% in Week 5, and as he proves himself worthy of that consistent role in the 49ers’ offense, he will begin to provide constant fantasy production.

Thanks for reading. Find me on Twitter @ThomasCuda and check out my other columns here on In-Between Media.

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