The Congressional Football Game returned on Wednesday after a year off due to COVID-19, and it really returned to normal, with the Capitol Police comfortably beating lawmakers.
Established in 2004 to benefit the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, the game featured Mean Machine, a bipartisan team of legislators, facing the Guards, made up of Capitol police officers.
For the eleventh time in 12 games since then, the Guards prevailed over Mean Machine, this time by a final score of 26-6.
“The score sucks, but my heart is filled that we support the police today,” said Rep. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaU.S. Veterans have a national security force reserve, we should seize the Republican Party victory in exchange for the Congressional Baseball Game 20 years later: Washington lawmakers remember 9/11 MORE (D-Calif.), Mean Machine co-captain with Rep. Rodney davisRodney Lee Davis Illinois Democrats propose new ‘maximized’ map of Congress Republican Rep pushes Capitol Police Board on pending safety recommendations House passes John Lewis voting rights measure MORE (Creek.)
“Winning would have been better, but hey, those are great guys,” Davis added.
– US Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) November 3, 2021
Members of Congress were eager to get back on the field this year after a year off the grid at Audi Field. The last time the two sides met, in 2019, lawmakers scored their first victory, with the help of new Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-Ohio), a former Ohio State University wide receiver.
Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Emergent BioSolutions – Facebook Defends Trump’s Ban; Republican Leaders Back Stefanik To Replace Cheney, Former Trump Aide Pierson, Planning Race For Congress READ: Republicans Who Voted To Challenge Election Results MORE (R-Ala.) He was among those who dusted their studs once again this year. The congressman played football in high school, but admitted feeling rusty. He recalled throwing the game-winning touchdown in 2017, for the other team.
“Four years ago I was the starting quarterback,” Sessions said. “I threw the winning touchdown and we lost six to nothing, pick six!”
Each year, the game features former NFL players as guest coaches or team members. This year, former Arizona Cardinals player Ken Harvey coached Mean Machine and former New York Jets defensive back John Booty coached the Guards.
Bacon recalled when Heisman trophy-winning running back Herschel Walker, now running for Senate in Georgia, played in 2017. “That guy had thighs the size of my chest,” he said. “Fortunately it is the touch of two hands.”
Off the field, Panetta and Davis work closely on the House Agriculture Committee, so the decision to co-captaining the team was easy, Panetta said.
“In this line of work it is easy to be partisan. You don’t have to do things like play soccer and baseball or work together. But that’s what a guy like Rodney Davis does, ”Panetta said.
“I have been in his district, he has been in my district. I know his crops, he knows my crops. We have different districts, we have different policies, but we work together, ”he added.
In the first quarter, Panetta plummeted for a near-unsuccessful detour effort. Later in the game, he performed the same move, this time successfully.
“I’m getting to the age where you better be careful when I do that, but I’m glad I got an incomplete of those two dives,” he said.
The game raised more than $ 600,000 for the Capitol Police Memorial Fund through corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and private donations, according to Panetta and Sessions.
“We showed last year that we can win,” Panetta said. “But we benefit the Capitol Police Memorial Fund, and that is important this year more than ever with January 6.”