The Star-News


Four more years of mediocrity?

Fri, Sep 03 2010 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

The re-hiring of Bob Bradley as the coach of the United States Men's National Soccer team is akin to the resounding June re-election of Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox - a puzzling but not completely surprising capitulation to mediocrity.

It's not that either individual is a particularly bad person or even a wretched leader. But after looking at the last four years and assessing their track records, it's hard not to wonder: Is that the best we have?

For Bradley, the ultimate performance evaluation came in the form of the 2010 World Cup. And we all know how that went.

Bradley selected, trained and coached a mediocre team and took them to a mediocre, albeit dramatic, finish. (Although, a strong argument could be made that Bradley and his team's performance was disappointingly sub-par, given that they were expected to advance at least to the group of 16 and instead drunkenly stumbled their way home after round two).

Meanwhile, four years ago Cox came into office with a depleted reserve fund and a housing market that was just about to abruptly shut down.

But what she had going for her at the time was a constituency eager for change, given that her predecessor had grown out of touch with his supporters and instead let his ego and self-importance guide him down a path of political self-destruction.

And she also had Gaylord Entertainment, the ballyhooed resort giant that was to transform Chula Vista's bayfront into a magnificent tourist attraction and revitalize the local economy.

And then the housing market collapsed and the city's revenue stream started drying up;

And her city manager was ousted from office for cruising inappropriate Web sites at work;

And Gaylord pulled out and plans for a revitalized bayfront stalled;

And her chief of staff was busted for moonlighting while on city time;

And a group of citizens tried to mount a recall campaign against her because of her stance on a peaker power plant in their neighborhood;

And then severe budget cuts came and public services were slashed. The list of her misfortune could seemly go on for days.

But Cox, like Bradley, did what she could with what she had. And that is, she just barely got by.

And like Bradley, Cox will have another four years to make something out of less than ideal circumstances.

But if in the next four years we're looking for the U.S. men to bring home the World Cup trophy or for Chula Vista to become the shining star of South County well ... recent history tells us mediocrity ain't bad. But neither is it great.


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