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2011-04-14 / General Stories

Congress Should Take A Page From the Lady Aggies’ Playbook

by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Amidst bitter negotiations in Congress and with the White House on a long-term budget for the federal government, I can’t help but think that Washington could use a lesson in teamwork these days. I was reminded of the remarkable power of a wellfunctioning team working in synchronization toward a lofty goal on April 5 as I watched the heart-stopping national college championship game between Texas A&M’s Lady Aggies and Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish. I was inspired to watch the Lady Aggies fight to surmount an obstacle that seemed impossible.

Ultimate victory for A&M’s women’s basketball team was never a sure shot. But they played with determination and teamwork throughout the season and ended with an impressive 33-5 record. All along they focused on the ultimate goal - the 2011 Women’s NCAA Basketball National Championship game. They survived the opening rounds, made it through the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight, dominated the Final Four, and at last met their final competitors on the gleaming court of Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

And on the 30th anniversary of the Women’s NCAA Championship, our Texas athletes beat their formidable competitors in a game that was exciting to the very end. It was a historic event for A&M’s women’s basketball team as well, because this was their first-ever attempt at winning a National Championship.

All of the skilled athletes on A&M’s team played their hearts out; their staunch defense and Danielle Adams’ All-American performance were instrumental in the victory. But we know that the key to teamwork and victory is leadership. Running up and down the sideline, throughout the game was Coach Gary Blair. Without his instruction and motivation, A&M’s win might not have been possible. He made history himself by becoming the oldest coach to ever win a Women’s National Championship. The Lady Aggies worked as a team, and I hope they will celebrate as a team, always treasuring this joint accomplishment.

The remarkable achievement of the Texas A& M women’s basketball team follows in the footsteps of many other great Texas teams whose commitment to hard work, preparation, and teamwork has led them to major victories.

In 2005, the University of Texas Longhorns won the National Championship in football against the long-standing football dynasty of the University of Southern California Trojans. Last year the undefeated Texas Christian University Horned Frogs beat the University of Wisconsin, 21 to 19, in TCU’s first Rose Bowl appearance. And one of our state’s most historic victories came in 1966, when Texas Western (now UTEP) was the first school ever to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship with a racially integrated team.

The Texas Longhorns are the winningest team in college baseball history and hold the record for most appearances in the College World Series (33). For years, Rice University has also been nationally known as a baseball powerhouse, and in 2003 the Rice Owls won the College World Series, the first national championship win in the school’s history.

There is much we can learn and celebrate about the achievements of the many great Texas athletes who, by working as a team, achieved far more than they could have as single individuals. Congress could certainly take a page from the Lady Aggies’ playbook when it comes to teamwork and coming together to achieve a common goal. A prosperous future for our country is something we all want, but in order to get there, we must work together to put our country back on a fiscally responsible track.

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