Nick Hixson ’12 started his NFL career on the New Orleans Saints as practice squad cornerback in late August of this year.
Between practice, weight lifting, and watching films, Hixson and the other players on the team found time to discuss politics.
Hixson, leader of “Team Romney” for the Saints, assumed many players would have similar political views as him.
“At first, I thought there would be quite a few conservatives given the tax bracket these guys are in,” Hixson said.
He quickly found that there were very few political conservatives in the locker room. That fact, however, did not stop the men from discussing politics.
After presidential debates, the men would discuss which candidate had the better point and which choice was right for the nation.
“Even though there was bickering and bantering and arguing, it was all polite arguing,” Hixson said. “Most of these guys say they’re open minded which made me more eager to talk to them.”
Hixson said that some men brought notes to practice specifically for Hixson to explain to them.
Above all, Hixson said the discussions made the men closer as a team. It forced them to delve into personal opinions and to express their thoughts on polarizing issues. Hixson stressed how much closer the discussions brought the team.
“It was good fun, and it was educational,” Hixson said.
Many players would approach Hixson with questions about government and politics. He credits his Hillsdale College education for his ability to coherently explain complex ideas.
“A lot of these guys have never taken a politics or economics class. Hillsdale’s education, from top to bottom, makes you more versed in politics and the role of government,” Hixson said. “I think it gives me a leg up on just about everyone in the locker room.”
Though Hixson was a conservative when he came to Hillsdale, he says his education made him want to become more educated and speak out more about political issues.
Hixson was let go from the Saints practice squad on Election Day. He is staying positive after talking to the coaches about his future. Hixson is pretty certain of his prospects with the team.
Though Hixson is disappointed with the results of the election, he is glad he made the effort to discuss America’s future with his teammates.
“I don’t know if I changed anyone’s views, I don’t know if I changed anyone’s vote, but I definitely made them think about it.”