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Put yourself in the grandstand at Wheeling Island stadium, the evening of a state high school football championship in AAA between Cabell Midland and Morgantown. Midland has been trailing the Mohigans for three quarters. It’s now fourth and one at midfield for Midland, with Morgantown up 20-7. In the crowd the strong expectation of a Morgantown win has already taken hold.

Hold the phone: A Midland pitch to the tailback gains two yards, and the Knights have fresh life on their opponent’s side of the field. Eight minutes remain in the final quarter. On the next play the Midland QB rifles a pass to a tight end at the Morgantown 15-yard line. The Morgantown fans are yelling to the refs to call offensive interference, but play continues.

Three plays later a Midland back breaks the plane on a six-yard run, and the score tightens to 20-14. On the ensuing kickoff the Mohigans’ return man threads his way between tacklers and looks like he might take it to the house. But a Midland defender punches the ball out of his grasp and the Knights recover the fumble.

The teams trade possessions, but in the end it is Midland that notches the final TD and, while fans on both sides hold their breath, converts the kick. The Cabell County team has overcome a sizable deficit and is up by a point as the game clock expires.

Or does it expire? The Morgantown coaches protest that the game must continue. The refs say, “No, game over.” But Morgantown refuses to concede defeat. The Monongalia rowdies say Cabell has not actually won. They claim “Fraud!” and “Bad calls!” We have been cheated out of a championship that is rightfully ours, they say, and their fans swarm the field to prevent the trophy being presented to the Cabell Midland coaches and team.

“This will go to mediation,” Morgantown’s principal says. “It’s really and truly our team that won that game. We will not stand by and let Cabell Midland declare victory.”

And all the Morgantown backers, including tens of thousands who had watched the game on TV, say the same. The Cabell Midland folks, meanwhile, manage to take possession of the trophy anyway and put it on the bus for the trip home.

By now you have gotten the picture. This unbelievable scenario is approximately what the entire country has been dealing with since the electoral win of the presidency by Joseph R. Biden, and the defeat of incumbent President Donald J. Trump.

Had the vote counts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada gone the other way, and had Trump prevailed, it is unimaginable that Biden and Kamala Harris would have spoken and behaved the way Trump has after the tally in those states went against him.

Pennsylvania alone had enough electoral votes to put Biden over the top, and there the margin favoring Biden has blown past 45,000 votes. No recount nor investigation that turned up fraudulent votes in the hundreds — highly unlikely — could reverse Biden’s win there.

In my book, Trump and his enablers in the Republican party and the hard-core militant Trump voters have no right to assert Trump should embark upon a second term as president. His loss is plainly evident. We are not responsible for his inner psyche lock on the unreality that tells him, “I never lose. I always win. If they say I lost, then something’s wrong. Just not fair. And I won’t stand for it.”

John Patrick Grace grew up on the northwest side of Chicago as the son of a high school football coach. He is a Huntington-based book editor and also teaches the Life Writing Class.

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