Capitol Police keep streak alive in narrow win over lawmakers at congressional football game

U.S. Capitol Police kept their winning streak alive in a narrow win over a team of lawmakers at the 14th annual congressional football game Wednesday.

The friendly rivalry game ended in a 16-14 win for The Guards, a team of Capitol Police officers, over the Mean Machine team, made up of a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The win kept the Guards’ streak alive for a third consecutive year.

The lawmakers secured their one and only win in 2019, but despite the rare flash of success, they had hope that disciplined route-running would bolster their prospects of victory. 

“We’re gonna try to get open, be disciplined in our routes, sell those routes, do a good job on those,” Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) said before the game. 

The Mean Machine center also said the team would try to steadily advance the ball. 

“A lot of this is incremental progress,” Crawford said. “It’s kind of like being in Congress, you make a little bit of progress and then keep moving down the field.” 

Both teams struggled to make progress on offense in the first half. 

In the first quarter, The Guards advanced the ball through a series of completions, led by former Elon University quarterback Reggie Tyson, but could not convert near the end zone. 

The second quarter saw a barrage of interceptions and both teams went into halftime scoreless. 

At halftime, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) joked about the five interceptions taking place in the first half. 

“Quarterbacks looking for glory, they are getting too greedy, we just need first downs,” Goldman said. 

The Guards broke the stalemate in the second half, scoring on a Brandon Django Watson pick six and converting the two-point attempt to give them an 8-0 lead. 

The Mean Machine promptly tied the game at 8 with a touchdown and a two-point conversion pass.

The Mean Machine gained a lead after mounting a solid defensive stand to stop The Guards and take possession. With two minutes left on the clock, Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah.) threw a dart in the end zone to give the Mean Machine a 14-8 lead. 

With less than two minutes left, it looked like the Mean Machine was going to end their losing streak.

The Guards steadily advanced the ball and, with 28 seconds on the clock, scored a touchdown to tie the game at 14. They then came up clutch with a two-point conversion to give them the victory and extend their winning streak. 

Former NFL player Ken Harvey, who played for Mean Machine’s team, praised some of the plays that were made on the field, as well as the money raised for charity. 

“There’s some great plays by some of the members by some of the former players,” Harvey said. “That in itself was just exciting; it was an exciting game; it was a close game. It was a heartfelt game, and I think both sides came out and at the end of the day, is raising tons of money for charity.” 

The game garnered more than $500,000 for multiple charitable organizations through ticket sales, fundraising and corporate sponsorships, including the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. The fund, created in 1998, gives financial support to families of officers who are killed or severely injured on assignments.

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