A Football Metaphor

A reader writes:

While last night was disheartening, its a bit like losing a football game at the end of the season when you have mathematically clinched a playoff spot. Sure a win would have been nice, you always play to win. But everyone knows your going to the playoffs and your main goal is to try and stay healthy and thats what Obama will do.  Its the other team that tries trick plays and dirty tactics because their chances are gone.