Friday, May 19, 2006

New perspective on Barry Bonds issue

Here's an interesting perspective from a sportwriter boycotting Barry Bonds games, a sportswriter who happens to be a black woman. - Writers - Elizabeth Newman: Decision to boycott Barry Bonds is not about race - Thursday May 18, 2006 5:15PM

Friday, May 12, 2006

NFL Commissioner Condi?? Secretary of State Tagliabue?!

Current NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has announced that he intends to leave office in July unless the NFL owners haven't found a replacement for him by then, in which case he might stay a bit longer. An article in today's NY Daily News lists ten possible replacements for Tagliabue, among them US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice, ex-US President Bill Clinton, and ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani. Of the three, I'd have to say that Giuliani is probably the one most owners would take seriously. On the other hand, during his tenure as mayor he tended to come across as hall-monitor-in-chief rather than the city's CEO, and the billionaires and multimillionaires that run the NFL might not appreciate someone with that demeanor. (Though I recall some of the members of my high school's Red Brigade, as we called them, and they were a tough bunch. Charlotte Rodriguez could whip the NFL into shape pronto.)

Condi Rice actually said, back when she was national security advisor, that she would be interested in the job once Tagliabue left office, but a story in today's Daily News makes it clear that though she's a huge football fan -- "she thinks football is the greatest sport on earth," according to a spokesperson -- she won't be leaving the White House for the NFL, though at least one owner is clearly in her corner should she change her mind. Bill Clinton is also being touted by another Daily News writer as a good candidate to replace Tagliabue, though dealing with NFL owners' egos could make him nostalgic for Pennsylvania Avenue, according to this article.

[Interestingly, Condi made this statement about wanting to be NFL commissioner during Bush's first term, suggesting that either she didn't expect Bush to be (re-)elected or she didn't plan to stick around for a second term.]

And if Hillary Clinton getting elected to Capitol Hill while her husband was still President made a big splash in the news, imagine Bill as NFL commish while his wife's running for or if she's elected President!

Better the NFL than major league baseball, I say. Hillary's supposedly a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, she would be hard-pressed to refrain from meddling if Bill were to become MLB commissioner, with all the mess that's going on in baseball these days. There's the Barry Bonds situation (retire, please, NOW); the "ownerless" Washington Nationals, who will never be allowed to become competitive as long as all of baseball's owners officially co-own the team; and who knows what else could pop up.

UPDATE: It has come to light that not only is it Condi Rice's dream job to be NFL commissioner, but it's also Paul Tagliabue's dream job to be Secretary of State! He's already on a couple of foreign policy committees, due to his past high-level employment by the federal government, and still has high security clearance. Maybe the Feds and the NFL could work out a trade?

Send in the clowns!

The other day, a coworker was telling a story about a family who had appeared on Family Feud or some such show, and it happens they were a family of professional... clowns. Once another coworker I'll call J heajrd the reference to clowns, she just started cracking up laughing for no apparent reason. She didn't even know herself just what she found so funny about a family of clowns, except she did offer this: "Say you're bringing your boyfriend or girlfriend to meet your family for the first time and he or she asks, 'So what do you do?' and the answer comes back, 'We're clowns...'" after which she broke up again. The girl telling the story made sure to emphsize CLOWN everytime she got to that word, just for the reaction, and every time she did J would just dissolve into laughter. I happened to mention the scene in the Charlie Sheen movie "The Chase" where Charlie's character is trying to convince his "hostage" that he's really innocent of the crime he'd been convicted of (just before he accidentally kidnapped her), and the story involves a children's birthday party where he's dressed as a clown. J managed to get "I remember that!" out before cracking up again.

So, the next day, I thought I'd try to put her at ease, especially since her next-cubicle neighbor was still at it. "Don't worry, J, I won't try to get laughs out of you like I did yesterday afternoon," I said in my most soothing voice. "You don't have to worry, 'cause Homey don't play dat."