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?

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