Monday, March 20, 2006

A Sad Day

No, no, nothing serious. But it's still a sad day.
Paul Tagliabue is retiring as NFL commissioner in July after more than 16 years on the job. The 65-year-old commissioner has led the league since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and agreed last March to stay to complete the television and labor deals.
The NFL is by far the best sport in the country, if not the world. This is primarily because of how well it is run - keeping both owners and players happy while providing the best possible product to fans, along with a true belief that any team can have a shot at a championship within a couple of years - if not every year. It will be sad to see Tagliabue go... and though I *wish*, my mother's questioning e-mail will *not* be happening:
Which one of my sons is applying for this job?

SPORTS / PRO FOOTBALL | March 20, 2006
Tagliabue to Retire as N.F.L. Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue, who has presided over the league during a period of remarkable prosperity, will retire in July after more than 16 years on the job.
Apparently, since it's happening this year, it won't be Condoleeza Rice's, either. A shame, because she really wanted the job, and she'd probably be really good at it...


  1. Times like this I'm quite glad that I am so ignorant as to not give a flying fig.

  2. about the NFL that is, not about Dr. Rice's football aspirations. I too am sure she would be a much better footbal comissioner than US representative to the world

  3. TTC - LOL. I was wondering who'd say that first... I actually thought about including that in the post, that it would make so many people happy...

  4. The NFL is indeed the best run sports organization -- and a major reason is their welfare state policy of revenue sharing. (Sorry, but you must have known that an unapologetic liberal like me would have to point that out.)

    Seriously, Tagliabue's shoes will be difficult to fill. How about Jack Kemp? He was the president of the AFL Players Association.

  5. CH - Yes, and it's one of the few instances it could work, because it's internal socialism supported by external capitalism! :)

    I'm not sure if it's a good idea to have a PA guy on the other side of the bargaining table; it could be great, but could backfire if he oversympathizes.

  6. Bowie Kuhn- give him a chance to come back and run a new sport.

  7. Wouldn't you need a seance to get Bowie Kuhn to do anything these days?

    Do you know that Paul has a brother John who is a reporter for the NY Times?

    Baltimore didn't much like him. He used Baltimore at expansion time to leverage deals with Jacksonville and Charlotte though Baltimore had a much better resume.

  8. 'Baltimore had a much better resume. '

    This is a sort point. I grew up in Maryland and rooted for the Baltimore Colts. People mostly think "Orioles" when they think Baltimore sports, but that isn't really the case. For 30 years starting in 1954, the Colts were the team that the city -- in fact, most of the state other than the Washington suburbs (Redskins territory) practically worshiped the team. I can not describe the impact that an integrated football team with black stars (Lenny Moore, Jim Parker) playing alongside white starts (John Unitas, Ray Berry, Gino Marchetti) had in what had been a very segregated city. Many of the prominent players stayed in the city during the off season and when they retired. (I still remember my parents driving past Jim Parker's package liquor store many times.) They sold out every game for nine consecutive years when that was a rarity in the NFL. They were a good team that managed to win three championships.

    Then, one night, the team disappeared. Just like that.

    I haven't really followed NFL football since.

  9. And what Cleveland went through? I was at the last 2 Browns' games before the move. You've never seen such dedicated fans...