NFL Crosses The Pond, Again

ver a year ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer placed a successful takeover bid for Manchester United. Many in England, particularly those in Old Trafford, reactead most vehemently against an Americans purchase of the storied English club.a

Today comes news that Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner has agreed to takeover another English club in Aston Villa.

The reaction to this news is likely to be quite different. While Man Us legacy is similar to that of the NFLs Pittsburgh Steelers (only with much more rabid fans – Ill take flying bottles over terrible towels any day), Aston Villa is much akin to, well, the Cleveland Browns. The club has seen some success in the past, but most of the talk lately has been of possible relegation to Englands second league and player revolts over ownerships lack of spending. Indeed the talk in England is already concentrating on the possibility of Lerner opening up the checkbook.

Meanwhile here in the States, the reaction to this latest transatlantic purchase will probably be the same: hopes that this trend is a master plan to buy up the English Premier League and force them to start calling it soccer, plus mostly ho-humness.

Three weeks until the primary, and theres a lot happening in the Florida gubernatorial races. If I had so much as a tinkers damn of interest Id say something about it.

The fact is that newspaper endorsements dont matter, polls dont matter (unless one of them ever agrees with the next one), TV ads dont matter – the only people who think any of this matters already have their minds made up. Meanwhile the rest of the partisan state will wake up on September 5 and wonder why there are so many old people wandering around their local civic center at 7 AM; a few of them will investigate – a few of those will go in and vote for whoevers name they recognize.

Theres something of a segue coming up here, but permit me a moment to recover from that angsty fit I just had. Grab a drink – Ill do the same.

Many have said name recognition is precisely whats lacking for the two major Democratic candidates, but I see it more as confusion. Much has already been made of the candidates namesakes in the NFL and on the funny pages. As it happens both those namesakes have been in the news as much as the candidates: Rod Smith missed the Denver Broncos opening preseason game, while Jim Davis is being honored in his home county of Grant in Indiana with five Garfield statues.

Several questions come to mind:

  • Can State Senator Smith run a slant pattern?
  • Is Congressman Davis a fan of lasagna?

Well let those candidates campaigns consider those questions while I consider a third: how else are Rod Smiths and Jim Davises making news?

JIM DAVIS HAS:

  • Pondered the heritage of South Salt Lake, Utah, of which he was mayor from 1978-1992 (dig that loom).
  • Been announced as director of global sales for the home theatre unit of Planar Systems.
  • Raced in a 35-car modified feature at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
  • As area manager of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Alabama, drawn up a plan to repair a damaged lock on the Tennessee River.

ROD SMITH HAS:

  • Told us about the impact of high gas prices on Las Vegas travel industry.
  • Been touted as an anchor of the Memphis Tigers linebacker corps.
  • In the Kalamazoo Gazette, told us about Allegan Countys homelessness survey and a noise ordinance that could include barking dogs.

This is a close one. Smith deserves credit for playing both wide receiver and linebacker, but theres just too much journalism in there. Davis loses a few points for that ridiculous loom picture, but how can you beat racing? Davis by a car length.
Though name recognition is not an issue in the GOP race, some equal time:

  • Tom Gallagher is considering a no-vote on a Colorado Springs storm-water fee – thats for you, Kate.
  • Charlie Crist, for better or for worse, is just Charlie Crist.