Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Malcolm Glazer may be a dick, but how many billionaires aren't?
Posted by Ross

It's been pretty big news here, so I can only imagine what it's like in England... no, not the re-election of Hugh Grant... I mean Tony Blair. I'm talking about Malcolm Glazer becoming majority owner of Manchester United.

These guys are the Yankees of English soccer. Unless you ask them, in which case they will claim to be bigger than the Yankees.

Remember, the English are a little more socialized than we Americans, so they are particularly insanely, rabidly, throat-slashingly furious that their precious team is being bought by some foreign plutocrat.

Okay, first off, I just have to say, honestly, people, rich fucking plutocrats are rich fucking plutocrats no matter what nationality. Like the Bushes and the Saudi royalty, it is the kind of club that crosses borders. I find very little kinship with George Steinbrenner, beyond ridiculous generalities like: we're both white, and men, and like baseball.

I guess the British are just not as used to beloved Major League franchises being run by indifferent owners (not that Glazer WILL be indifferent, mind you), such as octogenarian billionaire and Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad, who a few years ago would have happily folded the proud franchise for a fun cash prize.

Even Andy, my usually level-headed British writing compatriot, is absolutely aghast at Glazer's blasphemous daring.

There were a couple of points I attempted to get across as, what I felt to be, sound counter-arguments.

The first was the example of the Seattle Mariners, who, back in the early 90s were being sold to Nintendo. Which would mean Japanese owners... which would mean... what exactly?

Well, no one really knew, but a lot of them thought it would be bad. Like decades of misery in the division's basement - while playing in the ugly, cavernous (though inspiringly populist) Kingdome, which year-in-year-out would be voted worst food in baseball - wasn't bad enough.

This for the vibrant, progressive grunge rock Mecca Pacific Northwest gem of a city.

So what happened? As Ken Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson and A-Rod all emerged, the Mariners spent the next decade in their only golden age, which would culminate in a legendary 116-win season in 2001, and give birth to the beautiful Safeco Field (and the somewhat heart-breaking destruction of the Kingdome).

And now the Mariners are an internationally beloved franchise, with legions of rabid Japanese baseball fans following their beloved Ichiro in right field, the man who last season broke baseball's long-standing single-season hits record.

Turns out sake and sushi are pretty sweet baseball concessions.

The other argument I tried to use on Andy was to remind him that his favorite team in the whole wide world had sold... SOLD (like the Red Sox SOLD Babe Ruth) the only soccer player any American has ever heard of besides Pele, so you KNOW he must be great... David Beckham to Real Madrid.

And now Manchester United is no longer the Yankees of the late 90s, they're the Yankees of the late 80s... read: they're not as good.

And honestly, Malcolm Glazer could be the worst thing that ever happened to Manchester United... which means he’d have to do something worse than selling his best player. And in America, we remember what happens to teams that sell their best player...

85 years later you win the World Series!!!!

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