Paul Tagliabue is retiring as commissioner of the National Football League. He first became associated with the NFL when he was hired by Covington & Burling, a Washington D. C. law firm, the NFL's principal outside counsel at the time. He represented the NFL in the anti-trust lawsuit brought by the USFL (you remember them - Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie, Mike Rozier, Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young and upstart billionaire owner of the New Jersey Generals, Donald Trump). The NFL lost the case, but instead of getting $1.6 billion dollars, they were only awarded three (dollars). Pretty fancy lawyerin' there, Paul. This apparently greased the slide for him when Pete Rozelle stepped down in 1989.
I mention all this in anticipation of the discussion of Condoleezza Rice's suggestion that she might be interested in the job. First and foremost let me say that I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever about having a woman in charge of the National Football League. She's got a family history with the Denver area, which I can only assume translates abruptly to some happy affiliations with the Broncos, and she has certainly shown herself to be a most capable in academic areas as well as being an accomplished pianist.
It should also be noted that Ms. Rice is an accomplished tap dancer: "I think it's entirely probable that we will see a significant drawdown of American forces over the next year. ... It's all dependent on events on the ground." These were her words this weekend when asked about troop reductions in Iraq. Rice said people should look at the positive direction of events in the Middle East rather than whether the region was more or less stable than when the U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003.
"More stable?" Meaning is the United States more universally reviled presently than we were three years ago? Meaning has the number of car bombs increased from a weekly total to one that needs to be counted on a daily basis. Those are numbers, and we all know how slippery they can be. Here's my point: If this administration's future lies in the business of spectator sports, more power to them. Instituting a four-point play for drop kicks seems like a safe policy decision for these folks to make. That sounds a whole lot safer bet than creating a democracy out of a civil war in the Middle East. Still, considering her boss' history with organized sports, she could do a lot worse.