Putting Sports Heroes In Charge

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - March 25, 2009
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The NHL’s winningest goalie, Martin Brodeur

In his first few months in office, Barack Obama has stirred supporters, stoked the wrath of opponents and, like every other man to have ever taken the job, has handed out appointments to election supporters. When the president named Pittsburgh Steeler owner Dan Rooney as ambassador to Ireland, it no doubt provided even more fodder for followers of the famed feminazi instigator to take their shots. But while we debate what qualifies Rooney to represent the European Union’s second-richest country, we can ponder a few other names Obama may consider for administration posts.

Ricky Williams - Ambassador to Jamaica. OK, I readily admit this is a cheap one. Sending sports’ biggest pot-head to the land most identifiable with this tasty, sticky and pungent weed may seem like pure caricature, but it has some real merit. The U.S. presidency is the toughest job on the planet, and who better to take the pressure off the top job and infuse the Oval Office with a little Rasta man vibration than a holistically trained running back.

Martin Brodeur - AutoCzar. No doubt that naming a Canadian to head the most American of industries will have people clamoring to condemn the nomination as just yet another example of badly timed outsourcing. But the U.S. auto makers are in desperate need of a win, and no one has done that better than Brodeur. The New Jersey net minder is a frequent visitor to Detroit, and is just a short drive or train ride from the D.C. powerbase from which he’ll have to lobby on behalf of his charges. Auto workers need someone who is hard-working and has taken a few hits of his own. During his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career, Brodeur has smothered some 29,000 shots, or about the same as the Ford Edsel.

Larry Brown - Secretary of Transportation. After 13 stops in his 32-year coaching career, no one is better at wrapping the glasses and limiting packing damage than Brown. The nation’s infrastructure, of which much was created during the administration of Obama’s kindred spirit of free spending, has been left to rot and is in dire need of repair. Obama can certainly find someone more politically connected, but not even the most-experienced Beltway backroom dealer is better to direct the reconstruction of said byways than the man who has spent more time on more highways while leaving more teams.

LeBron James - Secretary of Defense. James is not the first name that comes to mind when talk turns to NBA stoppers, but in appearance, poise and performance he embodies everything our military is about. James is pure GQ in his clothing options, and carries himself with a level of professionalism that most athletes never understand - not to mention that the dude is downright terrifying. And isn’t that the exact message a country should send to its enemy? LeBron is unmatched in his combination of strength, speed, ferocity and willingness to be part of a team. He’s a virtual recruiting poster.

Alex Rodriguez - Drug Enforcement Agency. Another easy shot. A-Rod has international connections in the world of illicit drugs and colleagues with a wealth of experience. Hiring Jose Canseco as his assistant would be smart and would keep him off reality TV. And since a high level of secrecy is necessary to infiltrate cartels, he could also bring in Bud Selig to brag about enforcement after denying any such problem exists.

Tiger Woods - Treasury Department. With his demand for secrecy it is indeterminable whether Tiger is an aggressive investor or prefers to limit his dollars while following the calm sensibility of Jim Cramer. What we do know is that the former Cardinal is a one-man growth industry. Earl’s boy has, near singlehandedly, turned PGA purses into a bull market with payments of $280 million, up from the $80 million investment a mere 13 years ago.

Kurt Warner - Secretary for Aging. Warner would be a great advocate and role model for the gray-haired set. Like many elders, Warner has been repeatedly cast off as someone past his prime and of little value, only to show remarkable knowledge and ability when given a chance. Who better to let a nation infatuated with youth to understand that, though there may be snow on the roof, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one last-minute Super Bowl drive on the fire?

Greg Maddox - CIA Director. Maddox sure doesn’t fit the G-man prototype of the wide-bodied, cold-staring public servant. With a less-than-threatening physical makeup, and soft, puffy eyes that make it look like he just removed his tape-supported spectacles, he appears more apt to check in late books at the local public repository than head one of the world’s most-talked-about and secret history-altering agencies. But like the men he’d direct, Maddox is a master of secrecy, misdirection and the unexpected. With almost no speed and a delivery that looked better suited to backyard barbecues than big league ball parks, he’s bobbed, weaved and beguiled his way into certain Hall of Fame inclusion.

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