By Scott Mandel
I posted this several hours ago, related to the subject of Halls of Fame:
If one truly believes in the importance of idolization of athletes by building permanent fixtures in big buildings in cities no one would otherwise visit, like Akron, Cooperstown, and Springfield, Massachusetts (unless your cousins live there), there should be a “real” HOF for the gods and goddesses of all sports, under one roof.
Visit the football floor, where only Tom Brady, Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus, Deacon Jones, Jim Brown, and O.J. Simpson (morality has no role in this HOF) and a handful of others are honored. No statistical compilers allowed, because they aren’t gods.
Go upstairs to the basketball department, where Michael Jordan and LeBron James, along with Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Oscar Robertson will lead a small group of gods of hoops.
Let’s continue our journey to the upper floor where Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Barry Bonds, and Pete Rose (remember, we don’t care about a lack of moral terpitude) will lead a small group of baseball players. You won’t be able to find Bill Mazeroski, Ozzie Smith, or Barry Larkin in this wing. After all, we’re talking gods, not .260 hitters with good gloves.
The lower floors will include the gods and goddesses of golf, tennis, hockey, NCAA men’s and women’s sports, and, the WBL, as soon as that catches up as a real professional league. Boxing will get half a wing, as a dying sport. But only because some of its champions, like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, and even poor Max Schmeling did tons of social/political good outside of the barbaric nature of boxing. MMA will not have a wing, since it’s a terrible travesty of an event and does no discernible good.
The Museum of Natural History, under one edifice, can show us cromagnons, dinosaurs, and space exploration, under the aegis of science and societal development. The Louvre contains art from different genres and centuries. There’s no reason why there can’t be a one-stop shop of greatness in all things sports, which is an art form of its own.
Welcome to the International Sports Hall of Elites. The only question is, where do we get an american oligarch to pay for it and build it?