On Tuesday, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced that July 1, 2009 would be his final day at the helm of the conference. We said, and I quote, “What? Who? Whatever.” Because we are Big Ten apologists above all else, and therefore harbor a deep-seated jealousy towards the Pac-10 for their weather, girls, ostensibly laid-back attitude, and bazillion NCAA championships. Also, we don’t pay attention to “rumors,” “news,” or “facts.” But when you suggest that perhaps our favorite motile mountain of a commissioner would be a good fit for the opening, why, our hackles get raised. He’s ours, Pac-10, and we like him, because he can palm my head like ordinary people might a grapefruit. Also, he’s made great strides towards make the Arena Football League notable, and quite nearly relevant. But most of all, he legitimately cares about the goofy league with the crazy rules, and genuinely seems to have fun with his job.
He’s not an evil gnome, employed despite global revulsion and incompetence that nearly killed his sport (Gary Bettman). He’s not a megalomaniac who, when confronted with bad news, essentially sticks his fingers in his ears and goes “Woo! Woo! Can’t hear you! Train coming through!” (David Stern, who I am convinced is the guy who hisses into his phone to fake a bad connection, or drops syllables and claims that “there’s someone on the other line.”) He’s not a combination of the two, with the exception that – by the grace of God and rampant drug use – his sport managed to not get hooked up to life support. (Buuuuuud Selig!) And he’s not a power-mad autocrat who thinks he’s Zeus. (Roger Goodell, who I actually kind of like.) He’s our friend! So, take a hike, Pac-10.