Hm, an all African-American Hall of Fame class. (Except for the Veteran and the Builder.)
It probably doesn't mean anything in the long run, except as another example of how admirably apolitical American soccer is, that even this milestone has apparently gone totally unnoticed. I'm probably racist for noticing, even.
Anyway, my initial reaction was "Man, what the hell more did Cobi have to do? Most caps ever doesn't do it for some people?"
I would be very interested to see what the motivations actually were against voting for Cobi, though. Unless people returned blank ballots or something.
Maybe people just hate the Cosmos. Probably, though, there are people in Washington, San Jose, Chicago, and probably some other fine MLS citadels who would rather gargle the blood of their children than vote for Cobi Jones.
At least, I hope it's good honest hatred, rather than that smarmy attitude against a player from being voted in unanimously, like you see among baseball writers.
But if media voters are voting with their bile – and again, I approve – this is a game you're supposed to feel, not count – I wonder if the Hall will ever see a player unanimously voted in. Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers weren't, which I chalk up to sexism. Wynalda wasn't, which I chalk up to Wynalda leaving a trail of hurt feelings and/or dead bodies in his two decades in the public eye. It's reasonable to conclude Landon Donovan won't either…if only because Wynalda has a vote, and because if they hate Cobi in San Jose, they really, really hate Donovan.
I guess the one guy who might be a consensus pick would be Brian McBride. He was vastly more sportsmanlike than Cobi. They seemed reasonably quick to forgive him in Columbus for ending his career in Chicago, so that won't be an issue. He won't have any national team records like Wynalda and Jones, but his multiple World Cup heroics should balance that out and then some. He was a smash hit in the Premiership, so anti-MLS bias shouldn't signify.
My second reaction was "Finally, Earnie made it." What can you say about Stewart that hasn't been said the past three years?
My third reaction was "Finally, Bruce Murray made it."
And then I saw that the Veterans ballot heirs apparent are Desmond Armstrong and John Doyle. So my fourth reaction was…is there a word for simultaneous rage and nausea? It's sort of the emotional equivalent of this year's Sounders home uniform.
Given the electorate for the Veterans, I think the biggest threat to the integrity of the Hall of Fame are Hall of Famers. I'm going to pretend that the baseball Veterans' Committee isn't one of the ongoing embarrassments in athletics today, and suggest a Veterans' Committee. One that will protect the integrity of the Hall in the eyes of the public.
Yes…a Committee of Public Safety. I like the sound of that. And I volunteer to be Robespierre. Hey, someone needs to tell these guys, "No, you're not going to vote for Mike Burns…oh, and by the way, why don't you just drop off that red jacket on the way out."
I suppose an even greater threat would be from the Builders. Chuck Blazer already has the 50% necessary for election, so it's literally only a matter of time now.
And my fifth reaction was, "Wow, Eddie Pope might speak in public."
EDIT – I forgot to mention Bob Gansler being elected as a Builder. I kind of get the feeling this news will be greeted with the same level of excitement as MLS Cup 2000.