Op-Ed: A New Middle League: Trade Peres for David Blatt
With the rumored move of Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball coach David Blatt to the NBA, a whole new arena of activity can open up for outgoing President Shimon Peres.
One can only imagine the press conference:
“Maccabi Tel Aviv announces the signing of our new coach, the illustrious Shimon Peres. Mr Peres, please, explain your views on the world of sports".
Coach Peres: "It is with great honor and happiness that I accept this new assignment. After all, to be welcomed by the Euroleague champion, perpetual winner of the Israel League Cup - and here am I, the perennial loser…..
“Of course, even coming off a winning season, as new coach I expect to make some changes to Maccabi and the world of sports. First, there’s the nationalism thing: Russians rooting for CSKA, Spaniards for Real Madrid, Israelis for Maccabi; this has to stop.
"People turning into fanatic patriots for their home team- it’s not a healthy phenomenon. From now on, Russians will root for Milano, Tel Avivians for Belgrade,etc.- or else I send in the Shin Bet.
"And then there’s this territorialism and sense of proprietorship. If poor Belgrade or CSKA can’t afford a forward like Blu, or a guard like Hickman, why stand on formality and contract: we’ll just give them a Blu or a Hickman.
"And if they don’t have a nice big stadium like Nokia, we’re going to be generous: it’s theirs for the taking. Do you think we Israelis are tight-fisted with our national assets? Just try me on the Negev for an international soccer field for Bedouin players. While I’m at it, I might even arrange a transfer of some of those incessantly noisy Nokia drummers (it’s easier to transfer Jews than other fans).
“And this issue of fouling out: whoever came up with such a thing? Five fouls, six fouls, ten fouls: who cares? We pardon everyone. Flagrant fouls, blood on their hands: well, maybe they should sit till the next TV commercial, but that’s all: do you think that all those guys understand is force?
"I might even get rid of the refs altogether; in the new Middle League, who needs armies of referees?
“On a more serious note, I might suggest that we stop keeping score altogether. Winners, losers- they’re really all the same. Why, if an Arab team loses the cup, why can’t they go to the World Court, or FIFA, or the UN Security Council 66 years later, and just get the results annulled: it’s so much more egalitarian.
"Aren’t we all really just the same? If a team, or its fans, don’t like the final score, why can’t they just even things up with some rocks, Molotov cocktails, Kalashnikovs or a CED (courtside explosive device).
“Finally, not to be outdone by Woody Allen in Bananas: with all these foreign players on the squad, I want to announce that all practices and games will be conducted in the Swedish language. Also, players are to wear their underwear outside, over their clothes.
“Oops, I just looked. Never noticed that you guys already dress that way”.