The increasing Americanisation of our sport may have been partly halted by the recent collapse of the Super League but it resumed on Monday with the first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
I’m actually a big fan of American sports, particularly the NFL.
Now, the Super League was pure nonsense as we hopefully articulated on our recent pod.
But there are certain things I’d be more than happy for football to borrow from the US.
The concept of a Hall of Fame wasn’t particularly high on that list but it’s certainly good pub talk.
And by that I mean good pub garden talk, you know, to have over a freezing pint of Heineken in 6 degrees Celsius.
Our very own Matt Le Tissier was not one of the initial inductees - Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, can’t argue with that - but he’s on the 23-man shortlist for the next batch, of which six will be selected.
Unfortunately, this is where our Hall of Fame falls flat on its arse.
The US version is done properly. A selection committee made of the nation’s top journalists debates and decides who is worthy of inclusion.
These journos take their responsibility extremely seriously.
We’re talking white-smoke-in-the-Sistine-Chapel-serious. They are choosing new Popes.
You may disagree with their picks, but the discussion is rigorous and it’s undertaken by impartial observers who have watched hundreds, if not thousands, of games across all teams.
We, the esteemed Premier League, are settling things…
…via a fan vote.
Honestly, what is the point?
It’s nailed-on to be a popularity contest with players who turned out for Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal ushered in at the expense of the rest.
Just look at the 23-man shortlist.
Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Eric Cantona, Andrew Cole, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Viera, Ian Wright.
Les Ferdinand and Matt Le Tiss - the only two on the shortlist that you could argue did their best work outside a top-six club.
The rest is just Arsenal, Man Utd, Arsenal, Arsenal, Man Utd, Man Utd, Chelsea, Chelsea, etc, etc.
Teams that won trophies. Incredibly boring.
There will be some element of a mysterious ‘awards panel’ who assist the fan vote, somehow.
That’s not very clear on the Premier League’s Hall of Fame website.
But the fact fans are involved at all makes the whole thing pointless.
They’ll just vote for their team’s players.
Which makes it unlikely Le Tiss will be taking his rightful place in the Hall.
So, for that reason, I’m out.