Friday, January 12, 2007

The British Invasion: 2007 Sports Edition

Yesterday it was announced that British soccer icon David Beckham has agreed to terms to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer. It remains to be seen whether the husband of Posh Spice will make the world’s most popular sport more trendy in the United States. But the arrival of “Becks” does suggest that other British celebrities could make a positive impact on the American sports scene. Here are just a few other Brits, and the positions where they could have a major effect on U.S. sports.

Julie Andrews: San Francisco Giants Outfielder. As Barry Bonds’s teammate, she can go from Mary Poppins to pill-popping.

Christian Bale: Tampa Bay Devil Rays Designated Hitter. No team is more in need of a Bat Man.

Tony Blair: Monday Night Football commentator. Mike Tirico and Joe Theismann are used to working with a heavily-criticized Tony.

David Bowie: Chairman, NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee. He can officially tell us, “Let’s Dance.”

Richard Branson: Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator. He presides over the Virgin empire, so he can lead a bunch of guys who can’t score.

John Cleese: U.S. Ryder Cup Captain. In defeat, the Monty Python staple can help another Monty.

Sean Connery: Denver Broncos Quarterback. No one can fill John Elway’s shoes as #7, except for the ultimate 007.

Judi Dench: Notre Dame Quarterback. After Brady Quinn leaves, an award-winner from Notre Dame is replaced by an award-winning Dame.

Craig Ferguson: University of Hawaii Football Coach. With the Warriors’ high-powered offense, he can continue to entertain late-night viewers.

Ricky Gervais: New York Yankees Owner. David Brent replaces an even more obnoxious Boss.

Hugh Grant: Orlando Magic Forward. The star of Notting Hill can step in for a rotting Hill.

Elton John: Houston Rockets Center. With Yao Ming out of commission for a while, Houston needs another Rocket Man.

Keira Knightley: Pittsburgh Pirates Manager. She’s used to bringing glamour to a misfit group of Pirates.

Hugh Laurie: Chicago Bears Quarterback. The House star always seems to make the right decision, unlike Rex Grossman. And the Bears offensive line could yell, “We must protect this House!”

Jude Law: Baltimore Ravens Cornerback. Any team that faces Peyton Manning should have a defensive back named Law.

Ewan McGregor: Los Angeles Lakers Coach. This franchise thrived on Star Wars.

Paul McCartney: Philadelphia 76ers Forward. They just got rid of Chris Webber, the leader of the Fab 5. So the Fab 4 leader is next.

Ian McKellen: University of Cincinnati Basketball Coach. The Bearcats are bitter rivals with Xavier, so they could use Magneto as they take on the X-Men.

Ozzy Osbourne: Chicago Cubs Manager. To win a World Series in Chicago, you need an incoherent manager named Ozzy.

Clive Owen: Atlanta Braves Pitcher. With star closers hard to find, the bullpen-deficient Braves grab the star of Closer.

Queen Elizabeth II: Sacramento Kings Forward. Shaquille O’Neal referred to them as the “Queens.” Wouldn’t you love to see her around Ron Artest?

Daniel Radcliffe: St. Louis Cardinals Shortstop. Radcliffe plays Harry Potter, and St. Louis fans love seeing a Wizard at shortstop.

Ridley Scott: Chicago Black Hawks Coach. Scott directed Black Hawk Down, so he can lead some Black Hawks who have been down for years.

Patrick Stewart: Detroit Red Wings Center. Having lost “The Captain” (Steve Yzerman) to retirement, Detroit turns to Captain Picard.

Catherine Zeta-Jones: New York Mets Utility Player. She’s used to being around a much older man, so she’ll have no problem being in a dugout with Julio Franco.