Tom Hicks Gets a Whole Chapter in Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love
Dallas Cowboy by Kit Nelson
Based on Friend of Unfair Park PeterK's morning e-mail, I tracked down a copy of Dave Zirin's Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love. Peter hadn't seen the book but wondered whether Tom Hicks makes a cameo. It's much more than that: Chapter 15 is titled "'What's a Scouser?' Tom Hicks Goes European" and offers a terrific history of Hicks's rocky ownership of Liverpool FC.
It begins with a familiar tale that still sounds like the set-up for a bad joke: Tom Hicks Jr. walks into a Liverpool bar ... At which point Tommy, believing he would be greeted with hugs and huzzahs following the team's victory over Middlesbrough, was instead showered with beer and spittle. "This wasn't a Liverpudlian male bonding ritual," writes Zirin. "It happened because Junior forgot, in the words of one Liverpool FC-loving blogger, 'that his father is the most hated man in Liverpool.'" Zirin then spends the rest of chapter explaining why, offering a detailed history of the team -- its previous ownership, its working-class roots -- and occasionally quoting from Unfair Park's coverage of Hicks's soccer-team ownership debacle (ah, so that's what pride feels like).
A brief excerpt that sums up Scousers' sentiments:
As one longtime fan said to me, "I don't think that Hicks got that Liverpool has never been about making money. Liverpool's a modest club in a poor city. You have to act with a certain kind of modesty, and, most important, humor, and you also have to be able to muster the same amount, if not a great amount, of passion. And Hicks has never, at any moment, given himself over to that team. This is the thing about Texans, right? It's a place big on everything except self-deprecation. I mean, have you heard Texans laugh at themselves? If you wear cowboys boots and a pair of Levi's or Wranglers that are three sizes too small and crotch-hugging, how can you not laugh at yourself?"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.