First, Tom Hicks gets in hot water in the U.K. for announcing that his purchase of Liverpool's football club was nothing more than a business decision -- no different from buying, oh, a cereal manufacturer. (I do so love this headline from a pissed-off column in today's Guardian concerning Hicks' comments: "Loan arranger thrives in game gone tonto.")
Now, he's endearing himself to folks back home: Yesterday, whilst in Athens for Liverpool's loss to AC Milan in the European Cup finals, Hicks told the Associated Press that Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars fans kinda, well, suck:
American businessmen Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. never imagined this when they bought Liverpool in March -- their team playing for Europe's biggest club soccer title with thousands of red-shirted fans singing and partying all over central Athens.
"There's no way either of my two teams' fans have the level of intense passion that Liverpool has," said Hicks, who also owns baseball's Texas Rangers and hockey's Dallas Stars. "I want them to. Hopefully some day they will."
Already on KTCK-AM (1310) this morning, Craig Miller and George Dunham offered their spit-take on Hicks' comments: He's right, sure, but it's his own damned fault. After all, how can Hicks damn Stars fans for their lack of passion when he can't even be bothered to show up to the NHL team's first-round Game 7 loss to Vancouver a few weeks back, and how can he knock Rangers fans for loathing a terrible last-place team that's got one playoff win in 35 effin' years?
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Tom Hicks: The man is makin' friends left and right. But he has shown he can do one thing in England he can also do quite well in the States -- buy a loser. --Robert Wilonsky