Friday, July 13, 2012

Hall of Fame, Part III

OK, maybe collectively we overreacted. I guess that's a danger in this new interwebbed world. There's not much time to interrupt a feedback loop.

And, it probably doesn't help that I'm a bit of a bomb-thrower.

But seriously, I've just re-read all of the press releases and editorials that have come out in the wake of the Nobby Clark Affair, and I still can't say that I've got a clear picture of what happened. I guess if I wanted to try to get one, I'd try to chart out some sort of concordance between Dean Adams' description of what he saw from inside the nomination procedure, and the AMA Hall of Fame's report of its own 'investigation' into what happened. I'd also very much like to ask Nobby Clark when he was contacted by the AMA, and what he was told.

At least, that's what I'd do if, a.) I wasn't supposed to be on vacation, and b.) Anyone paid me enough to actually give a shit.

Given the reality of my situation as, at best, a noisy outsider, I'd rather just say this: If anyone wants to argue that I was all wrong and that Clark's debacle with Rob Iannucci, back in the early '90s, had nothing to do with the Hall of Fame's PR disaster, we can just agree on that and move on to the next topic.

The next topic is that even most flattering interpretation of events suggests that the procedure was overly complicated, bogged down in rules, committees, and subcommittees, with members pushing their own agendas, supported by an incompetent staff.

I still think that once the announcement had been made, Clark should have been inducted. No one -- at least no one outside the committee -- would have noticed that there seemed to be one extra guy in the Class of '12.

But the larger issue here is, what the fuck?.. If they can turn even something as anodyne as Hall of Fame inductions into an occasion for internecine bickering and recriminations, then layer in bureaucratic incompetence, and develop it into a full-blown public fiasco, maybe it's time to wonder whose interests the AMA is even trying to serve, besides their own.

Everything ends. Sometimes it implodes, sometimes it peters out, but eventually, it always ends. It's not something we necessarily need to fight. It's part of every natural process, and when it ends, it makes room for something that will replace it, if necessary

I'm not saying we don't need the Hall of Fame. I think that Hall, in fact, is a great thing. It would be just as great, maybe greater, at the Barber Museum. I'm saying, maybe we don't need the AMA.

Now, I'm back on vacation.

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