In honor of this week's regicides, ranked in order of general manager longevity.
1. DC United (Kevin Payne, day one)*
2. New England (Craig Tornberg, 12/16/03)**
3. Columbus (Mark McCullers, 7/9/04)
4. Colorado (Charlie Wright, 12/29/04)
5. FC Dallas (Michael Hitchcock, 10/25/05)
6. Houston (Oliver Luck, 12/15/05)***
7. Los Angeles (Alexi Lalas, 4/17/06)****
8. Kansas City (Robb Heineman, 10/15/06)*****
9. Bizarro Chivas (Shawn Hunter, 9/12/07)
10. Real Salt Lake (Garth Lagerway, 9/19/07)
11. San Jose (John Doyle, 10/3/07)
12. Toronto FC (Mo Johnston, 2/1/08)******
13. New York (prepare your resumes and cover letters)
14. Chicago (Javier Leon, interim, 4/11/08)*******
*I know, Dave Kasper was given the title of general manager last year, but he has someone over his shoulder, doesn't he?
**Since the President of Kraft Soccer has another gig right now, I'm assuming Tornberg is in charge. Like #7 on this list, took office due to tragedy - his predecessor Todd Smith resigned in 2002, and died of leukemia in at the end of 2003.
***Hired by #9 on this list.
****Took office after Doug Hamilton died in March 2006. Lalas answers to Tim Leiweke, of course, but Leiweke is also in charge of things like AEG's godawful hockey team. The buck may not stop here, but his title is "President of the Galaxy." Like Zaphod Beeblebrox. I'm sure I've told you that one many times. If you consider that Lalas has been continuously employed in a GM position since 2004, you can move him up to number 3 if you like.
*****This one is trickier than it needed to be. Curt Johnson stepped down at the end of the 2006 Wizards season, and Heinemann is a part-owner as well as President. So, similarly with DC United, I operate under the assumption that Peter Vermes is not The Man. KC is in the 8 spot no matter what, though.
******Unless you think he was always in charge of the team, or that Tom Anselmi still is, or whatever. If you do think this, then Toronto moves up something like three or four spaces.
*******An opportunity for me to get his name right this time. I didn't expect to hear from Sr. Leon again, but one thing Fire fans should keep in mind is that Chivas USA managed to build a pretty darn good team under his watch. Sure, he couldn't give away tickets, but - and I think I've mentioned this - nobody can sell Chivas USA tickets. Besides, at this stage I think losing Peter Wilt would be a nearly mortal blow to WPS, a league I think deserves a chance.
Two-thirds of the league's bosses have been on the job less than three full seasons. Nearly half of them have been around for less than a year. Moral? Uneasy lies the head that wears the sword of Damocles, or something.