Let's make one thing clear up front: The big news over at CONCACAF is not that tired old Ted Howard has been "named acting General Secretary of CONCACAF".
Rather, as the Deputy Secretary (for the last 12 years), when General Secretary Chuck Blazer's resignation became effective - at the same time as they were frantically propping up Dick Clark's near-lifelike remains in celebration of another "Rockin' Eve" - Howard acceded to the post by default.
The real news - roundly ignored by the utterly oblivious "Hey, here's a media release from CONCACAF! Great! I was too hung over to do any actual work today anyway!" crowd - is that the Confederation of North and Central America and the Caribbean, having had almost two solid months to come up with a suitable replacement for the departing Blazer, has labored mightily and come forth with:
No one at all.
That's not to say for one moment that the 66 year old Howard isn't completely qualified for the job.
Having worked his way up through the chairs in the old NASL as Director of Administration from 1975 to 1977, Director of Operations from 1978 to 1980 and Executive Director from 1981 to 1984, Ted has been around the barn a few times.
Comments about how old and decrepit said barn is will NOT be tolerated. For Pete's sake, the man is a member of the US Soccer Hall of Fame (as a "builder"). The fact that the HoF doesn't so much as even have a barn let alone an actual "hall" at the moment is beside the point. Don't make me stop this car.
Speaking of the Hall of Fame, we could enlist the assistance of our own Roger Allaway to recount the highlight of Howard's career when, back in 1983, he awarded a forfeit win to the Chicago Sting after Montreal Manic Head Coach Andy Lynch - leading 2-1 at the time - ordered his team off the field after American referee Bob Evans (the linesman was apparently Jimmy Dean) ordered a penalty kick retaken twice.
(BTW, "the Montreal Manic" refers to the old NASL franchise, not Joey Saputo, although the shoe certainly fits.)
This decision led team VP
Black Jack Shellac Jacques Burelle to cancel the followup match in Montreal a week later and threaten to resign if Molsen Breweries - the owners of the Maniac - didn't back him up.
(For anyone - I'm looking at YOU Don Garber - who thought bringing Montreal into the league was a super-swell idea: get back to me in about 12 months, would you?)
Anyway, as noted, the fact that Ted is now running the Confederation is only news in the sense that CONCACAF is giving us clear and convincing evidence that even without having a single Caribbean representative in the room to appease, they still can't make a decision.
As Dan so aptly put it the other day, CONCACAF" is French for "incompetent".
Still, there's an obvious upside: with CONCACAF now operating out of Miami, Howard will at least live someplace where he feels right at home.