Thursday, December 21, 2006

One Man Show

The world of collegiate sports and professional sports is so different. Each one has its positives…and negatives. One particular issue deals with professional sports. This issue has both pros and cons. Though for the most part, I feel it is much more of a negative. I am talking about professional sport owners. For me, I do not agree with the whole “one guy owns the team” concept. Why you ask? The simple reason that an owner has the power to move his or her franchise if they wish to do so. That thought alone is enough to make me nauseous. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of some infamous nomad owners who have owned or still own in the professional world of sports:

Robert Irsay: Bob was the owner of the Baltimore Colts whom he later moved to the city of Indianapolis. To make a long story short, Irsay snuck his Colts out of Baltimore late one night after negotiations with the city went sour. Bottom line: If Irsay were still alive, he wouldn’t last a day in Baltimore after the way he left it.

Bud Adams: Mr. Adams is currently the owner of the Tennessee Titans, but as we all know they are the former Houston Oilers. Adams wanted a new stadium (how many times have we heard this story), but Houston mayor Bob Lanier was not having it. Numerous efforts were made to stop the move, yet in the end Bud was able to move his team to Tennessee.

Howard Schultz: The Seattle SuperSonics have been in the city of Seattle since the 1960s. The franchise has been a successful NBA franchise for many years, especially in 1979 when Lenny Wilkens guided the Sonics to their only title. Regardless of the history Schultz did not seem to get the picture. Not many bright times occurred during his rein as the team missed the playoffs 3 out of the 5 years he was the owner. On July 18, 2006 Schultz’s ownership came to a halt when he officially sold the team to some Oklahoma City investors. The city of Seattle has less than 12 months to save their franchise.

Art Modell: If you think Irsay would have trouble in Baltimore today, than I can not imagine the difficulties Art Modell would have in Cleveland. Modell screwed over the football-crazed city of Cleveland in 1996 when, like Irsay, he secretly made plans to move the team to Baltimore after his demands for stadiums renovations were not agreed upon. Numerous times during his ownership Modell promised he would never move the team. Many believe this rambunctious act of moving the Browns is what has kept Art Modell from going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bill Bidwill: In 1988 Bidwill moved the Cardinals out to the city of Phoenix where the team has made the playoffs a pathetic one time. For many years Bill and his family have made poor management decisions. For a Cardinals’ fan settling for mediocrity was a seasonally thing to expect. As one may have noticed, hope has changed for the Cardinals. More ownership and control is now in the hands of Bill’s son, Michael. For those of you who do not know, Michael is responsible for the hiring of Dennis Green at head coach.

So there you have it: a group of men who have shown the true error in the professional owner. The ownership of professional teams should follow that of the Green Bay Packers. A committee of men owns the Packers. This means that no greedy, old businessman or woman can ever come in and have the idea of moving the Packers because he or she feels it is necessary. Professional teams are more than just a group of players. They represent a region, a culture, and a way of life. It is not is not American…

…You getting all this Tommy Benson?

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