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Page 2 readers' list:
Best owner in sports
From the Page2 mailbag
1. George Steinbrenner -- New York Yankees
George Steinbrenner is the best owner in sports today for one reason: He gives his team a chance to win every year by his willingness to spend money. Most owners use their teams as money machines. When the team earns big revenues they hide the money away in their private accounts. Not George. He spends it because the more you spend the more you earn (i.e. championships and revenues).
Tampa, Fla. I cant believe I would ever say that the Boss was the best owner in sports. I hated him and begged God for his death from 1978 until the early '90s. Something strange happened after his second baseball suspension, I don't know if it was becoming George Costanza's boss on "Seinfeld" or being host of "Saturday Night Live," but he started growing on me. With the hirings of Buck Showalter, Bob Watson and Joe Torre I even began to like his decisions. More recently, by stepping up with big contracts to Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter, he is rewarding the talent that has made this edition of the Yankees great. Now when I look around at Al Davis, Peter Angelos or Rupert Murdoch, I kind of like the dictator the Yankees got. He did save the Yankees from CBS, talk about a dynasty killer.
2. Mark Cuban -- Dallas Mavericks (93 letters)
Has Paul Allen's financial capacity coupled with the heated enthusiasm of a teenage fan.
Vancouver, Wash. Someone with money and a knack for hiring the right people does not make a good owner. These people are called high-end investors. A good owner requires devotion to his franchise and a willingness to do anything to make his franchise successful. This quality is found in Mark Cuban. Although he might be perceived as overzealous, his excitedness about his team is infectious and should be considered a praiseworthy quality.
Culver City, Calif.
3. Pat Croce -- Philadelphia 76ers (77 letters)
Fieldsboro, N.J. This is an easy one. When was the last time you saw Ol' "King George" climb the Brooklyn Bridge just to promote the his team? Croce is willing to do anything and everything to put his team on the map. The only thing he can't do is play his team's games for them. I think he may have found The Answer to that problem, though.
4. Pat Bowlen -- Denver Broncos (46 letters)
He is the best owner in sports. He was able to get the city of Denver to build his Broncos a new stadium (when even though he said that they might have to leave Denver, there was no serious threat of that ever happening). Hired Mike Shanahan, the greatest coach in the NFL today, and one of the best ever, and gave him free power to do almost anything he saw fit to make the team a winner, and he did. He also keeps prices down, and does not charge for viewing training camp. The Broncos had three seasons of 13-3, 12-4 (Super Bowl championship), and 14-2 (Super Bowl championship), and ticket prices barely went up at all. He is the greatest owner in sports, hands down.
Alliance, Neb. As a resident of Denver, you have got to be kidding about Pat Bowlen topping off your list. Stays out of the way? You're dreaming! If you lived here you would understand. This guy is at every practice, meeting, etc., always trying to make a speech to the press or get his picture taken. This is also the same guy who solely held the Super Bowl trophy himself during the victory parade without letting any of the players hoist it. He is an egomaniac! Can you imagine none of the NHL players hoisting the Stanley Cup in the parade? He obviously has you guys fooled too.
5. Green Bay Residents -- Green Bay Packers (37 letters)
Represents all that is good and positive in sports ... not out for the almighty buck, just in it for the love of football ... period.
Laramie, Wyo. Not only is the risk of the team leaving town virtually nil, but since the fans own team stock that will never appreciate in value, there is no owner with a "money-making incentive." The only investment is an emotional one, which more often than not, is more powerful than any monetary interest.
Neenah, Wis. Nobody cares more about their team than the thousands of devoted fans who spent $200 per share on them. There is no greed. There is nothing more pure than having the public own a franchise.
6. Jerry Buss-- Los Angeles Lakers (33 letters)
C'mon, he got Jerry West to be general manager, who in turn took a Lakers team that was devastated by the total unforeseeable loss of Magic Johnson, and in time acquired Superman Shaquile O'Neal and out-of-high-school Kobe Bryant. Then lured Phil Jackson out of retirement to be the glue and now, look for a "threepeat" and then a dynasty.
Reno, Nev. Without question, it has to be Dr. Jerry Buss. This man is not only a class act, he presides over the toughest team to own in sports. The athletes' egos are massive and the expectations to win are even greater. He also has a knack for making the right decision at the right time.
John J. Anania
7. Wellington Mara-- New York Giants (31 letters)
8. Dan Rooney -- Pittsburgh Steelers (29 letters)
9. Al Davis-- Oakland Raiders (23 letters)
Al Davis: pioneer and still kicking.
10. Lamar Hunt-- Kansas City Chiefs (21 letters)
I can see how you folks "out east" wouldn't know what he does for Kansas City, but to ignore what he's done for pro football is just wrong.
Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City Chiefs owner (among other teams). If you gotta ask why, you'll never get it. ... Mr Hunt is, and always has been adored by Chiefs fans. Even when they hate the coach (Marty) and the GM/president (Carl Peterson), they still love Lamar. He tells the fans the truth, does everything he can to make their experience enjoyable (see Arrowhead Stadium). The guy simply defines class.
Girard, Kan. The man started the AFL and has done wonders for the entire league itself. Hell, the AFC championship trophy is named after him (too bad the Chiefs can't get their name on it).
Kansas City, Mo.
Honorable Mention: Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Mike Illich (Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers). Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
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