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Tale of the Tape:
Steinbrenner vs. Davis

Page 2 columnist

For some, the Fourth of July marks our independence as a nation. For others, it marks the birthday of two bombastic sports owners who no doubt think all the fireworks are for them.

That's right, on this day Al Davis and George Steinbrenner were brought into the world, smacked on the butt, and they've been taking it out on us ever since. But which man truly deserves to be called the dominant personality of Ownerville?

Steinbrenner vs. Davis. Pinstripes vs. Eye Patch. Checkbook vs. Lawsuit. Let's see how they stack up at the Tale of the Tape ...

George Steinbrenner vs. Al Davis

How they got to be owners Daddy, can I buy a baseball team? Please please please Pleeeeeaaase?! No one really knows, but he wears a bracelet inscribed "WWMD?" as in "What would Machiavelli do?" Steinbrenner. Hey, he made his money the old-fashioned way. He inherited it.
They'd pay good money to watch him rot on the bench Dave Winfield Marcus Allen Push
Does he have his very own NFL Films song? No. However, there is a polka called "Clubhouse Champagne Makes Me Blubber" Yes! Davis
What they say Of course, the manager is safe. He's Yankee family! Just win, baby! Davis
What they mean How can I blame this on Billy Martin? Just litigate, baby! Davis
Cribs "The House that Unshared Revenue Built" The house that I will vacate Push
Typical fast-food order Get your #&@%! manager! Cheeseburger Davis
Favorite Sinatra song "Luck Be An Overpriced Free Agent Tonight" "L.A. is My Territory" "New York, New York"
Signature look Damp white turtleneck Milky white warm-up suit Davis
In the cheap seats Jeffrey Maier and the little glove that could A 280-pound man in silver make-up wielding a machete Davis
Guilty pleasures Calling his manager at 3 a.m. to ask if he has Prince Albert in the can Impaling his Paul Tagliabue voo-doo doll Push
Biggest mistakes Thought Ed Whitson would be Ron Guidry Thought Marc Wilson would be Ken Stabler Push
When in doubt Fire the manager Change every offensive play to a deep bomb to Cliff Branch Steinbrenner
Ownership style Backseat driver with a gun Hands in so deep it looks like psychic surgery Push
Secret wish Someone to like me just for who I am The California Raiders Davis
How they celebrate their birthdays Sends a sympathy card to the Mets Treats himself to a new pair of platinum sunglasses Steinbrenner

So, there you have it. It's so simple when you break things down scientifically. In a hyper-competitive buzzer-beater, the advantage goes to ... Al Davis.

Hey, I'm a Davis fan, always have been. But hang in there, George. If it's any consolation, you're the only one with a championship in the current millennium.

Until next time, I'm Nick Bakay reminding you the numbers never lie.

Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a Web site at

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