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83-Steelers-43
06-09-2007, 12:30 PM
The Best: Owner
Updated: June 8, 2007
ESPN.com

The Best: Owner

John Clayton: Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh

Under owner Dan Rooney, the Steelers aren't among the league leaders in team revenue. Though their stadium is relatively new, the Steelers can't get into bidding wars with other, more lucrative franchises. But Rooney is the game's best owner because he cares about the game. For more than three decades, Rooney has worked behind the scenes to mediate disputes with the union and owners in order to maintain labor peace. He's headed some of the league's most influential committees. More importantly, though, he runs the Steelers the right way. He treats employees right, which is why the Steelers rarely have much turnover in the front office and along the sideline.

Matt Mosley: Bob Kraft, New England

If you measure the best NFL owner by the standard of who's the best business man, I think Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is the clear winner. After buying the club in 1989, he quickly challenged the league's old-liners and made an incredible amount of money. In time, he's become one of the most respected voices in the game, but memories of those three Super Bowl titles in the 90s have begun to fade. That's why I think Patriots owner Robert Kraft should be considered the best owner in the league. Obviously he's a highly successful business man, but his best trait is that he still has the ability to think like a frustrated fan. In fact, that's what he was when he purchased the team. Kraft and his son, Jonathan, have created the model that franchises across the league are trying to emulate. It's interesting that they've been so aggressive this offseason because a lot of the Patriots' success has been based on not spending wildly on high-profile players. For now, though, memories of the Patriots' three Super Bowls are still fresh, and Kraft deserves the title of best owner.

Len Pasquarelli: Rooney

The late Jim Finks, a terrific football man whose administrative skills earned him a well-deserved niche in the Hall of Fame, once noted, and we're paraphrasing a bit here, that players play, coaches coach and general managers generally manage. Well, the best owners pretty much own, and that's why they're so good. They get out of the way and allow their football people to do their jobs. And, because of that quality, they have a lot of Super Bowl hardware sitting in their respective trophy cases. Some of the top owners in the NFL in my estimation: New England's Bob Kraft, Jerry Richardson of Carolina, Indianapolis' Jim Irsay, Philadelphia's Jeffrey Lurie and, while he doesn't exactly fit into Finks' description because he dabbles so much in the football end of things, Jerry Jones of Dallas. But oblige us, on the final installment of this "best of" series, a little Pittsburgh parochialism (and pride) here, please. Are we partial to the Rooney family? Damned straight. Dan Rooney exemplifies everything it means to be a great NFL owner, a man committed just as much to the health of the league as to that of his own franchise. Watch him at any league meeting, when he walks the halls and accommodates the media like no one else, and then ducks into a conference room to add the voice of reason to any debate. The man is simply the best, and the stability and unwavering principle he has lent to his team is the primary reason the Steelers are an NFL bedrock franchise.

Merril Hoge: Kraft

Consistency and the ability to trust those to whom you delegate decision-making authority are the hallmarks of great ownership and that's why Bob Kraft is my pick for best owner in the league. Over the years, the Patriots have consistently won because of the trust that Kraft puts in his staff. You never see Kraft meddling in the concerns of his staff even when the team might look to be down-and-out due to injuries or other concerns.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2897545&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab4pos2

stlrtruck
06-09-2007, 12:40 PM
Hogee should know better. Did someone put something in his eggs?

PisnNapalm
06-09-2007, 12:53 PM
I too was surprised by Hoge's pick.

tony hipchest
06-09-2007, 01:10 PM
3-1 in favor of the rooneys. we all know hoges pick was a cover for his extreme homerism, just like we all know he feels the rooneys are the best any sports franchise has to offer.

SteelCityMan786
06-09-2007, 02:55 PM
3-1 in favor of the rooneys. we all know hoges pick was a cover for his extreme homerism, just like we all know he feels the rooneys are the best any sports franchise has to offer.

Darn right man.

Livinginthe past
06-09-2007, 03:35 PM
I guess it depends on whether its an award for who is the most effective owner currently in the game or whether is a cumulative, lifetime type award.

For me, Kraft has grasped the nuances of what it takes to win consistently in the salary cap era better than any other owner in the game - he has taken the Pittsburgh prototype and improved upon it.

In terms of overall contribution to the game and success while doing it Rooney has to be your man - he has been a great owner for a very long time (32 years?) and has been instrumental in keeping the integrity of the sport at such a high level.

Who has had the biggest impact on the game?

Rooney without a question - without this guy Kraft would have no solid foundation on which to build his franchise.

Who would I want to be my team owner if I could pick anyone?

Robert Kraft.

Honnorable mention to Jim Irsay for making the relatively low revenue Colts a perrenial challenger through clever manipulation of the salary cap.

SteelCzar76
06-09-2007, 04:03 PM
Len Pasquarelli summed it up best. It's a 'no brainer' that Mr. Rooney is the best owner in football. He may not be the wealthiest,.....but when it comes to pure class,...he's indeed IMO the best of his peers. He honors the legacy and name of his Father whom was such a man himself. Genuine stand up guys with buisness accumen, but yet also men of principle and ethics. :helmet:

SteelCityMan786
06-09-2007, 04:14 PM
Len Pasquarelli summed it up best. It's a 'no brainer' that Mr. Rooney is the best owner in football. He may not be the wealthiest,.....but when it comes to pure class,...he's indeed IMO the best of his peers. He honors the legacy and name of his Father whom was such a man himself. Genuine stand up guys with buisness accumen, but yet also men of principle and ethics. :helmet:

Couldn't have said it better.

tony hipchest
06-09-2007, 04:55 PM
For me, Kraft has grasped the nuances of what it takes to win consistently in the salary cap era better than any other owner in the game - he has taken the Pittsburgh prototype and improved upon it.

In terms of overall contribution to the game and success while doing it Rooney has to be your man - he has been a great owner for a very long time (32 years?) and has been instrumental in keeping the integrity of the sport at such a high level.

.
kraft has done a great job, no doubt. but how much of that is from catching lightning in a bottle with the drafting of tom brady? i think the jury still has to be out on him and we gotta see what level of success he maintains without belichick and brady. even with a new stadium, parcells and #1 pick and franchise qb drew bledsoe, nobody was calling him the greatest owner.

maybe its unfair but w/o his qb i just see ralph wilson w/o kelly, pat bowlin without elway, jerry jones w/o aikman, or even the vikings old ownership w/o fran tarkenton?

so kraft will have his day in the sun, just like debartalo did with montana, walsh, and young.

if i have to build a team from the ground up w/o the benefit of a qb or coach already in place i would choose the rooneys. if they wouldve sold the steelers and started the houston texans, im pretty sure they wouldve been in the playoffs by now. i dont think i can say that about kraft without the benefit of belichick and brady.

Livinginthe past
06-09-2007, 05:07 PM
kraft has done a great job, no doubt. but how much of that is from catching lightning in a bottle with the drafting of tom brady? i think the jury still has to be out on him and we gotta see what level of success he maintains without belichick and brady. even with a new stadium, parcells and #1 pick and franchise qb drew bledsoe, nobody was calling him the greatest owner.

maybe its unfair but w/o his qb i just see ralph wilson w/o kelly, pat bowlin without elway, jerry jones w/o aikman, or even the vikings old ownership w/o fran tarkenton?

so kraft will have his day in the sun, just like debartalo did with montana, walsh, and young.

if i have to build a team from the ground up w/o the benefit of a qb or coach already in place i would choose the rooneys. if they wouldve sold the steelers and started the houston texans, im pretty sure they wouldve been in the playoffs by now. i dont think i can say that about kraft without the benefit of belichick and brady.

Well thats certainly fair enough.

New England success has been built upon having a great coach, great personnel guy and a hum-dinger of 6th round draft pick.

Those 3 elements are keeping New England very competitive this decade, as you say the challenge comes when trying to replicate that success with a new coach and and a new QB.

As much credit as I give that trifecta, I think the very best of footballing values have been instilled in the franchise and that comes from the very top.

The conduct of the players remains of high importance, bothj on and off the field - sure we've had the episode (Ty Law and the 'drug' trafficking springs to mind) but way below the average in NFL terms.

Like i've said many times; the Rooneys set the bar for the NFL.

They showed it was possible to be classy and remain competitive, and that in fact, to accomplish the first may actually help you with the latter.

The quote in my sig is something I can easily imagine Rooney saying - thats why I think he remains the inspiration behind Kraft and his franchise.

tony hipchest
06-09-2007, 05:26 PM
Well thats certainly fair enough.

New England success has been built upon having a great coach, great personnel guy and a hum-dinger of 6th round draft pick.

Those 3 elements are keeping New England very competitive this decade, as you say the challenge comes when trying to replicate that success with a new coach and and a new QB.

As much credit as I give that trifecta, I think the very best of footballing values have been instilled in the franchise and that comes from the very top.

The conduct of the players remains of high importance, bothj on and off the field - sure we've had the episode (Ty Law and the 'drug' trafficking springs to mind) but way below the average in NFL terms.

Like i've said many times; the Rooneys set the bar for the NFL.

They showed it was possible to be classy and remain competitive, and that in fact, to accomplish the first may actually help you with the latter.

The quote in my sig is something I can easily imagine Rooney saying - thats why I think he remains the inspiration behind Kraft and his franchise.kraft was a patriot fan long before he was the owner, (despite being a devout commie, who gave away a ring to putin, who, since, probably sold that ring to the iranians as the secret ingredient to a "super reactor" :chuckle:) so i can appreciate that.

i dont know what art rooney was thinking when he bought the steelers in 1933, but he was a gambler, definitely a fan of the game, and most importantly a visionary for the sport as a whole. other than the gambler part he passed that all on to his son.

Atlanta Dan
06-09-2007, 08:56 PM
I guess it depends on whether its an award for who is the most effective owner currently in the game or whether is a cumulative, lifetime type award.

For me, Kraft has grasped the nuances of what it takes to win consistently in the salary cap era better than any other owner in the game - he has taken the Pittsburgh prototype and improved upon it.

In terms of overall contribution to the game and success while doing it Rooney has to be your man - he has been a great owner for a very long time (32 years?) and has been instrumental in keeping the integrity of the sport at such a high level.

Who has had the biggest impact on the game?

Rooney without a question - without this guy Kraft would have no solid foundation on which to build his franchise.

Who would I want to be my team owner if I could pick anyone?

Robert Kraft.

Honorable mention to Jim Irsay for making the relatively low revenue Colts a perrenial challenger through clever manipulation of the salary cap.

LITP - I agree Kraft is the best of the new breed of owners but as an an owner I believe his contributions are more in increasing the cash flow and net worth of the franchise - IMHO Chick and the front office handle most of the cap issues - on growing the value of his franchise and stealing Belichick away from th Jets as HC Kraft has done a masterful job.

Of course, Kraft, Snyder, and Jones have inherent advantages in terms of being in a major market that allows them to place some bets on growing cash flow that a small market owner such as Dan Rooney does not. It is sort of like asking whether Steve Spurrier was a better coach at Florida or South Carolina - Spurrier had a better record at Florida but he also had more resources to work with at Florida.

Moreover, Kraft and Dan Rooney are very much on opposite sides of the big unresolved issue of how much revenue gets shared between the teams, which is a ticking bomb. I do not regard Dan Rooney's position on the issue as purely altrusitic; he has a lot less that he is being requested to share than Snyder, Jones & Kraft.

However, Kraft has the advantage of flourishing in a system that was built on genuinely altruistic owners such as the Maras, who saw that the revenue streams for all teams would grow if virtually all revenue was shared and all teams potentially were competitive. Time will tell if Kraft's tactics work as well if the NFL devolves into a have/have not system like baseball, which has increasingly meager post-season ratings anytime the Yankees or Red Sox do not go deep into the playoffs, with a consequent depression upon TV revenues.

Atlanta Dan
06-09-2007, 09:09 PM
kraft was a patriot fan long before he was the owner, (despite being a devout commie, who gave away a ring to putin, who, since, probably sold that ring to the iranians as the secret ingredient to a "super reactor" :chuckle:) so i can appreciate that.

i dont know what art rooney was thinking when he bought the steelers in 1933, but he was a gambler, definitely a fan of the game, and most importantly a visionary for the sport as a whole. other than the gambler part he passed that all on to his son.

If you want to see how much the game has changed from an ownership perspective, check out this link to an article on The Chief:

The ledger books show it all started on September 20, 1933 - the Wednesday the Steelers played their first game at Forbes Field against, the New York Giants. There were 13,483 fans, who paid a total of $12,270.03. The Steelers lost 23-2, but Rooney noted: "Crowd was very enthusiastic." That was the modest beginning.

A whole generation of fans has grown up thinking the Steelers always were the modern, successful organization that Rooney's two eldest sons, Dan and Art, Jr., and coach Chuck Noll built when they became the "Team of the Seventies."

But the game's pioneers never dreamed of instant relays and Super Sundays back in the days when they ran their franchises with a handshake. Rooney still remembers the time in the 1930s when George Halas of Chicago offered to give him $500 more than the guarantee for shifting a game date.

The guarantee was 40 percent of the gate or a minimum of $2,500. When it came time to divide the money, Rooney s 40 percent amounted to $3,200. After Rooney reminded Halas about the extra $500, Halas argued he already was getting $700 more than the $2,500 guarantee.

The two men argued their points back and forth until Halas got up from behind his desk and said, "I'll fight you for it, " Rooney laughed and said he didn't want to fight, but finally he won his argument and walked off with a check for $3,7 00.

As Rooney got to the door, he turned to Halas and said, "George, you know if we'd had that fight, you were no sure thing.

http://www.pittsburghsteelers.co.uk/steelers/rooneys/page4.htm

tony hipchest
06-09-2007, 10:03 PM
If you want to see how much the game has changed from an ownership perspective, check out this link to an article on The Chief:

http://www.pittsburghsteelers.co.uk/steelers/rooneys/page4.htmthanks dan. reading that warmed my offseason heart.

while it is hard to take anything away from todays ownership (or groups), i just think that not only do the snyders, krafts, meras, and jones live in major media markets but football is pretty much a hobby for them. win or lose, they dont have to make sound football decisions regarding football. they can just throw money into the wind and let the "chips fall where they may".

excluding the giants ownership, kraft is a multi millionaire as a shipping/packaging tycoon with strong ties to china which is the fastest growing market in the world. no suprise he is the 1 league owner who is pushing games (and jersey sales) to china.

snyder is a dot.com billionaire who i would compare to mark cuban, (w/o actually able to field a winning team) i love cuban and wish he could by the pirates, only because i know he is an enthusiastic fan who knows how to WIN (unlike snyder).

and jones is an oil tycoon. hes not hurting for money.

these guys taking on a football franchise carries about as much (monetary) risk as mike vick investing in the dogfighting business. sure they may lose a few dogs or games, but the thrill of winning and being a "heavyweight" is well worth it.

RoethlisBURGHer
06-09-2007, 11:07 PM
That's definatly the truth Tony.

They Rooney's fortune was built on the Pittsburgh Steelers,so if the product goes south and the money starts dwindling the Rooneys have nothing to fall back on.

I also hate when people call the Rooneys cheap for things like not signing that huge FA (Clements) or cutting a popular player (like Porter).They do those things to stay under the salary cap,sign thier draft picks,and a solid veteran FA or two (like Mahan this season).If they were cheap,they'd have a surplus of cap room like Cleveland,Houston,and other franchises do,though I wouldn't call Cleveland cheap,they just haven't beena haven for guys with big contracts until Savage came around.

I may hate the Patriots for all the grief they have caused me as a Steelers fan,but no doubt I have respect for them and Robert Kraft,the best of the "new breed" of owners out there.I remember once someone was talking about how the Steelers do thigns the ptriot way,and Kraft corrected him by saying the Patriots got thier mold for how to run a football operation from the way the Rooneys have done it since forever,the Patriots just built upon that system.

Livinginthe past
06-10-2007, 04:50 AM
LITP - I agree Kraft is the best of the new breed of owners but as an an owner I believe his contributions are more in increasing the cash flow and net worth of the franchise - IMHO Chick and the front office handle most of the cap issues - on growing the value of his franchise and stealing Belichick away from th Jets as HC Kraft has done a masterful job.

Of course, Kraft, Snyder, and Jones have inherent advantages in terms of being in a major market that allows them to place some bets on growing cash flow that a small market owner such as Dan Rooney does not. It is sort of like asking whether Steve Spurrier was a better coach at Florida or South Carolina - Spurrier had a better record at Florida but he also had more resources to work with at Florida.

Moreover, Kraft and Dan Rooney are very much on opposite sides of the big unresolved issue of how much revenue gets shared between the teams, which is a ticking bomb. I do not regard Dan Rooney's position on the issue as purely altrusitic; he has a lot less that he is being requested to share than Snyder, Jones & Kraft.

However, Kraft has the advantage of flourishing in a system that was built on genuinely altruistic owners such as the Maras, who saw that the revenue streams for all teams would grow if virtually all revenue was shared and all teams potentially were competitive. Time will tell if Kraft's tactics work as well if the NFL devolves into a have/have not system like baseball, which has increasingly meager post-season ratings anytime the Yankees or Red Sox do not go deep into the playoffs, with a consequent depression upon TV revenues.

Without a doubt, Krafts best decision has been to know what duties to delegate to his staff - which I believe to be Snyders main failing as an owner.

From what I have read Kraft and Rooney appear to be on the same team when it comes to the issue of revenue sharing - both are wise enough to know that more competition is better in the NFL (despite that being a counter-intuitive notion for businessmen who normally want to wipe out the opposition).

"I think (revenue-sharing) is the fundamental strength of the league," said Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. "I don't think any of us needs an edge in this area. The edge really should come in terms of how you manage your football operations."

On the subject of re-balancing revenue sharing toward a less equal distribution:

But the bottom line is this: The NFL's revenue policies have kept teams on relatively equal footing, unlike other sports, and even some owners who would benefit from a change do not want to tinker with a good thing. "In the short term, we'd benefit more than the average team, but I don't think that's good for the long-term," New England's Kraft said.

I think there is evidence that Robert Kraft, along with his son Jonathan, is becoming something of a Rooney type figure head for other owners.

Jonathan received plenty of praise from teams on both sides of the revenue sharing issue for helping find a solution that finally got the CBA deal done.

After the long day was over a number of owners came up to Kraft, who was representing the Patriots in the absence of his father, who was on a mission in Israel, thanking him for his efforts. Johnson, for one, seemed to bury the ''border wars" hatchet that has so long hung over Patriot-Jets relations when he credited him with playing a key role in brokering the final deal.

I believe that Kraft feels that some owners are being lazy in terms of maximising the worth and potential of their franchise - that they are doing the minimum and sitting back and waiting for the NFL handout to keep turning a profit.

Buffalo refusing the cede naming rights to their stadium would be one bone of centention - why should other teams generate profit from selling their stadium naming rights (Heinz, Gillette) and then hand over money to a team who insists on keeping the name of its founder/owner?

McNair and fellow committee member Robert Kraft, owner of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, want to preserve the bulk of revenue sharing. But they said it is important that all franchises learn to make money on their own and lessen their dependency on a redistribution of the league's wealth each year.

"Whether you are a small market or a large market, you have to manage the business like any other industry, controlling costs, getting value for the money you spend and being sure you are giving your customers a quality product," Kraft said. "If we don't maintain our entrepreneurial spirit, then our league will die."

Kraft added, "We should have a revenue sharing system that preserves what we have always been doing, but I don't think there should be any free lunches."

Elvis
06-10-2007, 06:04 AM
I too was surprised by Hoge's pick.
:dang::dang::dang:
A very big Suprise for me as well:tt02:

steelersfanmx
06-14-2007, 12:15 PM
Totally agree with this article...:tt02:

"Dan Rooney exemplifies everything it means to be a great NFL owner, a man committed just as much to the health of the league as to that of his own franchise. Watch him at any league meeting, when he walks the halls and accommodates the media like no one else, and then ducks into a conference room to add the voice of reason to any debate. The man is simply the best, and the stability and unwavering principle he has lent to his team is the primary reason the Steelers are an NFL bedrock franchise."