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View Full Version : Rooneys climb ranks in SI's owner rankings


tony hipchest
07-02-2007, 05:19 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/michael_silver/06/27/ownerrankings/index.html

Once again, many factors are considered -- business savvy, devotion to league growth, aggressive pursuit of winning -- with one overriding consideration: If you're a fan of the team in question, do you want this person (or people) making the big decisions.


last year was quite an uproar when michael silver ranked the rooneys #10. good to see they are climbing up his rankings :rolleyes: :

9. Dan Rooney (Art Rooney II), Steelers


Last year I had Rooney ranked 10th, and many of you folks reacted like I'd just rated democracy as the 10th-best form of government. I'm pretty sure this year's move up to No. 9 won't prevent a similar response. Still, I'll start with the positives.

Rooney is a great man who does his community and league proud, and we all know who knocked on Goodell's hotel-room door to give him the good news last August. Best of all, Rooney resisted both conventional wisdom and the vehement urgings of his son, Art II, and passed over a pair of strong in-house candidates (Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm) to succeed coach Bill Cowher, instead choosing 34-year-old Vikings assistant Mike Tomlin. Regardless of how well Tomlin does in his new job -- and he'll have time to grow into his role, thanks to Rooney's legendary and commendable patience -- we know now that the man who inspired the Rooney Rule truly is committed to advancing the causes of minority-coaching prospects.

OK, now for the not-so-perfect news: Rooney could've retained Cowher had he been willing to pay market value, but his frugal tendencies wouldn't allow it, which is a recurring theme when it comes to Pittsburgh players. He also waited too long to force the issue, creating an obvious lame-duck situation that helped contribute to the Steelers' squandering of their championship edge.

Finally, I'm thoroughly baffled that a boss with Rooney's values would allow his offensive line coach (Larry Zierlein) to remain employed after the recently hired assistant forwarded a pornographic video clip (of a Britney Spears impersonator, by the way) to every high-level executive in the league and his/her secretaries. Ask yourself this question: If someone in accounting had done the same thing, would that person still have a job?


lol. for what its worth heres what makes Wayne Huizenga, Dolphins #8 (guess he forgot about the great culpepper trade)


Huizenga was fourth in last year's rankings, and deservedly so: He's a brilliant businessman who works hard to generate revenue.

But I can't get past the way he smiled and grinned and practically sucked up to Nick Saban as the deceitful coach -- after having denied he was interested in the Alabama job for weeks -- slithered off to Tuscaloosa.

As the Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard so masterfully pointed out at the time, "Huizenga went after Ricky Williams and his money with cutthroat zeal, and Williams is still paying him back. But Saban just broke a contract, too."

My sources tell me Huizenga seethed in private but was too much of a gentleman to say anything disparaging about Saban in public. Forgiving Williams's imaginary debt and letting the halfback get on with his done-with-football life would be an equally gentlemanly gesture that'd make Huizenga look like much less of a hypocrite.
:thumbsup:

texans mcnair is ranked even higher for being "media friendly". :sofunny: but hey, were #9!!!

Livinginthe past
07-02-2007, 05:32 PM
Well im confused (not for the first time say you all :toofunny:)

How does the Panthers owner get so much credit for fielding a 'habitually competitive team' in a small market area - yet the Steelers find themselves at 9?

Irsay at 11? I don't like the Colts and I don't like their douche bag GM, but what they have achieved in Indianapolis is special.

Dan Snyder at 5? Hello? Silver says 'at least he is trying' - that sounds more like someone who should be ranked at 25.

Miami have sucked for a long while and have made fundamental mistakes in key areas recently - poor choice of QB and lack of a decent HC.

With those two absent its tough to make it to 8-8 - Miami's D is the only reason they get close.

McNair in Texas? Bad franchise- poor results...but they are big market right? So they must be good.

I don't like the logic behind ranking at Rooney's at no.10 - this guy is a sports writer (loose term) and still doesn't understand that Pittsburgh spends its salary cap like every other team, they just do it in a different way.

I do however agree that losing Cowher for the sake a few million bucks (when the salary cap is $100million+) is ridiculous - they have a deserved reputation for being too frugal with items that aren't goverend by a salary cap - the state of the playing field for example.

I guess this guy just likes angry letters with a Pittsburgh stamp on 'em!

verks36
07-02-2007, 05:46 PM
snyder at 5 is that a joke maybe one of the worst owners. After all the money they spend what have they produced and what do they have to show for it . All they did was trade the best corner back in the league in champ bailey and hire the 2 over paid cordinators in all saunders and greg williams.

tony hipchest
07-02-2007, 06:05 PM
no rhyme or reason, totally illogical, and alot of what he writes contradicts other rankings in his article. doing what is best for the league is clearly outweighed by owning in the largest markets, and spending the most $$$ (whether it be wreckless or not).

would rooney be successful in the dallas or nyc markets? absolutely. could they have the same success in cincinatti or buffalo? without a doubt. you would think thats worth more than 9th.

i'll have to wait and see how bad tomlin fails before i say saving $5 mil/year on a head coach was a bad business decision, although i initially questioned the move as much as anyone.

Aussie_steeler
07-02-2007, 06:25 PM
32. Mike Brown, Bengals
Boy, Brown has sure done a fantastic job of bringing the Bengals into the 21st Century. Once known merely as a pathetic football team whose on-field ineptitude mirrored management's cheap, clueless approach -- the Bungles -- Brown's team has now become a national punch line, his players the poster children for malfeasance. Welcome to Sin City, or Cinci for short.

At least he didnt mess this one up, unlike the rest of the rankings.

Carlina 3 and Washington 5???? Come on??? And the BUC's, really?????

What relevance does purchasing a soccer team in the UK have on this list? The Bucs have been truly awful but does Manchester United make the bucs a better football organisation? In an open market without a salary cap you can buy the best soccer players if you have the money. But with a salary cap its a different ball game in the NFL and look at their track record lately.

I know I dont live in the northern hemisphere but this article even puzzles me.

tony hipchest
07-02-2007, 06:32 PM
At least he didnt mess this one up, unlike the rest of the rankings.

Carlina 3 and Washington 5???? Come on??? And the BUC's, really?????

What relevance does purchasing a soccer team in the UK have on this list? The Bucs have been truly awful but does Manchester United make the bucs a better football organisation? In an open market without a salary cap you can buy the best soccer players if you have the money. But with a salary cap its a different ball game in the NFL and look at their track record lately.

I know I dont live in the northern hemisphere but this article even puzzles me.ive always thought j. richardson is a good (and loyal) owner. he admittedly has learned alot from the rooneys and they are tight colleagues. i respect how he tries to mold and run his team like the steelers.

the blazers buying a soccer team baffles me too. whooptie doo.

rbryan
07-02-2007, 06:39 PM
Its supposed to puzzle you. The only way any of these rags can draw attention is by being controversial. How many people actually subscribe to SI anymore?? I haven't even seen one anywhere for quite a while. Doctors office,barber shop etc.. They have to publish something stupid like this so the story gets picked up by someone else reminding us they still exist.

The Duke
07-02-2007, 07:26 PM
Rooney should be # 2 at the least, right there besides Rober Kraft.

NV STEELERS 723
07-02-2007, 09:14 PM
I was just at Steelers.com and was reading about the STEELERS Urban event...Coach T and lots of good names showed up...I think its great how the STEELERS give back... I wish I lived in Pittsburgh..I could run the Security at the Airport ...are they hiring?????

SteelCityMan786
07-02-2007, 09:40 PM
I was just at Steelers.com and was reading about the STEELERS Urban event...Coach T and lots of good names showed up...I think its great how the STEELERS give back... I wish I lived in Pittsburgh..I could run the Security at the Airport ...are they hiring?????

Not Sure. They might be now. They just increased security at the airport.

Atlanta Dan
07-02-2007, 10:11 PM
I do however agree that losing Cowher for the sake a few million bucks (when the salary cap is $100million+) is ridiculous - they have a deserved reputation for being too frugal with items that aren't goverend by a salary cap - the state of the playing field for example.


As with stocks, it usually makes sense to buy low and sell high with coaches. Cowher was an excellent (not great) coach, but both Joe Gibbs (who ignored his own advice by coming back) and Bill Walsh have said a head coach loses his effectiveness after 10 years as the top guy. With the exception of Tom Landry, who won his last SB in 1977 after 17 years in the league as HC, not many coaches have had great success after being in the league for 15 years as HCs.

Making Cowher the highest paid coach in the league was defensible but paying for past results rather than future performance was not. I am not glad Cowher is gone but there is more to this than frugality. At some point it is time for both sides to move on; in hindsight Dan Rooney may recall Chuck Noll should have left in the mid-80s.

As for the playing field, I have argued at length to go to FieldTurf, but I do not think that is just a $$ issue. Until last fall the Pats had an equally horrible field and I doubt it was a money issue with Kraft. IMO that is just the Rooneys and Kraft being stubborn (or seeking some sort of home field advantage that escapes me)..

Livinginthe past
07-03-2007, 04:59 AM
As with stocks, it usually makes sense to buy low and sell high with coaches. Cowher was an excellent (not great) coach, but both Joe Gibbs (who ignored his own advice by coming back) and Bill Walsh have said a head coach loses his effectiveness after 10 years as the top guy. With the exception of Tom Landry, who won his last SB in 1977 after 17 years in the league as HC, not many coaches have had great success after being in the league for 15 years as HCs.

Making Cowher the highest paid coach in the league was defensible but paying for past results rather than future performance was not. I am not glad Cowher is gone but there is more to this than frugality. At some point it is time for both sides to move on; in hindsight Dan Rooney may recall Chuck Noll should have left in the mid-80s.

As for the playing field, I have argued at length to go to FieldTurf, but I do not think that is just a $$ issue. Until last fall the Pats had an equally horrible field and I doubt it was a money issue with Kraft. IMO that is just the Rooneys and Kraft being stubborn (or seeking some sort of home field advantage that escapes me)..

If the Rooney's truly felt that Cowher had come to the end of his productive period, then it makes total sense to replace him.

However, they appeared to wait a long, long time for the ultimate success - and then barely a year removed from it the guy becomes dispensible?

Alot of this is guesswork of course, but if Cowher had been tied up to a lucrative deal right after the SB win then I don't think last year would have played out quite like it did.

From everything I have read Cowher seemed resigned to his fate last year and that fed through to the team.

I guess what I am saying, is that money should basically not be an issue for a HC - they have such a large effect on the performance of the $110million of salary cap talent that they should be looked at as an investment,. not an expense.

Atlanta Dan
07-03-2007, 07:15 AM
If the Rooney's truly felt that Cowher had come to the end of his productive period, then it makes total sense to replace him.

However, they appeared to wait a long, long time for the ultimate success - and then barely a year removed from it the guy becomes dispensible?

Alot of this is guesswork of course, but if Cowher had been tied up to a lucrative deal right after the SB win then I don't think last year would have played out quite like it did.

From everything I have read Cowher seemed resigned to his fate last year and that fed through to the team.

I guess what I am saying, is that money should basically not be an issue for a HC - they have such a large effect on the performance of the $110million of salary cap talent that they should be looked at as an investment,. not an expense.

As has been discussed at length in other threads, it appears likely Cowher was going to quit after the 2005 season (unless his wife bought the property in North Carolina in the fall of 2005 in order to move there with the full understanding her husband and she were going to be leading very separate lives) and then stayed after a totally unexpected SB run.

IMO Cowher would have stayed if he received an absolutely outrageous offer but he did not get it - a compelling argument can be made it was the Rooneys who were resigned to dealing with a lame duck HC who was emotionally checked out because there were few viable HC candidates outside the organization who could be hired and put together a stafff in Febrary 2006.

As for $$$ not being an issue, $$$ are always an issue, as a team near and dear to your heart may soon be finding out:smile: Successful businessmen are hard wired not to roll over in contract negotiations and also hav the instinct to jump before they are pushed.

Livinginthe past
07-03-2007, 07:26 AM
As has been discussed at length in other threads, it appears likely Cowher was going to quit after the 2005 season (unless his wife bought the property in North Carolina in the fall of 2005 in order to move there with the full understanding her husband and she were going to be leading very separate lives) and then stayed after a totally unexpected SB run.

IMO Cowher would have stayed if he received an absolutely outrageous offer but he did not get it - a compelling argument can be made it was the Rooneys who were resigned to dealing with a lame duck HC who was emotionally checked out because there were few viable HC candidates outside the organization who could be hired and put together a stafff in Febrary 2006.

As for $$$ not being an issue, $$$ are always an issue, as a team near and dear to your heart may soon be finding out:smile: Successful businessmen are hard wired not to roll over in contract negotiations and also hav the instinct to jump before they are pushed.

I think Cowher could have made a good case t be one of the 3 highest paid coaches in the game - but if, as you say, it would have taken an 'outrageous' offer then you have to question his true motivation.

I appreciate that $$$ are always an issue, but I stand by my point that a good HC is almost invaluable (and doesn't impact the salary cap).

I think the Patriots are in pretty good shape in terms of $$$ going forward, it is my opinion that they have a rolling 3-4 year plan so that, outside of unpredictable human elements (Deion Branch), there shouldn't be too many surprises down the road.

We'll see, I guess.

Buzz05
07-03-2007, 07:27 AM
I read this yesterday and didnt even think it was worth commenting on. Silver is a total moron who obviously has some kind of biased against the small markets. Rooney's at 9...please...and that about the Glazers at 4...Malcom Glazer is is hated through out England because he bought the Manchester United and since the Bucs won the Super Bowl they have been terrible...he ruined a perfectly good coach in Chucky...he deserves better...Glazer is a joke, Silver's rankings are a joke, and Snyder at 5 makes just makes me laugh

Atlanta Dan
07-03-2007, 07:40 AM
I think Cowher could have made a good case t be one of the 3 highest paid coaches in the game - but if, as you say, it would have taken an 'outrageous' offer then you have to question his true motivation.

I appreciate that $$$ are always an issue, but I stand by my point that a good HC is almost invaluable (and doesn't impact the salary cap).

I think the Patriots are in pretty good shape in terms of $$$ going forward, it is my opinion that they have a rolling 3-4 year plan so that, outside of unpredictable human elements (Deion Branch), there shouldn't be too many surprises down the road.

We'll see, I guess.

Actually, I was referring to Belichick - sometimes $$ can be a smokescreen for other career decisions and he may at some point soon decide he has peaked in New England (see my prior post on the Gibbs/Walsh 10 year rule) and seek a new challenge elsewhere (New York?).

Livinginthe past
07-03-2007, 09:43 AM
Actually, I was referring to Belichick - sometimes $$ can be a smokescreen for other career decisions and he may at some point soon decide he has peaked in New England (see my prior post on the Gibbs/Walsh 10 year rule) and seek a new challenge elsewhere (New York?).

Oh I see.

My apologies for the misunderstanding.

We've heard quite a few of the rumors bounce around in Patriotville - Belichick to the Giants, Scott Pioli to the Giants etc etc.

Pioli turned the Giants down (and more money with it I would presume) because he knew a good thing when he seen it - he is given alot of control in New England and doesn't have to fear the bullet if he has a bad year.

As most people know Belichick is a closed book as far as insight into his personal decisions - he is also probably wise enough to know that he has built a very favorable situation for himself in New England - and its one that might not be replicated elsewhere.

Still, everyone has an ego - maybe these guys wont be able the resist the opportunity to turn around another franchise.

tony hipchest
07-03-2007, 10:26 AM
Still, everyone has an ego - maybe these guys wont be able the resist the opportunity to turn around another franchise.if that happens, pete carroll is about the hottest commodity out there. maybe kraft and his #1 ranking would be able to lure him back. :chuckle: or would he buy weiss out of his contract?

anyways i think the continuity from the top on down should be weighted heavilly, yet i dont thin it was even taken into consideration with kraft, laurie, or richardson's rankings, and most definitely not the rooneys ranking. all others in the top 10 have pretty much had a scattershot of coaches and FO people.

Preacher
07-03-2007, 07:43 PM
LITP...

I think it would be fair to say that you would put, in no particular order, Kraft and the Rooney's in the top 5, maybe even the top 2 or 3. right?

If so, I was wondering, would you put Kraft ahead of Rooney? I admit what Kraft has done over the last few years is VERY impressive... but does longevity push the balance in Rooney's favor?

What do you think?

GeneralRobinson
07-03-2007, 07:57 PM
Best of all, Rooney resisted both conventional wisdom and the vehement urgings of his son, Art II, and passed over a pair of strong in-house candidates (Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm) to succeed coach Bill Cowher, instead choosing 34-year-old Vikings assistant Mike Tomlin.

I was not aware that Art II wanted Whisenhunt and Grimm. I never read any reports about this.

HometownGal
07-03-2007, 08:11 PM
There is no way in bloody blue hell that this..........

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/redskinspiggybank.gif

is a better and more respected NFL owner and has done more for the NFL and the game of football itself than.........

http://images.nfl.com/photos/img9210864.jpg

tony hipchest
07-03-2007, 08:19 PM
I was not aware that Art II wanted Whisenhunt and Grimm. I never read any reports about this.out of this whole write up, this little comment was the one that stood out to me the most too.

before i knew all the positives of tomlin, and while i was still a bit bitter about cowher not being extended, i assumed tomlin was art II's hire based on the fact that he would be the easiest to hammer out a deal with (considering all other things equal between him and grimm).

Livinginthe past
07-03-2007, 11:18 PM
LITP...

I think it would be fair to say that you would put, in no particular order, Kraft and the Rooney's in the top 5, maybe even the top 2 or 3. right?

If so, I was wondering, would you put Kraft ahead of Rooney? I admit what Kraft has done over the last few years is VERY impressive... but does longevity push the balance in Rooney's favor?

What do you think?

I'll copy/paste a couple of posts I made in the last 'Best owner' thread we had a few weeks back which sum up my thoughts. :cheers:

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.

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.

tony hipchest
07-04-2007, 12:11 AM
I'll copy/paste a couple of posts I made in the last 'Best owner' thread we had a few weeks back which sum up my thoughts. :cheers:

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

Robert Kraft.


i ask you this in all honesty and hope to get an honest answer.

if the year kraft hired belichick ,cowher had been a "free agent" (assuming both had the same asking price) being the genius owner, who would he have hired?

the steelers took tee martin and the next qb picked in his draft class was tom brady. what if the steelers picked brady and the patriots wound up with martin?

humor me here. would Kraft be considered "the best" if both these scenarios taken place?

personally, i think cowher coulda coached up bledsoe pretty good with tee martin as a back up (athough im not sure it would be 3 sb wins good w/o a qb coach)

to me, krafts success seems to be more of a product of luck while the rooneys seem like more of a product of design.

perhaps kraft counted on drafting a once in a generation franchise qb in the 6th round :hunch:.

obviously the #1 pick in the draft (the carson palmer of the day) wasnt getting it done. (art rooney saw it through with terry bradshaw and he was much more horrible than bledsoe in the beginning).

Livinginthe past
07-04-2007, 01:52 PM
i ask you this in all honesty and hope to get an honest answer.

if the year kraft hired belichick ,cowher had been a "free agent" (assuming both had the same asking price) being the genius owner, who would he have hired?

My immediate response would be Cowher given his resum?.

But then again, the Steelers have made their last couple of HC choices based more on some sort of 'instinct' rather than past work - neither Cowher or Tomlin were exactly high profile when they got picked for the top job right?

Belichick was hardly a trendy pick - but I guess it was clear to Kraft that he had learnt some important lessons in Cleveland (eg - never coach Cleveland again)

the steelers took tee martin and the next qb picked in his draft class was tom brady. what if the steelers picked brady and the patriots wound up with martin?

humor me here. would Kraft be considered "the best" if both these scenarios taken place?

Selecting a guy in the 6th round means you don't have particularly great hopes for him - you probably have him down as a project.

What impressed me most, and where the Steelers would have more than likely fallen down, was giving Tom the fast track the No.2 spot - he rose rapidly and Belichick already really liked what he seen from him.

The way in which he got his debut was injury related of course, but I don't think Bledsoe ever really featured in Belichicks long term plans.

Of course, many other teams (including the Steelers), would probably have put the franchise QB (Bledsoe) straight back in as starter once he regained fitness (or even if he hadn't) - see Ben/Batch last year.

But Belichick went against the majority of Patriots fans and went with the guy who he trusted - he took quite a bit oif abuse in the local press for it at the time.

It would have made things more difficult without Brady - but having Brady affected alot of future decisions so its impossible to say where the franchise would be had certain things not happened.

personally, i think cowher coulda coached up bledsoe pretty good with tee martin as a back up (athough im not sure it would be 3 sb wins good w/o a qb coach)

Bledsoe gave a struggling franchise some amazing days in the sun - when he hit his stride he was awesome.

What he never was, was clutch - when you really, really neded a big play he would overthrow by a mile or take too long and get sacked.

For my money, Bledsoe was as 'coached up' as possible (I don't regard Cowher as either a particularly good judge of QB talent or having ability to coach them up)

to me, krafts success seems to be more of a product of luck while the rooneys seem like more of a product of design.

perhaps kraft counted on drafting a once in a generation franchise qb in the 6th round :hunch:.

obviously the #1 pick in the draft (the carson palmer of the day) wasnt getting it done. (art rooney saw it through with terry bradshaw and he was much more horrible than bledsoe in the beginning).

Well, I think Kraft has put alot of important things in place that allowed luck to make a difference - he has a great personnel guy, a great coach - both of whom work in almost total harmony which is very rare.

At some point, you have to stop thinking of these things as luck and give credit where its due.

Stu Pidasso
07-04-2007, 04:15 PM
What is it about the douchebag fukin Patriots getting every possible props and #1's that really, really burns my ass?

Livinginthe past
07-04-2007, 04:40 PM
What is it about the douchebag fukin Patriots getting every possible props and #1's that really, really burns my ass?

The strong element of truth perhaps?

rbryan
07-04-2007, 05:25 PM
Patsies must be number one if SI says so. We should just cancel the season and give them the SB trophy now.

Does Kraft get a separate trophy for being the SI super duper, best owner ever award?

ShutDown24
07-05-2007, 10:26 PM
Wayne Huizenga a "brilliant buisnessman"? Are you joking? I remember at one point during this off-season (when the team lost Nick Saban) he was literally asking for suggestions from the media and fans. "Any suggestions on which way the organization should turn would be appreciated."

Either way it's all a matter of opinion... Most sports writers acknowledge that fact and will be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as an 'expert'. I am myself studying journalism and would like to write about sports more than anything else if possible (It's the most competetive field of journalism there is by far) and even I realize that sometimes I will sound like a moron.

Preacher
07-05-2007, 10:57 PM
On the Pats....

Until the Pats go through a couple of decades with the same owners, and continues to be competitive, I won't be too impressed. They have done a good job now, but it doesn't compare.

xXTheSteelKingsXx
07-06-2007, 10:32 AM
Are they serious? 9th. Theres no way that the Rooneys should be ranked that low. They ought to be at least in the top 5.