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Old 06-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default The Best: Owner

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/s...t&lid=tab4pos2
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

Hogee should know better. Did someone put something in his eggs?
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

I too was surprised by Hoge's pick.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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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.
Couldn't have said it better.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post

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.
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Old 06-09-2007, 05:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Best: Owner

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
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.
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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