As a Mets fan I easily could write about the Mets letting the season slip away without making any moves and how us Mets fans wish our ownership and management would do something about it (which they should have been sellers, and traded off Beltran and/or others). But I’m going to take a different angle and talk about the kind of owner we wish we had. With the recent passing of George Steinbrenner, all of us Mets fans have concurred and said pretty loudly that we all wish we could have had an owner of our team that was as passionate and willing to go to the lengths that George did for his team.
George stretched the boundaries of the rules and sometimes felt the consequences. But as fans, when owners make those mistakes in an effort of trying to make their team better, we welcome that and appreciate that our owner will go to any lengths to put a winning team on the field. Just like in football, when coaches yell at the players, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it going 100 mph and giving 100%”. We fans feel the same way about our owners.
George didn’t always make the right moves, he was suspended and got in arguments with some of his key players and managers. But a lot of that was intentional. And why; to take the heat off his team, for his team to use him as the bad guy and for them to unite in the clubhouse…again doing whatever it takes to win. George brought 7 championships to the Yankees and should definitely be elected to the Hall of Fame. And if you want to judge how good of an owner he was financially, well how does 33,000% return on your investment sound. Him and a group buying the Yankees for $10 million and returning them to greatness; where they’re now worth $1.6 billion ($3.4 billion with YES network and things). And many people consider Steinbrenner the greatest owner in the history of sports.
But as successful as George was, there is another owner in sports that used George as inspiration, a mentor and eventually a partner; and in my opinion will one day be considered the greatest owner ever. Jerry Jones has strangely mirrored Steinbrenner by buying a struggling iconic franchise and winning championships within a short period of time. And many of times their respective fan base criticized each owner for being too involved and not going about it the right way. But both demonstrate that they will do anything to win trophies. They both won championships relatively early after taking ownership then went through some tough times before being competitive again. Not only do us fans make this observation of their similarities; both Steinbrenner and Jones realized this themselves and entered into a partnership together a couple of years ago to form Legends Hospitality & Management.
Now Jones only has 3 Superbowl titles to Steinbrenner’s 7 titles. But George owned the Yanks for 37 years and Jones has owned the Cowboys for 21 years; not to mention the Jones having to operate in a much more stringent NFL and not the wide open MLB.
Jones bought the Cowboys for $70 million and it’s now worth $1.65 billion (2nd most valuable franchise in the world to Manchester United). And thanks to Bill Parcells, the Cowboys are back on track and have a lot of talent and could be poise for another run in the near future that could challenge Steinbrenner for championships.
I know there are arguments to be made for other owners, but both Jerry and George have demonstrated how differently they accomplish championships and raise the value of their franchises, combining competiveness and business savvy to satisfy the fans and increase their investment.
And I believe Jones will lead the Cowboys to be the first team to play in their own stadium for the Superbowl this year and start towards dethroning Steinbrenner as the greatest owner in sports history…he has 16 years to prove me right.