BRONX, NY – It’s time to take ownership, people. Ownership of your words, ownership of your actions, and ownership of what types of owners own your favorite sports teams. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that we just can’t scrutinize the players we root for but we must also take a good long look at the people who own the teams we worship. In an effort to get the ball rolling, here’s a quick-and-dirty primer to the basic types of sports owners.
Egomaniacal Nutjob on the Downslope. The best example of this owner is none other than Jerry Jones. In his current form, Jones is nothing more than a rebooted version of former Raider CEO (Corpse Executive Officer) Al Davis. He’s already transitioning smoothly; like an old man getting into a bathtub–into the Howard Hughes years of his life. As he continues his deliberate descent into madness, Jones will eventually turn his team and new stadium into the kind of abandoned/haunted carnival one might only find on an old episode of Scooby Doo. I’d say we’re only a few years removed from Jones sauntering into the Cowboy’s Draft War Room, kicking everyone out, stripping down to nothing but boots, holster, and six-shooter and using all of his draft picks on southern-fried quarterbacks.
Racist Who Doesn’t Understand Why Everyone Thinks They’re a Racist. In the light of recent comments and events surrounding Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, can we just assume that pretty much all NBA owners are racist and call it a day? On a personal note: Levenson’s thoughts on black fans perhaps driving away white fans runs directly counter to my movie-going experiences as a kid, where the presence of black film fans at horrible horror flicks being shown in and around the Fordham Road area only made me want to attend those movies more. So there!, Bruce Levenson.
Stupid Crooks. I’m sorry if this seems like piling on at this point, but you simply can’t talk about this type of owner without starting with the Wilpons. The Mets’ owners are the only guys who could make Orioles owner Peter Angelos look like Plato and Hank and Hal Steinbrenner resemble Orville and Wilbur Wright. I think most Mets fans look at Fred and Jeff Wilpon the same way I look at Nicolas Cage and Liam Neeson being action stars: How did this happen and how can we make it stop?
The Femme Fatale. As far as female sports owners go, former Los Angeles Rams head honcho Georgia Frontiere was the prototype. After her husband Caroll Rosenbloom’s untimely death in 1979, Frontiere took over his football team and ran it for thirty years. According to Wikipedia, this distinction earned her the nickname, “Madame Ram” which, if you ask me, isn’t such a hot nickname for a girl. Anyway, the bigger importance here is that Hollywood noticed Frontiere and proceeded to turn the idea of her into a stock movie character. Sure the woman owner of the Charlestown Chiefs in Slap Shot, preceded Frontiere by a couple of years, but others such as the owner in Major League and Cameron Diaz in Any Given Sunday, did not. Why does Tinseltown always have to make woman owners conniving and undermining? We need more real female sports team owners to turn this whole negative image around.
Adolescent Billionaire. Mark Cuban anyone? Players love to play for owners like this because they soup up the locker room with the latest games, sound systems, and other amenities and act like they’re one of the boys. But they really aren’t. The players are just like giant play things to this type of owner, sorta like Richard Pryor in The Toy. They always seems to be present and vocally supporting their team, which is great. But most of the time they’re really just doing this to promote themselves and to rub elbows with the celebs.
The Faceless Corporation. Look, I know I made mention of Hank and Hal Steinbrenner earlier, but if you really think those two broken milk bottles are running the Yankees I have a job writing for this site that will pay you untold millions. The Yankees are now being run by a bunch of nameless, faceless, gray men in suits who will stop at nothing to keep the “company” profitable. The same goes for my Seattle Mariners and a bunch of other teams. It’s not the worst thing in the world, after all, the players always like to refer to their sports as “a business,” but it’s also kinda sad. There’s really no one to whoop it up with when you win and, more importantly, point a finger at when you don’t.
Fan Ownership. There’s no such thing. The Tooth Fairy and Kim Kardashian’s breasts are more real. You Green Bay Packers fans are a bunch of slack-jawed morons with more wholes in your collective cerebral cortex than a 100-mile-long slice of Swiss. Go wipe your butts with your worthless stock certificates. The Minnesota Vikings are coming and there’s hell to pay!