Monday, July 14, 2008
Barbarians at the NFL Gate?
John Helyar, who co-authored "Barbarians at the Gate," writes a piece for Bloomberg business wire on the sale of NFL teams. It's a bit different then the pieces sportswriters across the country have been writing, seeing he is a business writer. In the article, he states: "The clock is also running out on a whole generation of NFL owners, who bought into the game in simpler, cheaper times and are now hard-pressed to keep operating in the face of some combination of family feuds, high estate taxes and far higher costs of doing business. This trend has been building since the early 1990s, when the squabbling mom-and-pop operators of the Miami Dolphins, the Robbie family, sold the team to H. Wayne Huizenga for $138 million after the death of patriarch Joe Robbie." He said the NFL isn't exactly sorry to see some of these old-time owners leave. Though, he did say it appears the NFL would like to see the Rooneys stay.
Here is what I wrote last week about my disappointment in seeing the Rooney family possibly leaving the NFL: "It doesn't seem right if the Rooneys are no longer owners of the Steelers. The old man bought it for $2,500. I'm not a Steelers lover or a Steelers hater. Just an NFL fan who loves the idea that this organization has been in same hands for the past 75-plus years. You almost thought Dan Rooney (at left) broke out his roll of quarters, nickles and dimes to figure out who the team could afford. And then the team and their fans always got more than their money's worth. Under the Rooneys, the Steelers have always appeared to be a small hometown business. They're the George Baileys of the world. Druckenmiller sounds like a wonderful guy, but hopefully the Rooneys' wonderful life in the NFL will continue."