First off, I have give credit where credit is due, and when I heard a person at work mention this topic that’s in the headline, I had to jump on it as I thought it was pretty interesting to ponder. I came across a quote by legendary author Brooke Astor (who I found out lived to be 105!), where she said “power is the ability to do good things for others” and believe it or not I was able to tie this in with sports.
Over the years, sports fans have had to deal with the stupidity of their team being ran by owners who had a few bucks to spare, so they’re like “hey, I’m bored, lemme go buy a sports team because why not?” Take fictional character Rachel Phelps, from the movie Major League for example. With this, having to deal with crappy owners being a Cleveland fan, I recently came to with a bold take about the owner of a sports teams owners and how their power and them being the boss can/will eventually end up with them having nothing to show for their tenure with the organization. This most of the time isn’t for the good of the team or its fan base as well.
Here on LifeTakes, we like to bring the fun and sarcasm to our posts, so I apologize for getting political for a moment.
Being very split on whether or not term limits should be placed on sitting Congress members, I would find it very interesting to one day see the same for sports owners. Where am I getting at?Let’s dive in.
In big government, you can become an elected official in your 30s and remain in office literally until you cannot make a coherent sentence. Not only can you sit in office for 50+ years, but you can do that all while either A, not doing a single thing to make change during your tenure or B, use your power not for the good of the people, but rather yourself as well as your political colleagues.
Well take notorious owner, Art Modell for example and I found it interesting how similar his career was, such that a politicians career. First off, Art bought the Browns back in 1961, at the age of 36 (similar to when most politicians start their career). Now, yes I’m aware he brought home a championship in 1964, which was pretty much winning the Super Bowl, since the Super Bowl wouldn’t be a thing for another 3 years. However, within those next three years in when Modell, IMO, started becoming the tyrant, skeptical businessman we know him as today. I’m talking about firing legendary coach Paul Brown, because Modell has to micromanage and question his play style constantly, releasing stars like Jack Gregory due to contract disputes rather than trying to negotiate, leaving Leroy Kelly all by his lonesome. Pretty much the Nixon of sports owners.
There’s a saying that goes “if you don’t know what you’re doing, you try to do everything” and this would for sure apply to the Art man. Come the 1970s is where we really started to see the true Art, as he, like many politicians would run the team for the next 30 years only for things to get worse and not better. I would be referring to Art buying Municipal Stadium from the city of Cleveland, to run it as his own operation. This meant he’d be in charge of literally everything. The revenue, the maintenance, the repairs, the marketing, and not only for the Browns, but for the Indians as well before they moved into the Jake.
Like a lot of politicians, Modell started getting greedy and would end up keeping the revenue from the Indians logo and would not share it with the club. This would the start of his “Nixon-like” tenure with the team as he would start to become panicked, as the recently successful Indians would move into Jacobs field. His jealously and failure to upkeep Municipal stadium would lead to his version of the Saturday Night Massacre, where in 1996, to get his money back, Modell sold us out and shipped the team to Baltimore.
If you didn’t manage to already exit or stop reading this lengthy post, I’ll wrap things up here.
My point of all this is, it would be interesting to see how differently owners and other high level executives would react/ actually light some fire under their buts, if they knew they had X amount of time to show something for their ridiculously long tenure. Like Ms. Phelps from Major League, she wanted the team to get rich and move them to Florida so she could live in the lime light, and would probably continue to do so for the rest of her days. It’s getting ridiculous that fans have to sit there, years on end, while they watch the leader of the organization, year after year, making either good or bad decisions for the team and have nothing to show for it and repeat this cycle for the next 50 years. Some food for thought.