There are many different titles placed upon the head of sports organizations, most commonly commissioner, but they all serve the same purpose.
1) Set and enforce rules and regulations
2) Promote the sport
3) Public figure for the sport
It's a highly respected position and it's often times the most overlooked. The president or commissioner is responsible for the likelihood of the entire organization. He's the one person who their job isn't done right, the whole organization can tank.
Here are the best heads of organizations starting from the worst to first:
Bud Selig - MLB
During his reign Selig has done both wonders and avoided near disasters. He saw a resurgence in "America's Sport" in 1998. And he avoided a strike in 2002.
But unfortunately for Selig there's been more bad than good. He was the acting commissioner during the baseball strike in 1994, the first strike in 90 years, which almost killed baseball for good.
And although he saw a resurrection in 1998, he did so by turning a blind eye to steroids. He put the games credibility and his players health in jeopardy for what he thought was the greater good.
He has yet to take responisbility for his lack of action, which made the problem so obvious congress had to step in.
Add in the 2002 All-Star game debacle, when the game ended in a tie, and you've got the worst commissioner in sports.
David Stern - NBA
The longest reigning of all the candidates, David Stern has been working wonders in the NBA since 1984.
He had major help as he became the head of the league the same year as MJ, Olajuwon and Barkley but has made great strides since then.
He's transformed the league from a "thug" sport to a international phenomenon. Although his implementation of a dress code and other rules have been controversial it has also been very effective.
Under his leadership they have two additional leagues. The WNBA, which has been vital for women's sports even though it's not widely watched, and D-League, which gives ballers a chance if they've been overlooked by NBA teams.
He's been everything a sport's commish should be.
Roger Goodell - NFL
Supposedly the shoe-in as Paul Tagliabue's replacement, Roger Goodell narrowly edged out Gregg Levy for the spot.
Known for making the football known as the No Fun League for his strict rules on the field, but more importantly for his harsh rulings for off the field actions.
Goodell has implemented a no tolerance attitude and has already suspended two players indefinitely for their off the field antics (Michael Vick and Adam Jones, which resulted in a four-game suspension).
Like Stern, Goodell has done all he can to make his league an international sensation. With games played in Europe and Canada this year and more games to played across the lake and over the border in the following seasons.
The NFL is by far the most popular league, althoug most of who's success Goodell inherited. But it he has not only kept up the good work, but he's expanded on it as well.
Dana White - UFC
The top man of all of sports has to be the president of the UFC, Dana White. Although his sport has had the furthest to go, it also had the most to lose.
Before White took the reigns MMA was labled a human cockfight, and since it had little to no rules it pretty much was.
When White and the Fertittas took over the UFC in 2001 they took the world by storm. Not only did they change the way the UFC was looked at put they eventually bought out Pride, the premier organization in Japan.
White's impact for MMA is unprecedented. He has been able to get MMA sanctioned in almost every US state, and hopes to concur the last giant (New York) this year.
Not only has he been able to make it legal to hold events in almost every major state, but he has finally gained the respect and attention of ESPN. Although the network held non-sports like the spelling bee and hot dog eating contests, it paid no attention to mix martial arts.
With White's heavy promotional campaign, ESPN has finally recognized the UFC for what it is, the major reason why MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world.
Now the UFC is exposed to hundreds of thousands of people who would not have given the sport the light of day. Now everyone has to give the UFC the respect it deserves or get run over by its huge following.
Dana White is by far the best president or commissioner in all of sports. Noone has had the turnaround that White has been able to produce. And the best thing is he still has so much that he can do.