Bad Owners and Loyal Fans: A Recipe for Disaster

josh millarSenior Analyst IJune 18, 2008

Wherever you look at sports today, there seems to be a growing trend of storied and respected franchises becoming unrespectable.

The New York Knickerbockers of the NBA, one of two original NBA teams founded in 1946, are in one of the league's largest TV markets. The Knicks have finished under .500 in the last six seasons, their worst stretch since 1960-1966.

Yet, according to Forbes Magazine, the Knicks are the most valuable basketball franchise in the United States, valued at approximately $608 million.

The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs four years in a row for the first time ever in their history. They have failed to win a championship in the last 41 years, yet they are valued at $413 million, making the Leafs the most valuable team in the NHL.

The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys is the league's most valuable franchise, worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes, yet they haven't won a playoff game since 1995.

The New York Yankees are reportedly valued at $1.2 billion, but they have not won a world series in eight seasons, including a blown 3-0 series lead to the hated Red Sox

So what do all of these teams have in common? The answer is twofold.

First off, these organizations have bad owners and executives.

In the case of the Knicks, owner James Dolan has had more problems with people he's hired in strip clubs than the Knicks have had wins.

The Leafs' ownership is split four ways, so no one knows if they're coming or going. There's no direction. It has gotten so bad that the Leafs are almost admitting to throwing away a season in order to wait for their GM of choice, Brian Burke.

In the case of the Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones brings in troubled players and reportedly interferes in football operations.

Even the Yankees have been reduced to a team that spends money, only to make the playoffs and bow out early. The Yankees have become a high-priced revolving door, spending money in all the wrong places.

Why does this happen you ask?

Well, that’s the second quality they all have in common: loyal fanbases.

You, the loyal fan of each respective franchise mentioned here pay an overpriced amount to see your favorite team. Then you go to the store and buy the jersey, the cap, and whatever other accessories that can show your pride, and gullibility, for your team.

As long as you go to the game, watch on TV, or buy the gear, you are not helping your team! You are merely supporting mediocrity!

If the seats are filled and merchandise sales and TV ratings are sky high, there is no need to win! Winning disrupts the profit margin.

So the next time you want to will your team to victory, stay home, turn off the TV, and find out the result from somebody dumb enough to go to the game.