Al Davis and the 15 Most Hated Team Owners in Sports
Al Davis gave yet another press conference for the ages on Tuesday. In introducing Hue Jackson as the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders, he simultaneously took the time to try his hand at publicly destroying former head coach Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin style.
And everywhere, people all thought the same thing: "Man do I hate that guy."
When it comes to sports owners, this is a phrase we use a lot. This is not to say that we always mean it, but it is obvious that there are some owners who just rub fans the wrong way.
So we got to thinking and came up with a list of the 15 most hated owners in sports.
15. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment: All Toronto Teams
The Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment group controls the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and an assortment other sports-related assets.
Of the teams controlled by the group, which is headed by Richard Peddie and Larry Tannenbaum, all of them are awful.
The Maple Leafs represent the biggest sin of the bunch. In terms of worth, the Maple Leafs are the most valuable team in the NHL, yet the team hasn't won a Stanley Cup since 1967. That's not likely to change any time soon.
So this could just be my guess, but maybe there's too much under the MLSE's umbrella?
14. David Glass: Kansas City Royals
Do you remember the last time the Royals were relevant?
Neither do I, and that has a lot to do with David Glass.
Glass purchased the Royals in 2000 and has done absolutely nothing to improve the team. He used to be the CEO of Wal-Mart. How odd, then, that the Kansas City Royals have quite a few similarities to Wal-Mart?
Indeed, they're a cheap, sleazy outfit that the rest of the country could care less about. And as anybody that has ever watched a Royals' home game can vouch, the Kansas City faithful could also care less.
Well done, Mr. Glass.
13. Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City
Sheikh Mansour bought Manchester City in September of 2008, a transaction that was met with immediate confusion and scorn throughout the EPL.
Manchester City was not a major player when he took it over. But he proceeded to pump obscene amounts of money into the team. He has also forked over a ridiculous amount of money to all the best players, such as the record 32.5 million pounds he paid for Robinho.
It's debatable whether or not his spending is bad for football, but it's certainly bad for old guard powers such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.
I guess they don't like change in England.
12. Peter Angelos: Baltimore Orioles
Sports Illustrated ranked Peter Angelos as the worst owner in baseball in 2009, and for good reason.
Since he took over the club in 1993, the once-great Orioles have made just two postseason appearances, and have had 12 straight losing seasons. In that time, they've had nine different managers and they haven't had a true franchise player ever since Cal Ripken retired.
And for the record, the only person that came to Angelos' defense when SI named him as the worst owner in baseball was former Oriole Brady Anderson, who Angelos gave ridiculous amounts of money to.
11. Mike Ashley: Newcastle United
Ever since Mike Ashley purchased Newcastle United in 2007, he has spent much of his time pissing off every last soul who has a vested interested in the EPL.
This started when he made some questionable personnel moves when he first took over the club, and he then earned scorn from around the league when he openly acted as a rowdy fan. In August of 2008, he was captured on tape drinking a pint in the stands, which is against the rules (no alcohol in the sight of the pitch).
It didn't take long for Ashley to crumble as the club's owner, as he put Newcastle United up for sale in September 2008. Of course, he ended up taking it off the market in December and has proceeded to go on annoying people ever since.
10. Mike Brown: Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Brown inherited the Cincinnati Bengals in 1991. That just so happens to be the same year the team went in the toilet.
Coincidence? No, not really.
In his nearly 20 years at the helm, Brown has always been a kind of de facto general manager, and Bengals fans are still waiting on his first really good personnel decision.
That could have come this offseason. But instead, Brown decided to keep Marvin Lewis around, even after it has been obvious for a while now that he's just not a very good head coach.
What do the fans in Cincinnati think of him? Well, they have been known to pay for planes that fly around bearing messages that call for his resignation.
In other words, they don't like him.
9. Donald Sterling: Los Angeles Clippers
Donald Sterling has owned the Los Angeles Clippers for 30 years now. In a sample size as big as that, you would think that his team could do better than exactly two winning seasons.
But nope, they've been consistently rotten for three decades. And it goes without saying that he hasn't done much to turn things around.
Unless, of course, signing Baron Davis to a $65 million contract and then criticizing him counts as "turning things around."
It's a good thing the Clippers don't have fans. Otherwise, this guy would have been run out of town on a rail years ago.
8. William Clay Ford: Detroit Lions
William Clay Ford first purchased the Lions back in 1964, and the team has been the laughingstock of the NFL ever since then, making the postseason just nine times, and winning just one playoff game.
Think about that. That's a really long time. Long enough to make Donald Sterling's ownership of the Clippers look like a success.
Meanwhile, the Detroit fans still show up and pay their hard-earned money to watch a team that pretty much has no hope of ever being good.
For that, they can thank this guy.
7. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner: New York Yankees
Despite the fact that the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner is now largely being heralded as one of the great things to ever happen to baseball history, the fact of the matter is that he wasn't exactly well liked.
Well, his sons, Hank and Hal, are running the team now. When they assumed control of the ballclub late in George's life, I had my hopes that they wouldn't be as obnoxious as their dad.
But while we rarely ever hear from Hal, Hank is definitely a chip off the old block.
"This is a Yankee country," he said back in 2008. "We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."
Yup, sounds like the Boss and that's not a good thing.
6. Jeremy Jacobs: Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins may have returned to respectability in recent years, but in the eyes of most Bostonians, that's too little, too late to save Jeremy Jacobs' legacy as the team owner.
Jacobs has owned the team since 1975 and the Bruins have won exactly zero Stanley Cups since then. Moreover, his frugality is legendary, and it's mainly because of him that nobody refers to Boston as "Hockeytown" any more.
Of course, it doesn't help that the other three major teams in Boston have all been hugely successful in recent years.
5. Daniel Snyder: Washington Redskins
There have been many sports owners who have been hopelessly inept at running their own teams, but Redskins owner Daniel Snyder might just take the cake.
Since Snyder purchased the team in 1999, the Redskins have gone 86-106, and the team has long since faded into irrelevance. Given that they were one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, this is actually a significant accomplishment.
Along the way, Snyder has done everything in his power to piss off the Redskins faithful. This includes constantly-changing coaches, refusing to develop young players, paying way too much money for over-the-hill free agents and suing season ticket holders.
There are some things that an owner just shouldn't do and Snyder's done all of them.
4. Malcolm Glazer: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Manchester United
Malcolm Glazer has done some pretty great things for the Buccaneers after his group purchased the team back in 1995. They turned into perennial contenders a few years later, and would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002.
But he then decided to go and buy Manchester United between 2003 and 2005, and that just hasn't worked out well for anyone. His purchase ended up putting the club in tremendous debt, which he countered by raising ticket prices.
As a result, he's been consistently protested by the Man U faithful and has also been accused of not pumping enough money into the Buccaneers.
There aren't too many owners that are hated on two continents, so I guess he deserves credit for doing it big.
3. Mark Cuban: Dallas Mavericks
I tried like hell to come up with a word that more appropriately describes Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban more than "doofus."
But alas, I was unsuccessful, as you can plainly see.
But the man isn't just any doofus. He's a doofus with a boatload of cash and he's turned the Mavericks into a considerable asset since he bought the team in 2000.
However, he's also done everything in his power to earn the scorn of the entire NBA, as well as that of all the people watching at home.
True, his antics are often comical and they're good for a laugh, but nobody said you have to like clowns in order to laugh at them.
Speaking of which, "clown" is also a good word to describe him.
2. Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys
Jones has been one of the most controversial owners in sports ever since he bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and immediately started a cleansing process of the whole organization. Among the people he jettisoned was the great Tom Landry, who had been the only head coach in the team's history.
That riled up the Dallas faithful, and Jones has spent the 20-plus years since then annoying the hell out of the rest of the NFL fan base. A lot of this was accomplished in the 1990s, when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls and established themselves as the most downright pompous professional sports franchise in America, with Jones at its head.
Most recently, he's built that 100,000-seat monstrosity that is as much a personal shrine as it is a football field.
So yeah, he's a jerk.
1. Al Davis: Oakland Raiders
It just so happens that I am a diehard Oakland Raiders fan, but even I'm frightened of Al Davis.
The man has shown time and time again that if you [bleep] with him, you're finished. And even if you don't really deserve it, Al will bury you anyway.
Among the people that have pissed Al off over the years are Ken Stabler, Marcus Allen, Mike Shanahan, John Gruden, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable, and the entirety of the National Football League. And all of them have paid for it in one way or another.
Davis does have his supporters, but one suspects that's because there are rational people in the world who would rather not have their souls crushed by one of the angriest old men in existence.