Archive - July 2014
- Column: Intrigue Surrounding Selig SuccessorJuly 28, 2014
The intrigue surrounding the search for Bud Selig’s successor shows that even successful individuals, usually a prerequisite to owning a Major League sports franchise, can be petty, selfish and subjective. Selig has held the title of baseball commissioner for 22 years, the second longest tenure of any of the sport’s commissioners. At 80 years old, he is determined to step down next January. Selig has been down this road twice before and each time has been persuaded to re-up for an additional term. While some owners have expressed a desire for a three-peat, the commissioner is adamant that this time he means what he says. To emphasize that point, in May he appointed a seven-person search committee and charged them with finding his replacement.
- Column: Rockies Owner Disses FansJuly 21, 2014
It’s obvious that Colorado Rockies’ owner Dick Monfort is stressed and frustrated. His team, which looked like a contender in the spring, recently hit rock bottom in the National League West. But that’s no excuse for the way he’s been treating the team’s fans. Monfort took issue with a fan’s responses on a comment card submitted after the fan attended the Rockies’ Fourth of July game. Rather than reach out to the fan in a positive manner Monfort sent him the following message: “If product and environment that bad, don’t come.” We don’t know what the fan said, but Monfort is the owner of the “product” and the person who controls the fan environment. Therefore, his comments were totally out of line.
- Column: NASCAR Teams Form AllianceJuly 14, 2014
A group of nine team owners representing 25 cars in NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup series recently announced the formation of the Race Team Alliance (RTA), signaling a potentially seismic change in the sport of stock car racing. The RTA could be the best thing to ever happen to the sport and the worst nightmare for the France family, owners of NASCAR since it was first organized in 1948. Unlike traditional sports where the governing body is run by team owners who elect a commissioner, when Bill France, Sr. formed NASCAR he anointed himself as the benevolent dictator. Although the third generation of the France family now owns NASCAR, little has changed in how the sport operates. NASCAR sanctions races, negotiates national sponsorship and television contracts, disciplines teams and drivers, and makes up the rules of the sport as it goes along. In addition to NASCAR, the France family controls International Speedway Corporation which owns or operates 13 tracks that host 19 of the 36 races that comprise the Sprint Cup schedule.
- Column: Redskins' Name Will Change - SomedayJuly 7, 2014
You’ve got to hand it to Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder. In the face of overwhelming odds, he remains adamant that he will never change his team’s name. The latest blow against the nickname “Redskins” came from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when a panel of three judges voted to cancel six of the team’s trademarks. According to the majority in the 2-1 decision, the trademark registrations “…must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.” That statement smacks of hypocrisy. If the marks were disparaging at the time they were registered, why were the team’s applications approved in the first place?