Archive - December 2016
- Column: Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria About To Cash InDecember 29, 2016
Move over Ozzie and Daniel Silna. The brothers parlayed a $1 million investment in an American Basketball Association team in 1974 into an estimated $800 million return from NBA television rights over a period of 40 years. That deal is considered by many to be the greatest sports investment of all time. Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is about to trump that. In 1999, Loria, an art dealer who was educated at Yale and Columbia, purchased a 24 percent stake in the Montreal Expos for a mere $12 million investment, also becoming the team’s managing general partner. At the time, Loria was viewed by the locals as the savior of baseball in Montreal. Little did they know that he was really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Loria quickly proved to be a deft opportunist and a master at taking advantage of fortuitous circumstances.
- Column: Vegas Golden Knights Not So GoldenDecember 22, 2016
One of the most ballyhooed – and important - events in the birth of a sport franchise is the public unveiling of a team’s name and logo. The adage, “you only get one opportunity to make a great first impression” applies. Unfortunately, the Las Vegas expansion franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL) couldn’t have bungled that opportunity more if they had tried. On November 22, Bill Foley, the owner of the team, unveiled the nickname and logo to a group of media, fans and dignitaries. To say the name “Golden Knights” received a lukewarm reception would be an understatement. Sin City’s first Major League team in any sport made no effort to identify with the locals. The name has absolutely no connection to Las Vegas. In addition, the name is hardly unique. The U.S. Army quickly expressed concern based on their use of the name for their Parachute Team.
- Column: Restoring Integrity to Sport CompetitionDecember 15, 2016
If you thought McLaren I was a blockbuster, you haven’t read McLaren II. Richard McLaren is the Canadian attorney who earlier this year was commissioned by WADA – the World Anti- Doping Agency – to investigate allegations that Russia engaged in a doping scandal designed to thwart testing of its athletes. Just weeks prior to the Rio Olympics McLaren issued a report which confirmed whistleblower claims that the doping program initiated by the Russian government was widespread, pervasive and systemic.
- Column: In College Football The Right Coach MattersDecember 8, 2016
This is the time of year when college football games really matter. Many teams played their top rivals two weeks ago and conference championship games were held on Saturday, with the results determining the composition for the College Football Playoff. It’s also the most important time of the season for coaches, where game results seal their future. A number of coaches were on the hot seat even before the season began and to no one’s surprise, changes on the coaching carousel have already been made. Early in the season Les Miles was fired after 11-plus seasons at LSU. Miles led the Tigers to a 114-34 record, compiling more wins than any other program in the SEC during his tenure in Baton Rouge. But sometimes familiarity breeds dissatisfaction, especially when the bar has been set unreasonably high.
- Column: Jimmie Johnson The Best Of All TimeDecember 1, 2016
It’ll Never Happen Again, by Tim Hardin Tim Hardin 1, 1966 Move over, Richard Petty. You too, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Make room for Jimmie Johnson. The Mount Rushmore of NASCAR now includes three names after Johnson won his record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Championship at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. With the win, Johnson joins The King, Petty, and The Intimidator, Earnhardt, Sr. as the only drivers in history to achieve that lofty goal. And Johnson, the youngest of the three to win seven and the only active driver with more than one, may not be done. At 41, Johnson has the time, health, focus and team resources to win more titles.