The Most Bonkers Owners From All Five Pro Sports
Team owners, amirite? Can't live with ‘em, would probably experience less racism and sexual assault without ’em. Sure, every billionaire is a policy failure, but also, sometimes billionaires throw money at athletes, so…basically a wash? Anyway, from “lovably eccentric” to “how are a you human person," here is our list of the most bonkers owners in the five main pro leagues.
(Yes, North America has four major pro sports, but an innovative research method we're pioneering called “looking around” has told us the rest of the world enjoys something called “footie” (sp?), so we're throwing our international readers a bone. Lots of bones, because…)
Tier Five: The International Men Of Mystery of the English Premier League
David Gold and David Sullivan, West Ham
Our first owners are a couple of pornographers, like if Matt and Trey from South Park bought a sports team. A rival exec once called them “The Dildo Brothers.” Even though “Dildo Davids” was sitting right there, as was the hobbit-themed “Dilbo Davidses.” What bodily-fluid-soaked rags-to-riches story that is.
Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City
Don't look up “camel racing” if you want to continue celebrating Manchester City's amazing 21st century glow-up without a little tinge of guilt in your belly. There are ongoing allegations that he helped former Chelsea boss and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich ‘evade sanctions.’ Solidarity amongst the ownership class, we see.
Joe Lewis, Tottenham Hotspur
Guy lost a billion dollars in a day when the stock market crashed in 2008. He's attempted to shake down corrupt officials in Argentina to turn a portion of Patagonia's picturesque landscape into his personal playground. His not-at-all-henchmanly-named friend Van Ditmer threatened “we are going to defend the private property with the Winchester in hands; with blood if needed.” Sounds a little hot under the spur, amirite? Is that a thing you Brits say?
Tier Four: The Greedy Misanthropes of Major League Baseball
Ricketts Family, Chicago Cubs
The Trump-supporting, media-consolidating, neighborhood-sanitizing, real-life family from Succession basically set a landspeed record squandering the goodwill that the 2016 Cursebreaker Cubs built up.
Peter Angelos, Baltimore Orioles
The working-class hero who had grand designs for a playoff-contending team with a history of going deep in October. He has one the great ballparks in baseball in Camden Yards. Yet the Orioles have been cellar-dwellers his entire tenure. There's the embarrassing way they gave up on Manny Machado for starters, and that's just the first bite of the pit beef.
Steve Cohen, New York Mets
The Mets' recent ownership change was perfectly American: a couple of bumbling failsons who got scammed by Bernie Madoff sold to boring Human Calculator and financial criminal Steve Cohen. Steve Cohen is the kind of person who'll pay $100,000 to hang out with Guy Fieri (hey, no judgment here). His art collection includes one of those floating sharks in formaldehyde. That's gotta be a metaphor for something.
Tier Three: The Try-Hard Bros of the NBA
Vivek Ranadive, Sacramento Kings
The man who thought he could make basketball decisions in the NBA because he coached his daughter's rec league team. He once proposed the Sacramento Kings play 4-on-5 defense so that one player can “cherrypick” on offense. Used the term “cherrypick." Signed the first ever Indian-born NBA player, Sim Bhullar, as a marketing stunt. Vivek, dude…you know what?We love the enthusiasm.
James Dolan, New York Knicks/Rangers
Just Google him and set your computer on fire for 15 minutes. He (wrongly) thinks Anucha Browne Saunders is lying about sexual harassment. He (maybe, probably, almost certainly) ordered an attack on Knicks legend Charles Oakley. Need whatever the opposite of a pallet cleanser is? Here's JD & The Straight Shot.
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks
The ultimate try-hard guy. He actually works out with the players, because you gotta keep in shape for your Very Smart At Business TV show, right? He gets in Twitter fights with Bill Simmons and hires Twitter-famous gamblers who are friends with Bill Simmons. Bottom line: Mark Cuban is a rich cool guy, and he would very much like you to know he's a rich cool guy.
Tier Two: The Lockout-Happy Cheapskates of the NHL
Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators
Cheating a little because this asshole died on us earlier this year, but his estate still owns the Ottawa Senators, so we believe in ghosts for this entry. The Ringer called him the worst sports owner in North America, so we're exhuming his body one time. Hey, when you hear “one of the richest residents of Barbados,” does your mind immediately scream “tax cheat?” Dude once bounced a check to over gambling debts. He was so cheap with the Senators people thought it was weird he promised to spend the salary cap.
Vincent Viola, Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers owner was tapped by Donald Trump to be the Army secretary. Know why the guy with a name from Tarantino's cutting room floor didn't get the cushy high-profile military gig? He sold a bunch of airline stock to buy up stock in a company with tons of government contracts before the Senate nomination process was complete. Dude can't even corrupt right.
The Kroenke Family, Colorado Avalanche (And Everywhere)
Real heavy hitters because they could belong on any section of this list. Stan Kroenke owns the Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal, the MLS's Colorado Rapids, and a couple of esports league teams. The only reason he doesn't technically own the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche is because the NFL made him put both teams in his wife's name. Ann Walton Kroenke, by the way, is the daughter of WalMart co-founder Bud
WalMart sorry Bud Walton. People this rich running the teams and yet the owners will still lock NHL players out if they so much breathe in the direction of money.
Tier One: The Cartoonishly Retrograde Villains of the NFL
Al Davis's Son, Mark Davis, Las Vegas Raiders
Mr. “Just Win Baby" won at procreating and had a baby, and boy it sure seems like Mark is interested in taking up his father's mantle. Like his dad, he has no qualms about moving the team. Like his dad, winning matters more than character, as evidenced by “whoa didn't realize how bad this guy sucks” tolerating of Jon Gruden.
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
A lot of digital ink has been spilled over the guy we've compared to Jon Voight's character in Varsity Blues and who also told Varsity Blues to f**k off. To his credit, he is a man who is authentically himself as an NFL owner. Problem is, to be authentically yourself as an NFL owner, you have to show a willingness to profit off of human suffering, act like someone who uses the word “tycoon” on positively and on purpose, and maybe chuck in some casual racism while you're at it.
Dan Snyder, Washington Commanders
It could only end with this loser. What a pathetic, sad person. It took years before the slur name was changed, and even then they dragged their feet. Washington Football team? Good Lord. He probably loves that we're ending on Cowboys vs. Slur We Don't Say because it harkens back to some idealized, segregated United States. Definitely not a lovable eccentric.
Listen to Chris vent his frustration at Bulls-and-White-Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf on Twitter.