Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Jun 2006

FO on FOX: A Maverick Move

When and if the NFL finally returns to Los Angeles, I've got an idea for who should own the team. Hint: He's $250,000 lighter in the wallet than he was a couple of days ago.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 21 Jun 2006

79 comments, Last at 14 Jul 2006, 11:47am by Mikey


by Jim A (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:38am

There were reports a couple of weeks ago that Cuban was attempting to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cuban has also been an advocate for wider distribution of movies with fewer restrictions. His voice would be good for those of us who believe the NFL's reins on film archives are too tight.

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:41am

That's a good point, Jim A. We've had discussions around here about how people would love to see archives of full games rather than just the NFL Films highlights, and how people would love to have more access to the all-22 angles that the coaches study. If anyone could find a profitable way for the NFL to give fans access to those things, it's Cuban.

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:43am

Somebody should be keeping track of names suggested for owners of the LA franchise. So far we've had Cuban and Eddie DeBartolo.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:59am

Cuban is the type of forward-thinking guy the NFL would benefit from having as an owner. If it is true, however, that he was out on the floor after game six screaming obscenities at David Stern, and, more importantly, asserting that the NBA rigs it's games, there is absolutely no way the NFL would welcome him as an owner, and for good reason. Cuban denies having made the assertion, of course, but I've yet to hear a response from the Miami Herald columnist, Greg Cote, who attributed the statement to Cuban. For a team owner to make such an assertion is unforgivable. Period.

In any case, Cuban is a self- centered jerk (not that a self-centered jerk couldn't be a good sports team owner), so I was quite happy to see his team get whipped on it's own floor last night.

by Lou (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:16pm

Cole got his information third hand. He didn't hear it himself but he says he trusts his source. But you'd think if he was confident of his assertion he would have placed it earlier than the 10th paragraph of his article.

That said I believe any league would be lucky to call Cuban one of its owners. Turning Dallas into a championship caliber team is quite an accomplishment. Has he ever expressed intrest in owning an NFL team?

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:17pm

Will, obviously, suggesting that games are "rigged" is about as serious a charge as a person could make, and a $250,000 fine wouldn't be nearly enough for someone who said that. I really, really doubt Cuban said that, or anything like it, though. Take a look at the column where the quote came from:

Cuban then turned to Stern and other NBA officials who were seated at the scorer's table and was overheard to shout venomously in the jubilant din, ``[Bleep] you! [Bleep] you! Your league is rigged!''

Note the phrasing, "was overheard." The columnist never claims that he heard Cuban say that, just that Cuban "was overheard." Given that not a single person has come forward to verify this account, and given that everyone in the vicinity who has spoken on the record says Cuban never said that, I'm calling BS.

by Lou (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:18pm


by Bob (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:24pm

The NFL isn't touching Mark Cuban with a 10-foot pole. He's the kind of nut that would be a really bad idea. The league's quota for insane guys with paranoia is already ably filled by Al Davis. Two would just be redundant.

by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:28pm

#3 - Mercurial Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been the key name linked to an L.A. franchise since at least late 2004:

Click here

by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:33pm

Re: 6

I think Cote used "was overheard" in an effort to avoid saying "I" or naming a specific reporter, in keeping with typical newspaper style. Isn't press row fairly close to the scorer's table?

Note that later in the article, the construction "a reporter" is used when referring to the repeated questioner of Avery Johnson.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:35pm

MDS, it is certainly possible that Cote blithely reported a flat-out lie from someone out to libel Cuban. I'm just saying that if I were Tagliabue, I'd want to look into the matter very carefully before recruiting Cuban. The NFL cannot and should not have an owner who is so lacking in self-control that he makes statements to the effect that the league in which he is participating is fixing games. It is absolutely unpardonable.

by Travis (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:44pm

Re: 6, 10

Here's the latest update from Editor & Publisher on Cuban's supposed comments.

NEW YORK Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote admitted that he was wrong to quote Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban alleging that the NBA was rigged, but stopped short of apologizing for the accusation, which appeared in a Tuesday column.

"I was wrong to use the quote. That doesn't mean the words were never said, denial notwithstanding," Cote wrote on his Herald Web site blog late Tuesday. "I was wrong, journalistically, to put quotation marks around words I did not personally hear. I would be wrong even if Cuban had not denied having said it."

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:45pm

To follow on, I could see how Stern would want to play down the incident, if he could, while telling Cuban behind closed doors that if the behavior were repeated, or if it had been caught on tape, Cuban would face at least a year-long suspension. I think Stern and Tagliabue have a pretty good relationship, so it probably would be possible for Tagliabue to get a good reading of the situation off the record.

by Ryguy (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:50pm

Cuban would be good for any league. His personality is to give his players every advantage he can business wise and tries to help them do their job with everything he can. I think Cuban's style is more suited to a low-roster size, big ego NBA; I don't think this kind of stuff can work in any other league. I also think you have to respect Cuban because the Mavs were turned around from one of the worst franchises in the 90s into a championship contender.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 12:52pm

While I agree that accusations of corruption are very serious, if Cuban said that, I would have far more sympathy for having said it in the immediate moments after a tough loss than I do for Mike Holmgren, who used a rally several days later to air his grievances.

by William (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:13pm

I'm curious as to why so many people seem to resent Cuban. He has been a fantastic asset to the league in terms of ratcheting up interest, and Mavs fans and players love him. I think it's refreshing that he says what is on his mind, and don't at all think he is a "self-centered jerk." Pat Riley, on the other hand...

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:26pm

Holmgren said the officials did a lousy job, and thus his team had to overcome the bad officiating as well as the Steelers. He shouldn't have said it, especially after reflection.

If what has been alleged is true, Cuban has stated that outcomes of NBA games are fixed, which attacks the foundation upon which billions of dollars have been invested. Allegations of blown calls come and go, and don't affect the long-term success of a league. What leagues cannot survive, at least not without substantial financial impact, is the perception that the competition is fixed. It doesn't matter if such a statement is made in the anger of the moment, or upon relection; a person who makes that allegation cannot be associated with the league in any way, and must be removed.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:32pm

Go read his blog, William. To read an adult defend his use of obscenities during a temper tantrum following a game, on the basis that it is funny to hear a child employ obscenities, is to conclude that Cuban is essentially a talented seven year old with a couple billion dollars. Good for him, and sure, any business organization can benefit from talented people. That doesn't mean that a jerk can't be identified as a jerk.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:38pm

17: So make a martyr of anyone who makes such a claim? It's a ridiculous claim, and to acknowledge it to that extent only gives it credibility. While such a claim could merit dismissal sometimes, to do so in all cases would be an overreaction of preposterous proportions and only make the league look bad.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 1:58pm

Well, as I said, centrifuge, I can see why Stern would downplay the incident; it wasn't caught on tape, if it happened, and right now it resides in the region of anonymous allegations made, and allegation denied. However, if it were undeniable that an owner had asserted games were fixed, that owner would need to be removed for an extended period.

by fz (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 2:08pm

I know the NFL wants in on the L.A. tv market, but do they deserve a team? I mean, they did lose two in one year to smaller markets. Why should some smaller city take it in the shorts when their team leaves for the tv goldmine?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 2:15pm

Because the primary purpose of the NFL is to maximize profit?

by Dennis (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 2:27pm

Re: the Cote column. I heard him on ESPN radio yesterday and he said his source didn't hear it either, a third person allegedly heard it and told the source.

As for the idea of Cuban owning an NFL team, I think it's great. As others have said, he'd help push for making more game footage available and things like that.

by Sporran (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 2:40pm

Cuban as an owner would be good for the league. However, this ignores the most pressing issue. What team would he own? Which current owner would need to be persuaded to sell him his team?

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 3:12pm

20: "However, if it were undeniable that an owner had asserted games were fixed, that owner would need to be removed for an extended period."

I'll accept that, but I hold that there is a difference between an actual "assertion" and an angry spout-off in the aftermath of a tough loss. One merits suspension, the other an (immediate and profuse) apology, especially for a first "offense."

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 3:40pm

A lot of the current activity seems to be based on the assumption that within two years, New Orleans will "prove" to be no longer viable as a market, thereby allowing the NFL to move the franchise while putting on a pretense of trying to stay in the market.

Whether Benson would be willign to sell or not is another matter. It is also unlikely that Wayne Weaver of Jacksonville or Alex Spanos of San Diego (to mention the other franchises mentioned in LA moves) would sell upon relocating to the LA area. And does anyone think that Cuban would play 2nd fiddle to any of these guys?

He's more likely to buy the Cubs if the Tribune Company does separate, as some of its major stockholders wish to do.

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 3:54pm

Cuban has the public image of a fan who owns a team, which I think is a fantastic asset for any league. Compare Mark Cuban to George Shinn- who would you rather have as an owner?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 4:32pm

Why are my options limited to Shinn or Cuban? Look, Cuban is a great owner in many respects. He also needs to grow up.

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:20pm

In what sense does Cuban "need" to grow up. Do you think he's bad for the NBA? I think he's great for the NBA. Do you think he'd be bad for the NFL? I think he'd be great.

I think you need to lighten up.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:20pm

I know the NFL wants in on the L.A. tv market

What good is a market that's blacked out every week?

And Will, the dude shows his emotions. Big deal. It's not as if he's running his team as if it were a fantasy team...

by wrmjr (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:24pm

I'm not sure the Cuban act would translate well into the NFL, or even MLB. Sitting in the stands, near the bench plays well in the NBA. It's visible all the time on TV. Where would he sit at a football game? Would he roam the sidelines like Jerry Jones? Does the league need that?

Also, there is significant overlap between the NBA season and both the NFL and MLB seasons. Even with Cuban's energy, I imagine it would be difficult to own 2 clubs, catch numerous games in different cities, and run a business.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:37pm

Re: 22

If having a team in LA insured maximum profits, why did teams leave in the first place?

The dynamics that caused teams to leave LA in the first place don't seem to have changed in any meaningful way. I don't understand the obsession.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:55pm

I didn't realize that showing one's emotions necessarily entailed yelling obscenities in a public place. One of the problems in attending sporting events these days is people who think that a ticket entitles them to behave in any way they wish. Cuban thinks that owning a team entitles him to that, and yes, Bill you've previously made it plainly known what you consider to be adult behavior.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:58pm

mawbrew, no one ever asserted that having a team in L.A. was an assurance of anything.

by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:19pm

All the people that hate Mark Cuban know that deep down in their soul they would cheer if he came out onto the sidelines dressed like he does for basketball games, execept he would be wearing a full jersey/pants combo and shoulder pads... and a matching cape. You know that would rule.

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:52pm

I like Mark Cuban. I live in Los Angeles. If Cuban took ownership of a Los Angeles team, that team would probably become my second-favorite team to the Miami Dolphins.

by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:53pm

Didn't Cuban have an interview a while back where he stated he wanted to own a baseball team, but his wife had nixed the idea under threat of divorce?

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:00pm

I know the NFL wants in on the L.A. tv market, but do they deserve a team?

Yes. The Rams and Raiders didn't "fail" here because there are no NFL fans in Los Angeles.

The Rams "failed" because of poor ownership, and their inability to get a better stadium here. Georgia took a better offer and ran, because Los Angeles is not willing to pay to build a stadium. (One of the few things the politicians here seem to get right.)

The Raiders "failed" because of the hooligan attitude of its fans in the Colisseum.

I know the attendance numbers were down for both teams in their final few seasons. But I wonder what their local TV ratings were like at that time. I know the Raiders are still usually the best TV draw amongst NFL teams in this market.

by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:06pm

now, about those allegations: what if they're true? What if David Stern and the NBA marketers wanted Dwyane Wade to win a championship, so as to position him as this generation's Jordan, or at least play him off Lebron for the next fifteen years?

One way to accomplish this would be employing incompetent referees who would then award a shooting guard 25 free throw attempts in a crucial game. But of course that's an argument for another thread, site, or Sports Guy...

Cuban owning an LA team is a spectacular idea, kudos to MDS!

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:34pm

Gosh, jimmo, maybe Oliver Stone could make a movie about it......

Again, I think Cuban is a terrific owner in many ways. Does it then necessarily follow that everything he does is above reproach?

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:46pm

Hey, it works for Kraft.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:53pm

He cant do that, he needs to buy and save my Bucs :(

by Tim Gerheim :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 9:59pm

Doesn't the NFL have a rule against NFL owners also being the owner of another professional team in an NFL city? I think I remember the Glazer family looking into something like that a few years ago and it getting nixed for that reason.

I can't see Cuban selling the Mavs, and I REALLY can't see Jerry Jones selling the Cowboys so Cuban can get into the NFL. Although that would be a coup, if they worked out a deal whereby Jones wound up the LA owner and Cuban got the Cowboys. But now I'm just talking crazy.

by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:24pm

nope Will, never said Cuban was or is above reproach. In fact, as an NBA fan, I've despised Cuban the owner for much of his tenure. Until, that is, some of what he's been carping about (the refs, mostly) started ringing truer & truer.

I realize the conspiracy theory bit is a stretch, but there's a reason I felt strongly confident in a Detroit victory before game five of the Pistons-Heat Eastern finals, and much less so when the series returned to Miami for game six. If anyone recalls it (or cares, for that matter!), is there any doubt that Wallace's monster block of Shaq's dunk attempt in game five is a foul in game six?

Cuban, major warts and all, would be a boon as an owner for the NFL, though I agree with other posters (legal issues aside) that the NFL owners would never allow it.

by JRM (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:58pm

Cuban is a GREAT owner- where were the Mavericks before he took over?

Are NBA games fixed? I'll tell ya- in 2002 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, the refs handed the game to the big-name, big-market Lakers over the small-market Kings. It really made me wonder.

While I'm at it, we have an Arena 2 team here in New Hampshire. I went to two games, and both times the home team got extremely favorable officiating.

by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:16pm

Got to agree with Jimmo on this one. You are right that Cuban does some boneheaded things. But you have to admit that the NBA management of the league and particularly the officiating is truly pathetic. There is absolutely no consistency in how fouls, fines and suspensions are handled in the NBA, except maybe that it is all one-sided towards certain star players. Other sports admittedly are not much better. Stern's policy is to fine those who bring it up. He probably refuses interviews with those in the media who report it frequently, but I don't follow the NBA close enough to know if that is even true.
With regard to Cuban's antics, think about how it feels to the average fan when a ref ruins your team's chances to win it all, let alone a regular game. With instant replay and multiple camera angles available, you can even feel vindicated after the fact in many cases that the ref got it wrong. Now think about how it feels to those playing the game. Especially if they feel it happens over and over again. (See NFL, January 2006, any team) It would be very difficult to keep your cool, particularly right after the game (Dirk Nowitzki, for example) With the internet, any controversial words or actions are instantly broadcast to everyone, the more controversial, the faster it spreads, to the media's delight. His antics are well within a reasonable range for an adult in his situation.
Having said that, his ownership style, as mentioned by another poster does lend itself more to the NBA rather than any of the other major sports. Not sure it would work in any of the others.

by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:25am

For a game to be truly "fixed," doesn't one side have to be willing to lose? You can't count on overturning enough Polamalu-type interceptions to fix a game via the refs.

So if Cuban really said that, it was his own team he was calling out as much as anyone else. So it makes no sense, even in momentary anger.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 8:42am

The question is, do you consider a game fixed if the league assigns refs that are more prone to certain calls to certain games? If a fan can look at the list of refs, identify which ones are prone to giving calls to the home team and or stars, and therefore is able to predict who will win on that information - disregarding the actual quality of a team - doesn't that seem like the league might know those same things and sets up favorable (nothing is absolute) situations?

I don't know whether they assign refs like that on purpose but I do know that there are obviously refs that aren't good at their jobs and those refs are still in the league. There needs to be accountability and I've never seen it when it comes to officiating in any league.

by James C (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:38am

re #43

I thought Paul Allen owned the Seahawks and another Seattle franchise. I may however be entirely wrong.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:52am

The NBA's problem isn't that the referees make mistakes. Every official makes mistakes now and then.

The NBA's problem is that there are certain referees that have been known for years to have the tendency to give calls to the home team, and/or to big stars. This isn't exactly a secret. Bavetta. Bennet Salvatore. There are others too. These are well-known referees to anyone that follows NBA basketball, especially that watches playoff basketball with any regularity.

The above-average NBA fan knows that these referees tend to be biased in a given direction, yet any owner, coach, player etc. that even mentions the incredible disparity in fouls that results when these officials are present - even if they are simply repeating publicly-available statistics, and not in a complaining manner - is struck down hard by the league.

It doesn't mean the games are "fixed", in that the NBA is directing officials to make certain calls. But as mactbone points out, that isn't necessary. One can just assign officials that have a tendency to call the game the way one wants it called. Salvatore, for example, called a key, last-second, foul on the Mavericks when it wasn't even his area of the court, and not even his call to make (but, whatever Bill Simmons says, he wasn't 40 feet away, that's a big of exaggeration), in a case where the replay showed there was no contact. And the man is known to make those kinds of calls, to favor stars, to always give them the benefit of the doubt. If I were a fan of either team, I'd have been infuriated over that call.

The question really boils down to why are these men ever chosen to officiate key games?

If I wanted to derail the Colts, and I'm the NFL, I can assign an officiating crew that tends to neglect calling pass interference (allowing defenders to mug receivers with impunity). That doesn't guarantee the Colts will lose, it just affects the odds, as it does in this case.


by jimmo (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:19pm

nice post Tarrant; that's why Cuban's alleged allegations were that the game is "rigged" not fixed, per Israel re:47. subtle but important difference.

I'd agree fixed would need some involvement from the losing side, but a contest, as T states, can be rigged by an outside force so as to help a favorable result be reached more easily. Like a carnival game. NBA on the Midway, its Fantastic!

by Jed (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:26pm

49 - Paul Allen owns the Portland Jailblazers, so Cuban could own the LA NFL team and keep the Mavs.

by James G (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:30pm

Paul Allen owned the Seahwaks and the Portland Trail Blazers.

by PackMan (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:37pm

Are you implying that the Cowboys would move to Portland?

by morganja (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:40pm

If an owner of a team can't call out the league over repeated, long-term one-sided atrocious officiating, who can? I've seen a whole lot of the NBA shooting the messenger and not one single thing done about the message. Was the perception out there that Stern hated Cuban and that the NBA was trying to manufacture a 'superstar'? Did anything that happened in the Finals lead one to think that wasn't the case? The motive was there, the evidence was there, and yet there are those who claim that observing the facts is an act of irresponsible lunacy. Their argument seems to be that people in positions of authority are by definition decent people who would never do anything unethical. To call into question their 'honor' is a grave injustice.

by fromanchu (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:42pm

that is a correct assesment of officials. the problem with this theory is that the officials in question are not selectively assigned. the same officials that simmons names as culprits of game 5 also worked game 1 in dallas. the detractors will always talk about how derosa or bavetta are assigned when the league wants a home win, but those two are just as frequently assigned at the other site in the same series.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:47pm

Additionally, I think this is one of those times, that one often sees in business, sports, government, almost anyplace, where the "official message" has been denial for so long, that now, even though the problem has grown from minor inconvenience to that of gross incompetence, the Powers That Be cannot change the position without losing serious face.

It's not like these issues about certain NBA referees haven't been around for years. They have been, and there have been complaints from owners, coaches, players, for years. But the NBA steadfastly denied that anything was wrong, and that said referees were the "top officials in the league", with fines for complaints about said officials rising every time.

Now that said officials are blowing it even harder, the NBA can't even stop assigning them to games because merely to do that would call into question why the NBA would pull back a referee they have always refereed to as "the best".

Even if the NBA knew internally that certain referees were terrible and wanted to remove them, doing so would only lend credence to the years of complaints about those specific officials. So instead I think the NBA is just waiting for them to retire, hoping the problem will then go away.


by jetsgrumbler (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:07pm

mactobone and t have it right.

i still don't understand why it was wrong for holmgren to make his comments about the officiating. they were 100% true. (although he could have added that his team also had to overcome his own poor coaching)

if the officials mess up, they should be accountable. doesn't seem like they are in any pro sport right now. Phil Lucket is still employed, even after the phantom Vinny touchdown that kept Seattle out of the playoffs and his ridiculous coin toss gaffe.

publicizing poor officiating is the only way to force the league to take action.

by t.d. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:10pm

I think that's absolving away the question of intent a little too easily. It's not just that these refs have been afraid to make the tough call on the road, its more that certain refs have a track reord for calling the game in favor of the perceived team that league officials would prefer to see winning in critical moments. the first time i remember it happening was in the '98 finals when, and the replay will back me up on this one, jordan blatantly shoved byron russell out of the way in to shoot the storybook jumper. That was in Utah. In the 2003 series, the controversial game was played in Sacramento. I don't think the NFL is anywhere close to reaching this point yet, but in this year's super bowl a lot of fans were furious that the nationally popular team was given the benefit of a majority of the calls, just like pittsburgh fans were probably upset for the same reason after the Indianapolis game. That being said, I don't think the league would ever accept Cuban as an owner, his strengths notwithstanding, because, whether the reports of his outburst are true or not, he has undermined the credibility of the game.

by stl49er (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:39pm

A no-call on an offensive player is much easier to stomache than a phantom blocking foul that bails out an out of control player in the final seconds. Jordan still had to drain the jumper, Wade got to shoot free throws.

I think DeBartolo would be a great owner for the LA franchise though I know it'll never happen. He shares some of Cuban's good qualities (like passion for the game and great treatment of players) plus I'm biased. Though I'd rather his sister give him back the franchise that rightfully is his.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:12pm

Tell ya' what. If you have the resources (and billionaires do), and wish to call into question the integrity of other people, do it methodically. Have a few miles of tape broken down to prove your case, instead or ranting obscenities after a game. Then you might be taken seriously, and if Stern wants to fine you for doing an empirical study, then it's time to sell the franchise, as Cuban has maintained he would do if he ever believed that his battles with Stern had turned personal.

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:20pm

re "One of the problems in attending sporting events these days is people who think that a ticket entitles them to behave in any way they wish."

Not anyway they wish, only any way condoned by the team and arena hosting the event.

They are certainly not governed by a creed from some holier than thou finger wagger who thinks that everyone should just behave like Mary Poppins or they are a huge jerk.

by morganja (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:37pm

Re: 61

Mark Cuban has done that. He has computerized breakdowns of all the refs.

by Steven Cummings (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:39am

Re: 43

I'm pretty sure that's not a rule because Lamar Hunt still owns the K.C. Wizards (I believe he tried to sell them but was unsuccessfully).

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 2:43am

Thanks, Bill, for the titanic feat of logic by which it is determined that failing to shout obscenities is the equivalent of acting like Mary Poppins, or that noting that such behavior is uncalled for is to be a holier-than-thou finger wagger. As usual, I stand in awe.

morganja, if Cuban has the complete footage which empirically proves what has been asserted above, he should review it in detail with the press.

by Richard (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 5:50pm

Re: 64

If the rule is, as #43 suggests, that an NFL owner cannot own a professional sports team in another NFL city, then Hunt would be ok, as both his teams are in KC. So would Paul Allen, as Porland isn't an NFL city. But Dallas is, so Cuban couldn't own an LA NFL team unless he bought the 'Boys, and then moved them to LA. Which is pretty frickin unlikely, all things considered.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 10:21am

Post #43 is right. An owner cannot own an NFL franchise in one city and another sports franchise in a city that has a different NFL team. Back in the early 1990s Eddie Debartelo and his father merged some of their operations which created a situation where the corporate parent owned both the 49ers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The NFL stepped in and they were forced to sell the Penguins, who had just won their first Stanley Cup.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 10:23am

Cuban could sell the Mavs and buy either the Lakers (unlikely) or the Clippers.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 2:43pm

I think Cuban should buy a baseball team and hire Ozzie Guillen as manager, Keith Hernandez as a broadcaster, David Segui's doctor as trainer, and trade for Barry Bonds. Nothing else would be the lead story on Sportscenter or PTI for years. Orthopedic surgeons would love it, too, as their business in carpal tunnel surgeries would only increase due to the constant finger-wagging.

As immature and over-the-top as he can be, I do think Cuban has been a great owner, and he's made Dallas one of the best teams to play for in the NBA. I wonder how well that would work in the NFL, though, since their salary cap is quite a bit harder than the NBA's. If you can't even give a player a bottle of wine without Tags launching an investigation, how would some of the Mavs off-field perks play out under the cap?

How big of a radius does the same-city rule have? Could an NFL owner buy a team in Milwaukee, for example, or would the Packers being close nix that? What about the Texas Rangers in Arlington? Could you buy a team in Phoenix, or do the Cardinals take out all of Arizona, if they even count as an NFL team?

by stl49er (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 4:44am

Just move the Mavs to Ft. Worth

by Jim A (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 12:12pm

I almost forgot another reason why folks here would like Mark Cuban in the NFL. Besides compiling officating statistics, he also uses advanced statistical analysis quite extensively and reportedly pays large sums of money each year for the use of the WINVAL system created by Jeff Sagarin and Wayne Winston.

by Jim A (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 12:29pm

Re: cross-ownership, as I understand it the current NFL rule allows cross-ownership as long as the franchises aren't commonly managed. There are also some provisions that disallow pledging one franchise as collateral for the other.

But remember, the previous NFL cross-ownership policy was struck down as a violation of antitrust law in the NASL v. NFL case. It's possible that an owner willing to spend years litigating with the NFL could get past the current rule as well.

by Bjorn (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 9:36pm

Mark Cuban has just joined a group interested in purchasing the aforementioned Pittsburgh Penguins. Another recent addition to the group, Dan Marino. (linked)

by Bjorn (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 9:39pm

Grr. Bad grammar.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:01am

Apparently one of Cuban's conditions is that the team not be moved. That is a great, great thing, not just because it would keep the team in town, but it allows the city to act on that knowledge. I mean, who would shell out for a new arena for a team that could be gone before it's finished?

by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 1:32pm

deBartolo doesn't own a franchise for some very good reasons. Him and his front office had more than a few shady deals and were caught paying players under the table. I wish there was more accountability for Denver doing the same thing.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 2:04pm

Denver didnt' do what DeBartolo did -- get himself invovled in kickbacks and payoffs involving casino construction and licenses in the Louisiana of Gov. Edwin Edwards. That's why he was forced to divest.

Side bar: When Edwards (D) was challenged by Klansman David Duke (R) for the governorship, bumper stickers across the state simply proclaimed: "It's the Lizard or the (Grand) Wizard."

by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 7:12pm

Side bar: When Edwards (D) was challenged by Klansman David Duke (R) for the governorship, bumper stickers across the state simply proclaimed: “It’s the Lizard or the (Grand) Wizard.�

Don't forget the other pro-Edwards bumper sticker: "Vote for the Crook. It's Important."

by Mikey (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 11:47am

#36 writes: "I like Mark Cuban. I live in Los Angeles. If Cuban took ownership of a Los Angeles team, that team would probably become my second-favorite team to the Miami Dolphins."

This is a perfect illustration of why the NFL and LA just don't need each other. Here's a guy who's a big NFL fan, lives in LA, likes the would-be owner, and would still rather support an out-of-market team. LA is rife with fans like this.

The "NFL in LA" topic is one of the biggest ongoing wastes of time in sports. Nobody cares. And if the NFL ever does return to LA that apathy is going to be wincingly evident.

Personally, I've got a job where a lot of my professional well-being rests on the NFL being successful on TV, and if you guaranteed me right now that there would be no NFL team in LA for the next fifty years it just wouldn't trouble me at all.

As for Cuban, I think it's funny how he's becoming the answer to every question. It seems like fans of every troubled franchise are saying the same thing: Give us Cuban. Pirates, Penguins, NFL in LA. Warts and all, I think he's a net positive to any sports business he gets involved in, and in an ideal world I would LOVE to see him buy the Cubs.