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Bears Ownership Ranked in Bottom 5 of NFL

Mike Burzawa

Die hard Bears fan and lead blogger at Bear Goggles On


Bears Ownership attend team's funeral

I hate to keep piling on, but it's just been too easy lately.  And it's not just me and my "Lovie Smith hate" that are being critical of the Bears on all fronts. 

As the Bears wrap up a winless preseason, Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver came out with his 5th Annual NFL Owner Rankings.  Where did the Bears rank, you might ask?  I'll give you a hint - he only released the bottom half today

The Bears checked in at #28 overall, just ahead of the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

Silver admittedly doesn't use any real metrics to come up with his rankings:

Until then, enjoy this worst-to-first trip down multi-millionaire's row (the top-16 owners will be unveiled Friday), which begins not with Brown but with the Hall of Famer who didn't need an overhead projector to highlight his franchise's dysfunction in 2009-10.

As always, the list is based on several factors, some related to the owners' involvement on a league level and others based on the way they preside over their respective franchises. I'm partial toward owners who are proactive in their pursuit of revenue and who aggressively spend money in an effort to enhance their on-field product. I like winners - not the accidental kind, but the bosses whose relentless pursuit of excellence translates to sustained success - and I despise whiners.

Most of all, I try to ask myself a single overriding question: If you were a fan of this team, how would you feel about this person running the show? 

On the heels of the recent Forbes article that asserted that the Bears franchise, while worth over $1 billion was actually missing out on about $800 million in value simply by how the franchise is run

Here is Silver's blurb on the Bears and their 28th ranking:

28. Chicago Bears - Virginia McCaskey (George McCaskey/Michael McCaskey): In 1999, Michael McCaskey was removed as team president after a fiasco of a head-coaching search in which Dave McGinnis was announced as Dave Wannstedt's replacement before agreeing to contract terms, blowing up the deal. He lasted another decade as the team's chairman of the board before ostensibly announcing his resignation - effective at the end of this season, when he'll be replaced by younger brother George, the team's senior director of ticket operations. "That's how desperate his mother [Virginia] is," one rival owner speculated. "She replaced him with her son from the box office. I mean, how hard of a job is being the ticket manager for the Bears?" Not that pedigree bears much meaning in the McCaskey family. After all, Michael, a former Harvard business professor, managed a storied franchise in the nation's No. 3 media market and will leave behind a financial state of affairs that, in relative terms, can best be described as flaccid. "It's just mismanagement," another owner says. "They really should be the tops in revenue, ahead of Dallas. Someday someone else will get a hold of that thing and it'll be a monster." Uh, maybe not. After announcing he was stepping down Michael McCaskey told reporters, "We intend for our family to own the Bears as long as you care to think about it." As a going-away present, at a time when even the most free-spending of his peers went out of their way to demonstrate financial restraint in anticipation of a labor showdown, Michael McCaskey doled out a six-year, $91.5 million contract to free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers despite the perception that there were no other serious bidders - then hiked ticket prices on 75 percent of the seats at Soldier Field.

Man, you botch one coach hiring and that'll dog you for years, huh?  So I guess Silver doesn't care for Michael all that much.  Let's be honest, if an investor or group approached the Bears and offered a couple hundred million above the estimated value, I don't think the McCaskeys would be turning them away.

The biggest question remaining - will the Bears on the field outperform the rankings that have been pinned to ownership?  Just over a week until we start finding out!




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