Defending the Meddlers
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I can't tell you which owner I think is the worst in the league. I have to maintain some objectivity here because my day job is covering these guys.
But I will say this: The meddlers get a bad rap.
All you can ask of the owner of a sports franchise is that he be willing to spend what it takes to win. After that, it's up to the general manager and coach to make it work.
The owner wants to have a say in how the money is spent? Fine. He (or she) should have a say. He is, after all, the owner. So if you're the GM or the coach, sit down with him and educate him. Tell him, "This is why we're going to do this. Here are the reasons why it's a good move. Here are the reasons why the alternatives aren't good moves."
It's only common sense. Then if things don't work out, the owner was on board from the start. It wasn't your move that backfired. It was everyone's move.
Those old-school coaches or GMs who want to be left alone by the owner and complain every time the owner wants to be involved in a decision are ignoring the realities of the modern sports world. These are now billion dollar franchises. The players have contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. If you think an owner is going to rubber-stamp everything you want to do and sign the checks without being in the loop, you're insane.
Look, these teams are toys for the owners. Very expensive toys, but still toys. An owner wants to be able to sit up in his box during a game and say to all his very self-important friends, "Wait till you see this next play. We've been getting this ready all week for when they're in this defense."
The coach and the GM need to afford him that chance. They need to involve the owner. They need to make the "meddling" work for them.
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