At first it seems odd, or ludicrous, or even unconstitutional to require and NFL owner to devote his time and resources to the team he owns.
After all, when you own a car, there are no laws that state how often you must wax it. If you own a TV, there are no laws about what channel you watch.
However, the NFL operates in a longstanding bubble, where seemingly illegal labor laws are the norm.
For example, you and I get to work wherever we want. But an NFL rookie MUST work for the team that drafts him. If I graduate high school and someone wants to hire me, then great! I got myself a job. But in the NFL, you are prohibited from being hired until you wait at least three years after high school. In the United States, that is called age discrimination. In the NFL, it’s called “Eligibility Rules.”
You wake up with a headache, but you go to work because you have some important things on your plate. That’s cool. It’s your choice. But in the NFL, bump your head and they prohibit you from going to work unless 47 doctors examine your brain and clear you for concussion protocol. Go ahead and tell the doctor, “This is the biggest game of the year, and I need to be out there. I feel fine.” Useless! The NFL determines what you need, not you yourself.
Anyway, those are just a few examples of how the NFL oversteps the norms of labor laws by forming its own rules and regulations, so maybe my idea of requiring owners to be invested in their teams isn’t too far fetched. This is nothing new to my regular readers. For several years, I’ve pointed out the long litany of NON-Dolphin endeavors that Stephen Ross subjects us to. An ever-growing list of non-Dolphin activities that he devotes his resources to, each one to the detriment of the Dolphins.
So when the Miami Herald was so excited in a recent article about Ross’s soccer venture, I found it laughable.
To me, it comes down to the same old questions. Can you name me one non-Cowboy venture that Jerry Jones gets involved in? How about naming what business Robert Kraft is in other than the Patriots? Eagles owner Jeff Lurie? The Steinbrenner dynasty?
These successful owners devote themselves solely to the development of their beloved teams, while Stephen Ross devotes himself to…well, let’s see:
- Courting J-Lo to buy a part of the Dolphins to promote diversity
- Building an awning for the stadium
- Courting Venus and Serena Williams to buy a part of the Dolphins to promote diversity
- Courting Gloria Estefan to buy a part of the Dolphins to promote diversity
- Giving away home games to instead play in Europe
- Promoting the university of Michigan, and donating millions to their team
- Tennis tournaments
- Maintaining his residence in New York, 1,300 miles away
- Changing the logo and colors of the team
- Organizing “open talks” with the guys who refuse to stand for the National Anthem
The man devotes an incredibly inordinate amount of time to trying to appear p.c. and trying to do the right thing with the public in general. Imagine if he spent that time devoted to winning.
Instead of taking business meetings in New York, for example, imagine if he burst into Adam Gase’s office now and then to demand that Gase run a QB sneak on third-and-inches now and then. Us fans cannot make him give up his frivolous pursuit of being King of the City of Miami While Living in New York. However, it’s my pipe dream that the NFL does make him give up. Force him to make the MIAMI DOLPHINS his passion and his one and only business interest. Not Tennis. Not Europe. Not made-up bullies.
The main point of all of this would be to REQUIRE, by NFL bylaws, that the owner be engaged in his team. It would require that the owner live in the same community as his team. Not much to ask, is it ? It would demand that the owner be involved.
The goal would be to dis-allow any owner from buying a team strictly for business reasons. Strictly for clout. Strictly to join the fraternity of other owners.