Houston - As the rest of the NFL world looks towards the Super Bowl, where the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will slug it out in the Arizona desert to determine NFL supremacy, the rest of the league looks towards the 2023 off-season. In particular, the 30 non-Super Bowl team are now furiously at work to resolve the shortfalls of the previous season. Franchise leadership will do this all in an attempt to be that team which will actually claim the Lombardi Trophy next year.
In particular, the first person who gets the honor of lifting said trophy is the owner of the winning franchise. With the participating teams in the Super Bowl, it is generally thought that they are among the best and brightest of the owners, whose leadership and managerial skills are considered par excellence, along with a healthy dose of luck.
Yet, we at Totally Not Fake News aren’t concerned with that group of elitists dolts. No, we are more intrigued at the other end of the spectrum: the owners who are the furthest from the bright center of ownership excellence and competency. These are the owners that probably do as much to hold the team back as any on-field player or off-field player personnel-type stuffed suit. Nope, the owner is the master of the fleet…and in facing off against the competition, this adage can apply: “We have met the enemy…and it is us.”
Last year, Totally Not Fake News deployed is completely accurate and not-at-all biased or flawed polling mechanisms to analyze just who was the Best of the Worst, or Worst of the Best, where ownership is concerned. Since that review, more than a few things have shifted. Some of the contenders for that list managed to win Super Bowls, improve their team’s standings or situations…or best of all, get dismissed from their positions where they could engage in the most devastating of results.
However, the analysis must go on, and so it is with this review. We have returning contenders, and we have some new prospects for consideration. Thus, we shall engage in our time-tested and completely not-flawed in any way, shape, form or fashion system to determine who is the best of the worst, or worst of the best, or, well you get the picture…
Cal McNair: CEO of the Houston Texans:
The winner from last year’s analysis, McNair’s return to this list is not unexpected. The Texans, under the first three years of this decade, posted a healthy 11-38-1 record. Not surprisingly, home attendance and local support for the franchise is at an all-time low. The team lacks much in the way of superstars or bankable figures to really excite the fanbase. Yet, there are some semblances of optimism. The team is emerging from draft pick and salary cap [Easterby] and looks to be in prime position to load up on some good young talent. Some of the recent drafts are producing future franchise cornerstones and the team is in the running to hire a legitimate good/well-respected head coaching prospect. Most importantly, Cal took the critical step to purge the weakest link in the franchise with the firing mid-season of Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Jack Easterby. Recent media appearance show that McNair is at least aware of where he stands in the league. A turnaround is possible, but not a given. His standing may be improved with the much-lauded hire of DeMeco Ryans as Head Coach.
Dean Spanos: Owner San Diego, er, Los Angeles Chargers
A newcomer to the list, but a prospect that Totally Not Fake News has had an eye on for some time. Since he moved the team to LA, the Chargers have been solid but not spectacular. Justin Herbert is a franchise-type QB, and the defensive chops makes them contenders in the AFC West. However, the most recent Chargers team managed to gag away a 27-point playoff lead against Jacksonville, and the squad really, really struggles to maintain a fanbase/local support in LA. Prior to co-residing at SoFi Stadium, the Chargers played in a local soccer stadium, and most of those games were sold out from the presence of supporters…of the road team. Spanos remains reviled in San Diego. Additionally, Head Coach Brandon Staley is a prime contender for dismissal, given some of his WT[Easterby] decisions in the most critical games of the year (botching a tie to get into the playoffs in 2021/22, the decisions that enabled the Jaguars to complete their unlikely comeback in 2022/23). A guy like Sean Payton could do much to help the team, but Spanos allowed the team to be way too cash-strapped to make such a move.
Jerry Jones: Owner of the Southern Oklahoma, er, Dallas Cowboys
On one hand, Jones continues to make the Dallas Cowboys the center of the NFL universe. His teams are ratings dynamite for the league. The Cowboys usually rate among the most valuable franchises in the world, slugging it out between a couple of the Spanish soccer/football powerhouses. The squad has some significant defensive talent, like Micah Parsons, that will remind old-timers of peak “Doomsday”. Yet, the team approaches 28 full seasons without a Super Bowl. There are significant questions about the viability of franchise QB Dak Prescott and Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Plus, Dem Boyz, while ratings gold, are also among the league leaders for “which team do you dislike the most.” Just as many are happy when they lose.
The Adams Family: Tennessee Titans Owners
The clan Adams makes this list as a family unit for the 1st time. While the long-deceased K.S. “Bud” Adams will likely have a permanent spot in these rankings, it is time to consider the situation of his heir, Amy Adams Strunk. Under her tenure, the Titans have been a major factor in the AFC South, and did make a run to the AFC Championship in 2019-2020. However, the squad imploded this past season, taking a 7-3 start and turning it into a 7-10 finish. They’ve lost to the 2020s Texans twice in their home stadium and allowed the long-morbid Jaguars to supplant them as division kings. Additionally, Strunk fired long-time GM Jon Robinson, who was a key architect in building the current iteration of the Titans. It is likely that “Leader of Men” Mike Vrabel will gain more power over personnel decisions, maybe even work his way into a dual-hatted position. This might not be a good idea if the Titans wish to remain competitive.
Jim Irsay: Owner, Indianapolis Colts
A new contender on this list. The owner of the Colts, inherited from the reviled Robert Irsay, his team completed a rather quick transition from playoff contender to suck. This is primarily due to the fact that being a Colts’ starting QB has the same tenure length as your standard Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher at Hogwarts. Irsay fired Head Coach Frank Reich when the squad was a middling 3-5-1. To replace said coach, Irsay decided to pull from the high school ranks a middling coach with a so-so record: Jeff Saturday. After one of the more gloriously unhinged owner press conferences in recent memory, Irsay wanted a coach who wasn’t bothered by “analytics” or “experience”. The team responded to this rookie NFL coach and former Colts lineman with a riveting 1-7 finish, which included a 33-point fourth quarter humiliation on national TV at Dallas, followed by the biggest blown lead in NFL history against Minnesota (33), also on national TV. Somehow, this performance so impressed Irsay that Saturday is currently a legitimate finalist for the full-time gig. Throw in a lot of yo-yoing posturing with another owner on this list, and some may wonder if Irsay is still on the sober wagon.
Dan Snyder: Owner, Washington Commanders.
What does it say that in a city of various polarizing political leaders, in a socio-political culture where everything is quickly distilled into partisan talking points, that one man is regarded as worse than that. Enter the long-time owner of the Washington franchise. Since the start of the decade, the team has been known by three names, had one playoff appearance, and no winning record. On top of that, Snyder oversees perhaps the worst stadium situation in the league, as Fed Ex Field in its current state is only slightly more profitable and safe than the ruins of RFK Stadium. Despite various lobbying efforts, no one in the DMV area will vote to issue any bonds or land for a new stadium, a major reflection on Snyder’s toxicity. This in conjunction with all of his various issues, from lawsuits about mistreating female employees, to throwing other people under the bus, to blackmail threat against fellow owners to dodging Congressional subpoenas on his yacht, to botching in humiliating fashion the tribute to the late Sean Taylor. Is it any wonder that the insular world of NFL ownership is seriously considering voting Snyder out of power? If you want a master-class in how to take a NFL franchise from proud marquee team to also-ran time-waste in the nation’s capital, Mr. Snyder will now start lecturing.
F.C. Juventus: Andrea Agnelli (Agnelli Family)
Our definition of football is a little broad here at Totally Not Fake News, but the actions of this owner can’t exactly reside in the shadows. Taking over the famed Juventus team in 2010, just as the team exited its forced regulation due to match-fixing, Agnelli sought to lead this squad to not just its classic place atop the Serie A ladder, but into a major power in European soccer writ large. Despite a couple of UEFA Champions League finalist appearances, Juventus did not close the deal. Since the mid-2010s, the team is declining from its usual perch dominating the Italian soccer scene. While the Agenlli family did much to help revenue shortfalls with a new stadium and refinancing actions, the team is not profiting on the pitch from such moves, Additionally, Juventus is still one of three holdouts from the universally unpopular European Super League that divided soccer fans last season. This season, Juventus was only in third position, until Italian soccer penalized the team for poor accounting practices, penalizing the squad a critical 15 points in the league tables, all but ensuring that they will not be in the Champions League next season. As for Andrea, he was forced to resign from leading Juventus in November 2022 and is banned from holding any soccer/football leadership position for the next two years.
(Dropped from this year’s consideration: Stan Kroenke (Super Bowl win, but still ticking off his fellow owners and oversaw the worst championship defense in history); Mark Davis (Growing out of the bad haircut and the team is finding decent fan support in Las Vegas, but did hire Josh McDaniels); Jack Easterby (Fired))
At this point, we turn it over to the most impartial of judgers: The users of the internet. Once again, your vote will be important in determining who is the “Best of the Worst”. Let your vote be heard below, and from there, we will tabulate all of the results to make sure that the real “winner” is known.
Who is the "Best of the Worst" or "Worst of the Best" of this lineup of owners/CEOs
This poll is closed
The Adams Family
None of the Above (Add your answer in the comments below)