The best owners in the NFL? How about the 110,000 or so of the Green Bay Packers. The only publicly owned franchise, the Packers somehow find a way to keep that many shareholders happy and in agreement while winning a Super Bowl. That would be enough for me, but they also find a way to make money and see the value of the team increase. Winning keeps everyone happy and they are on track again to reach the big game.
The worst? It has to be Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals. I know, the Bengals are finally starting to show some life again, and have a rookie QB and wide receiver to build on, but Brown will find a way to screw it up. He's just been an incredibly inept decision-maker since taking over the team. And he's as cheap as they come, to boot.
Green Bay and …
The best owner is no owner. The publicly-owned Packers have the ideal setup because they do not have one person, or a small group of people, influencing football decisions based on personal biases, pride, impatience or finances. Money comes into play for every other team to a larger degree than it does for the Packers. Every decision the Packers make can be a pure one—based solely on what is in the best interests of the team. Their fans, meanwhile, are more than just fans. They are shareholders. Talk about loyalty.
The worst owner is a meddlesome one who makes bold moves even though he doesn't understand the game. He thinks he can buy a championship, and he hires and fires coaches and general managers as frequently as he changes underwear.
The best owners know how to manage the checkbook, hire smart people and stay out of their way. Forbes got it right with Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch as the NFL's best, elevating the franchise in competitive stature and value since taking over in 2006. The Patriots' Robert Kraft is a solid second place. But Jerry Jones No. 5?
The Cowboys czar merits the top of the worst owners list for persisting in the delusion of Jerry Jones as GM. He'd have fired himself long ago if he could see past the ego. That the second-most valuable sports franchise in the world has one playoff victory since 1996 is a testimonial to the incompetence of the ultimate fantasy football owner.
Even Lance Armstrong is taking shots on Twitter at Jones' meddling. Takes a micromanager to know one.
With success, community and the league as parameters, this question answers itself. It's New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He brought three Lombardi Trophies to New England, built a new stadium that was 100 percent privately financed and was hugely instrumental in the NFL settling its collective bargaining agreement. A man with a plan.
On the other end is Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who is often accused of running his team like a fantasy club. His predecessor, Jack Kent Cooke, employed four coaches in 18 years and won three Super Bowls. Snyder had four coaches within his first 30 months, and is now on coach No. 7. He also has spent foolishly on free-agent players. A man with a plan — in pencil.