Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with the men who sign the checks – team owners. Across the league, there are examples of good ones and bad ones, and they can make or break a franchise’s chances of winning. If an owner isn’t involved enough, the organization probably doesn’t have enough of an emphasis on winning. But if he has his hands in too many things, his meddling can derail even the best-laid plans. It’s a fine line, a tightrope between hands on and hands off.
Let the debate begin!
10. Jeffrey Lurie
While they don’t have a championship to show for it yet, the Eagles have won a lot of games under Lurie’s stewardship. Partially, it’s because he’s willing to take chances, like signing Michael Vick and hiring Chip Kelly. Not a lot of owners would have gumption to make those kinds of decisions, taking the heat that came from certain circles with each move, but Lurie proved he has the stomach to be a great leader.
9. Arthur Blank
The man who made his money starting Home Depot has done a great job rebuilding the Falcons, a franchise that was a perennial doormat when he purchased the team in 2002. Good hires, including general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith, were the key to the turnaround. Last season’s dismal performance was an aberration; Atlanta is an annual contender now that Blank’s in charge.