Ranking CEOs in the big four US sports

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    In a world of seven billion people, the voice of the few decided on the commissioners for America’s big four (MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL). And unsurprisingly enough, none of them have really done the job they were supposed to.

    But who, in actual fact, takes home the crown for ‘Worst commissioner of the decade’?

    4. Bud Selig (MLB)

    I’m going to give credit to Bud and the crew over there in Major League Baseball land. They could do so much worse to wreck America’s favourite pasttime but they haven’t.

    Their realignment of Houston back into the American League West created more inter-league games (which is always exciting to the resident fan) and has finally created some sort of equality within the six divisions.

    However, he does come with some faults. The ridiculous contracts given to even mid-level players is growing ever out of control.

    I mean, really, paying half a million dollars per start for a pitcher? That’s ridiculous. I know it’s how the game works, but you’re the commissioner. Take some charge.

    (And please, veto any deal that sends Josh Hamilton to the Yankees. None of us want that).

    3. Roger Goodell (NFL)

    Oh boy. Roger’s a very lucky boy to only walk away with bronze in this melee. You want to see how his decision can affect a whole season?

    Look at hail-gate in week three. If the regular referees are there, then Seattle loses the game.

    This would have a flow on affect until eventually, Seattle isn’t in the position they are in now, i.e. a wildcard spot. But oh no, that’s not Goodell’s only mistake in his error prone wrath.

    Listed below are some of the problems associated to being a bumbling, stumbling pansy:

    • NFL lockout in 2010, which was extremely lucky to be solved in time for a full regular season.
    • Throwing around the idea of an 18 game regular season – Face it Roger, you aren’t getting sellouts now, do you really think an extra game would help?
    • Getting rid of kickoffs; well, you might as well say goodbye to Devin Hester right now if that ever gets through.
    • Trying to expand to Europe
    • Having games in Europe

    I could go on, but really, enough has been said. Just look at the ESPN boards and you’ll get a sense of the fan hate towards this man.

    2. David Stern (NBA)

    He gets the nod over Goodell due to his ridiculous fine to the San Antonio Spurs. Really, you’re charging a quarter of a million dollars because the game was close?

    Just because you have four players missing, does not mean that it can’t produce a good game. We get it. You’re a big town guy who screws over the smaller markets.

    I’m sure if your beloved Heat decided to rest Lebron, D Wade and Bosh for a nationally televised game, you’d do the smart thing and fine them as well.


    Didn’t think so buddy. And while I’m at it, where do you hire your referees from? I mean, really, Joey Crawford is still an official?

    And now we come to the unenviable (hey, maybe it is enviable to him) number one spot. This should really come as no shock to anyone.

    1. Gary Bettman (NHL)

    Three lockouts. Three lockouts in 20 years. One season already lost. Another season which could be cancelled in the next couple of weeks.

    It’s obvious Bettman and his offsider Fehr don’t want anything to do with the new deal between the NHL and the NHLPA.

    What kind of commissioner doesn’t want a season to go ahead? Is he going to hold all hockey fans to ransom again, like 2005/2006?

    There have been calls to get rid of Bettman, and even so far as to open a public enquiry into his wrongdoings. Let’s put it this way.

    If he’s worse than David Stern, then I’m all for it.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • December 8th 2012 @ 7:57am
      MV Dave said | December 8th 2012 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Don Garber Head of the MLS is the best performing CEO of American sports…he has taken MLS from a struggling sports league in the early 2000s to the fastest growing league in the country. They have gone from 10 teams to 19 currently and soon to be 20 and attendances from 13,000 per game to almost 19,000 per game this season and over 6 million total attendance. They have had 13 stadiums built for teams in the league in the last decade (worth $billions), with more to come. They now have ESPN and NBC sports covering games. The national team drew 20 million viewers during the last World Cup and whilst there is lots of work still to do MLS is currently flying.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2012 @ 8:09am
        Sam Brown said | December 8th 2012 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        Sounds kind of similar to the work Dana White has done with the UFC, taking a promotion verging on bankruptcy at the start of the millennium and turning it into a profitable business which is now covered by the mainstream media, Fox in the UFC’s case. However I don’t know enough about any of the other sports to rank Dana up against them.

        Great article though, very much enjoyed reading it.

    • December 8th 2012 @ 8:31am
      Roarsome said | December 8th 2012 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      Don’t forget the LFL with a fan base of 60M. They’ve done a fantastic job marketing the game after developing the concept itself. I met the CEO, Western Conference Coach and a player individually in Brisbane last year and was fascinated. I questioned them all regarding salary based on the fan base and compared it to the 20 odd Million we have here in AUS. I was impressed to hear that the top girls earn over 300K a year, similar to our AFL and NRL stars. It’s good to see the coin shared with the players that make the game.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • December 8th 2012 @ 10:50am
        Falcore said | December 8th 2012 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        Everything I’ve read about LFL tells a different story… Reverted to “amateur” status in 2011 – the girls not getting paid to play, the league not covering insurance etc

        • December 8th 2012 @ 11:01am
          Roarsome said | December 8th 2012 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          I communicate with one of the players regularly and can assure you they are paid, and paid well. At least, she is paid well. I can’t speak for others.

          • December 8th 2012 @ 3:31pm
            Falcore said | December 8th 2012 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

            Will have to take you’re word on that one – I am confused though, because I’ve come across nothing that supports what you say. All press that I’ve read points out that the girls are not paid by lfl or its franchises – confirmed by Mortaza in a number of interviews. My understanding:
            Up till 2011 season girls recieved fraction of gate takings with a larger fraction going to winning team.
            2011 Lfl goes “amateur status”. Girls no longer paid by league or franchise.
            2012 us season cancelled to concentrate on foreign markets

            I understand there are a players who’ve been able to expand their lfl PR modelling into a lucrative side career by looking good, but that’s seperate to lfl.

            Not suggesting you’re having a lend roarsome, just that its at odds with what many (informed or otherwise) seems to be saying

    • December 8th 2012 @ 11:11am
      Dan said | December 8th 2012 @ 11:11am | ! Report

      You lost all credibility in this article when you made reference to the ESPN boards.

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      December 11th 2012 @ 10:49pm
      Dan Corbett said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

      I don’t understand how you can say that Selig is the best when he completely ignored steroids in the league for 10 years. Labour disputes aren’t fun but ignoring this crisis completely undermined the competitive integrity of the game and baseball still retains the stink of this years after it has supposedly been cleaned up. That is far more significant than fining the Spurs.

      • December 30th 2012 @ 10:03am
        ConorHarvey1888 said | December 30th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        I don’t know if the article is saying that Selig is the “best”, more that he is the “least worst” over recent years, due to the other three leagues having a variety of problems to overcome, with each of the three encountering lockouts, in addition to Stern’s trade veto and the all too convenient situation of the Hornets winning the lottery, Goodell and the farcical replacement referee’s and Bounty scandals. Selig has essentially become the “best” by default

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