Baltimore's bid gets better with Glazers' cash


September 19, 1991|By JOHN EISENBERG

We love the Glazers.

We do.

We love Malcolm. His wife. Their six kids.

We didn't know who they were until yesterday, but now we love them.

We do.

Trust me on this one.

They just doubled our chances of getting an NFL team.

Maybe tripled our chances.

All because of one word.


They say they'll write a check for the entire sum of an expansion franchise.

That is a big development.

Very big.

Bigger than Artie Donovan's breakfast.

Other NFL owners will hear that and say, "Yowwee."

Make that: "Yippee."

They love that word, "cash."

It means they get their expansion kickbacks faster. No loans, no credit, no hassles.

It means they get a major big-money player as a brother. No insolvency trouble, like in New England. No doubting the ability to compete.

Risk-free expansion.

It's big.

Very big.

It doesn't mean we automatically get our franchise. We still have our debits. We're a relatively small TV market. We're close to the Redskins.

And you wondered why you still hate the Redskins. . . .

But, anyway. We're back in the hunt now. That's what the Glazers do for us. Put us back in the hunt. In a big, big way.

Suddenly, our offer is a new stadium and a cash-only owner.

It's the best offer on the table. Really.

Charlotte, supposedly a favorite, doesn't even have funding for a stadium. They say they'll raise private money. And the check is in the mail, right?

St. Louis is getting a new dome, but they're not talking about cash only. They'll need to finance.

Jacksonville doesn't even have an owner.

Suddenly, our wall has the fewest cracks.

We're the only city with one major big-money player out front, all alone, waving his wallet.

That's the secret to getting an expansion franchise in any sport these days.

Miami had no chance at a baseball team until Wayne Huizenga came along with his video millions.

Denver was just another candidate until Coors tossed in $30 million.

Washington had just as good a shot, but no major big-money player.


After Bob Tisch dropped out and until the Glazers came along, we had a lot of viable potential NFL owners, but none talking about writing a check for the team.

We had a best-selling author, Tom Clancy, who would probably name the team the Baltimore Submarines.

We had Boogie Weinglass, the people's choice, the Man Eli Jacobs Wouldn't Call Back, who would certainly be a kick and probably name the team the Baltimore Blue Jeans.

We had Bart Starr. Nathan Landow. Fine people, all. Well-intentioned people, all.

With the Glazers in the running now, though, it's like a poker game in which the stakes have been raised. And we win regardless.

We could still get Boogie. Or Clancy and the Subs. But to keep up with the Glazers, any potential owner will have to pay cash for the team now.

Bottom line: Baltimore is now a cash candidate. The cash candidate.

Only one.

We love the Glazers.

We do.

Malcolm. The wife and kids. We love them all.

We don't know what they look like.

We don't care.

We just love them. Our new best friends.

They could have picked Honolulu or Jacksonville or Memphis or San Antonio, all of whom would dearly love a check-writing owner.

They picked us.

They aren't fools, of course. They get a free, new stadium in the deal here. They get a city with everything to recommend it as an NFL town except that it wouldn't support Bob Irsay, no crime.

In exchange, we get a much better shot at a team.

L That, friends, is the proverbial "good deal for both sides."

Sure, it's a little strange that we're suddenly beholden to these people we'd never heard of until yesterday. It's a little strange that they're suddenly our lifeline.

People from Rochester, where we call up infielders.

But don't complain. Just be happy they picked us. They've got the money. They've got sound instincts.

They're already talking about buying free agents.

Let me repeat that for those of you who fainted:

They're already talking about buying free agents.

So get excited, but please, not too excited yet. The first law of expansion is you don't have any control over anything. There's no rule that it has to make sense. The owners could pick Honolulu because of the weather.

They probably won't, though. So be happy. We've got a new reason for them to pick us.

A big reason.

Very big.

Besides, if the Glazers do somehow mess up, we can get back at them. We can send Jeff Robinson up to them in Rochester again next year.

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