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Should the NFL have a mandatory retirement age for owners?

As I celebrate my official arrival at the halfway point to 90 (I’m still waiting for a hockey jersey that says “From Gregg” on the back), I’ve been thinking about the recent retirement of long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who at age 89 made some strong comments regarding Israel, sparking the same kind of uproar that has brought down far younger men.

Were her comments a function of age?  Or could her decision to feast on her own foot have happened at any point in her career?

(This is when the judge would say, “I hope you’re going somewhere with this, Mr. Florio.”)

Here’s the point.  Last night on his Twitter page, long-time NFL exec Joe Browne offered up this observation:  Helen Thomas is yet one more example why there
should be mandatory retirement at age 85.

Browne, who recently announced that he’s stepping down as the league’s V.P. of communications to focus on serving as the NFL’s chief in-house lobbyist, joined the NFL at age 18 in the mail room.  He served as one of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s first bosses, and Browne has remained with the league for 45 years.  Given that many of his past tweets reflect a wry sense of humor, we’re assuming that the remark was intended in jest.

But it raises a valid point.  Indeed, plenty of arguments could be advanced in support of a mandatory retirement age — and more importantly in support of an age on which a person’s driver’s license spontaneously should disintegrate.  But given that the several NFL owners have migrated past their 85th birthdays (including Titans owner Bud Adams, Bills owner Ralph Wilson, and Lions owner William Clay Ford) and in light of the perception that Raiders owner Al Davis has lost his fastball due to age, Browne’s comment (where in jest or otherwise) makes us wonder whether some within the league office (and possibly some of the other owners) would prefer that the older owners surrender the captain’s chair sooner rather than later.

So that’s your topic for discussion today.  Should the NFL require owners to step aside right after blowing out a small brush fire’s worth of candles?

Before chiming in, keep in mind that, eventually, you’ll be 85 too.  Hopefully.

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101 Responses to “Should the NFL have a mandatory retirement age for owners?”
  1. EverybodyGotAIDS says: Jun 8, 2010 1:23 PM

    I hate old people as much as anyone, but absolutely not. An NFL team is property. That property can be bought and sold, but you shouldn’t be able to compel someone to sell their property just because they’re horribly old and useless as human beings.
    …and don’t even get me started on people who advocate “imminent domain”. Communists, the lot of them.

  2. cbrianwatkins says: Jun 8, 2010 1:24 PM

    i dont care what they do to be honest
    the NFL is a privat sector company and can do what ever they want

  3. ray finkle says: Jun 8, 2010 1:25 PM

    stupid non story based off of nothing. just like the stephen ross firing sparano story. stupid

  4. joelvis72 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:25 PM

    Her comments were a function of, in this order: being an anti-Semite, a child of Lebanese immigrants, and someone who has had her butt kissed over the decades to the point where she thought she was bigger and more important than anyone, including the many presidents she covered.
    But your point is fraught with problems: people’s minds/bodies age differently. Look at John Wooden: almost 100, and just started slipping mentally within the last couple of months, from what I’ve read. And this weekend, too, died Nelson Stokely, Brandon’s dad, ex-football coach at USL (no, I don’t recognize “U of L”), of “complications of Alzheimer’s” at only 66.

  5. Lazar says: Jun 8, 2010 1:26 PM

    Far younger men?
    You are a professional journalist. Try to maintain some gender-neutrality…even on a football site.

  6. rhage13 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:26 PM

    thank you for such a riviting topic. Conclusion– you are now old and lame. Retire and let MDS take over.

  7. ampats says: Jun 8, 2010 1:26 PM

    Stupid topic.
    What are you going to do tell the owners they have to sell their teams ? We do live in the USA.

  8. jefbob says: Jun 8, 2010 1:26 PM

    How old is Mike Brown? That should be the mandatory retirement age…

  9. BengalsDouche2 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:27 PM

    I wish they’d make it younger than that so Mike Brown would have to retire very soon. However, he’d be handing the reigns to his “wonderful” daughter Katie and her moron of a husband Troy so Mike would still have his hands in the cookie jar.

  10. Paracelsus says: Jun 8, 2010 1:28 PM

    Thanks for bringing up her age which few other sources are willing to do. Sam Donaldson went at 75 and looks smart now. You can work long and hard, but there does come a time to go or scale back significantly. I retired two years ago at age 48. It is great, you can do all kinds of things related to your old job or not (my case both, but more likely it’s not which is in the direction of the arts where I never could make the $$, so it was a long term hobby until now).
    Anyway, football ownership is much tougher to deal with. It is not the ownership that is the problem, it is the management. Take Ford vs. Davis. Ford does little and doesn’t promptly work to fix problems. He has always been that way and it is unlikely that it is any worse now. Davis clearly was good and has lost the formula some time ago. But he is not smart enough to step down. I don’t know how you can legislate him to retain ownership and relinquish management. I don’t know how or why you would force old owners to sell.
    This is a structural problem by requiring partnership groups rather than corporations, be they non-profit or otherwise. With a corporation you can theoretically have an elected Board of Directors and have age requirements, elections, whatever.
    But this is not going to happen, so I will leave it as a nice idea, with no hope of any serious discussion amongst the owners. They’ll need much more than a few middle fingers to enact any kind of change.

  11. CommanderShepard says: Jun 8, 2010 1:29 PM

    Serious discussion… on this site’s comment section? Joking right?
    Most the people’s idea of world discussion is how terrible their rival team’s fans are.

  12. therewasone says: Jun 8, 2010 1:29 PM

    The US Congress and Supreme Court should have them first!

  13. Rev. Dr. HollywoodWags says: Jun 8, 2010 1:29 PM

    I think they should have an IQ test and full personality screening for commentators and pundits, like yourself.

  14. John El Way says: Jun 8, 2010 1:29 PM

    Bigotry has no age, that being said, this is a free country, what happened to freedom of speech?
    Every human being has some sort of racial or religious hatred in them. To pretend that everyone is created equal, is living in LALa Land. Once the people have figured this out. The better the world will be.

  15. Chris says: Jun 8, 2010 1:30 PM

    You can not discriminate against age.
    As far as the case referring to Al Davis. His team was in the superbowl in 2002. Some teams have yet to win 1 superbowl and in some cases like the Lions and Browns, have not reached a superbowl.
    Al Davis’s knowledge of football spans decades, he was a coach before and owner, which sets him apart from any “old” NFL owner in the league. People can say what they want but you can not judge the past few years because of 1 draft bust, who everyone , including NFL draft guru Mel Kiper had #1 on their big board.
    We will see how good his team is upon the start of Jason Campbell’s tenure as quarterback.
    If you own the team, you should be able to do whatever you want until you die. It’s like owning a business or a store, or owning anything, its yours. No one can tell you what to do.
    Lets not forget it was Al Davis who broke barriers of color (Art Shell 1st black coach), helped merge the league together, and has so many contributions to the game of football the list goes on and on…
    I understand the logic behind the question, but I think it has to apply by a case to case situation.

  16. BenRapistberger says: Jun 8, 2010 1:30 PM

    I can’t stand old people, and clearly they aren’t fit to run these businesses… but how would you define the logistics? How can you force someone to sell property that they own?
    At the very least, they should be required to employ someone who handles all business decisions, while the owner simply sits back and collects (or loses if the person he hires is bad).

  17. poman says: Jun 8, 2010 1:31 PM

    Problem is an 85 year old NFL team owner is not the same age as an 85 year old correspondent or anything else for that matter. Billions of dollars help can turn a 85 year old into a 50 year old. Ask Jerry Jones to see his birth certificate.

  18. No-Neck says: Jun 8, 2010 1:31 PM

    No age limit on owners. If you own the team, then you should be able to call the shots. However, owners should hire a competant GM to run operations. If an owner decides to run his team into the ground, then its their bottom line shrink and their fan base to alienate.

  19. JoshMac28 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:33 PM

    Florio,
    If we forced Ralph Wilson to retire, it would interupt all of the continuity the organization has going for it right now. Bad idea!

  20. DoomsDayD75 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:34 PM

    What Helen Thomas said was pretty dumb but she gets a pass for being such a bad ass white house reporter for so long. Besides she’s probably just fed up with all of Israel’s crap. They are murdering humanitarians for gods sake.
    She is a poor example of why the NFL should institute an age limit on owners, which is a slippery slope anyways. I don’t think that would fly in your every day business so I don’t see how that would work in football.

  21. Thunder says: Jun 8, 2010 1:35 PM

    No way should you be forced to retire!
    It is their team and their money paid for it at somepoint they have earned the right to do as they wish. (except may be the Green Bay Packers).
    Are they suggesting that the owner have to sell their team or transfer ownership?
    If they “transfer” ownership to another family member there will be alot of figure head owners and the real owner will still be calling the shots afterall.

  22. Big M says: Jun 8, 2010 1:35 PM

    no way. that’s age discrimination. john wooden was sharper than any owner in sports well into his late 90’s.

  23. rpiotr01 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:36 PM

    Green Bay has this rule already for the team president position. Believe the age is 70, which is why Bob Harlan had no choice but to step aside. I imagine it’s for the same reasons listed above.

  24. Winston Wolfe says: Jun 8, 2010 1:36 PM

    This is most likely your most absurd post to date Florio. After a mandatory retirement would they have to move to Poland? For the record Helen had been thinking what she said before you were born Florio. I don’t think age had anything to do with it. Now if Feely had said this you would be in a tirade about bigotry, religious cleansing and ethnic discrimination. You can’t say it in Arizona but you can in DC? Are you really that big of a hypocrite Florio?

  25. Juan Corsair says: Jun 8, 2010 1:38 PM

    What a stupid idea.
    The concept of mandatory retirement (from public office or otherwise) is completely seperate from the idea of owning, running or otherwise dictating the day-to-day operations of a business you have a majority stake in.
    If mandatory retirement at age 85 is bound to include business ownership and signed into law, what’s to prevent the State from forcing me to sell every stock and mutual fund I own upon reaching my 85th birthday?

  26. HarrisonHits says: Jun 8, 2010 1:38 PM

    People don’t make the kind of comment Helen Thomas did just because they get old. They may be more likely to say what they feel, but that type of thing comes generally from a long time belief.
    As to the NFL, ANYTHING that would get Al Davis and Ralph Wilson out of the league is fine with me. Watching them destroy the two franchises they built and once ran so well has been very painful, and just plain agonizing to Raiders and Bills fans.

  27. rayray1284 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:38 PM

    they should make it for 1 year just to get rid of al davis.

  28. irishsamurai says: Jun 8, 2010 1:39 PM

    i do not agree,but i do not live in oakland[THANK GOD] if i did,i would sign whatever petetion i had to to get that crazy old man out of the ownership,he did so much for the nfl in his younger days,but now in his golden year,he is starting to ruin it,he is now a characature of himself

  29. DcNinerFan says: Jun 8, 2010 1:39 PM

    “Were her comments a function of age?” You, like most Liberal apologists, are assuming something without factual information. Her long lasting hatred of Israel is well documented… Age has nothing to do with her feelings, she just seemed to have finally snapped and didn’t care what people thought anymore… She’s done all the harm in the Lamestream Media should could do, and has to make way for younger anti-Semitic journalists to not ask the touch questions to Sheik Obama (if he’d ever let reporters ask him questions that Gibbs doesn’t approve of that is).
    And no, you shouldn’t force owners to sell no matter how old they are. Most owners don’t take a hands on approach to team management, other than approving big moves like management and coaching. Forcing them to sell is a lot like communism… you’d have to pass a law to strip an individual of their right to ownership. Also, if the league tried to implement a policy they would be in violation of several ownership laws. Retirement age has no bearing on ownership, only on employment. The other owners have no stake in other teams, so therefore they would have no ground to force a sale, lest they violate several interstate commerce laws. Nice try, Florio, but your psycho super-left ways aren’t getting you any fans (except the gullible ones at any rate).

  30. ADogDC says: Jun 8, 2010 1:40 PM

    No.
    And Helen Thomas said nothing wrong. Since when does speaking your mind is a bad thing?

  31. casper67 says: Jun 8, 2010 1:41 PM

    Florio – are you for real? That’s age discrimination against millionaires…
    How the hell do you work for NBC?

  32. No-Neck says: Jun 8, 2010 1:41 PM

    NFL is a private sector company, but it operates under Anti-Trust regulations and can make it’s own internal rules such as the Draft and CBAs. I’m not sure what the mechanism would be for setting an age limit is on owners, but would think the owners would have to vote the rule in under some sort of majority. So just like Congress voting in term limits on themselves, it ain’t gonna happen.

  33. pstoo says: Jun 8, 2010 1:42 PM

    This is asinine. If the problem with old owners is that they run their teams poorly, then the conversation should be about performance standards for owners and their teams, not their ages. Some of those octogenarians (yes!) run a tighter ship than younger owners. Besides, how do you tell a private owner that they need to retire from running their own business? It just doesn’t work. Next you’d be telling owners they can’t pass the reins to their kids, in an attempt to combat nepotism. Etc.
    That said, Al Davis should be forced into retirement.

  34. robert ethen says: Jun 8, 2010 1:42 PM

    Happy Birthday, big guy! (Well, average sized guy at least). All the slanderous putdowns are catching in my throat…

  35. Archbishop says: Jun 8, 2010 1:43 PM

    What a stupid topic…I think we should make a mandatory rule for stupid topics not to be posted….

  36. Steelerguy says: Jun 8, 2010 1:46 PM

    Stupid question Florio,
    Age isn’t the issue – maybe competency. Kinda like journalism skills. Maybe writers ought to retire 1/2 way to 90? Whaddaya think??
    You need to raise the bar here Florio, too much silly speculation on topics that are just whipped up out of thin air. Like a stinkin’ politician.

  37. robert ethen says: Jun 8, 2010 1:46 PM

    Age is just a number. How about once their functional I.Q. drops below 85? Or when it takes more than 85 seconds to run the 40 yard dash?
    Those would be a more rigorous guidelines.

  38. KnuckleBucket says: Jun 8, 2010 1:46 PM

    Just because you’re incompetent Florio we aren’t suggesting that you retire. So why should it be any different for someone who runs a private business that is old and incompetent. This country has become so soft. People get outraged at the drop of a hat these days. Helen Thomas can say whatever she wants as far as I’m concerned, it’s a free country.
    I love watching Al Davis, you never know what he’s going to do or say.

  39. maverickjcw says: Jun 8, 2010 1:52 PM

    Who cares how old they are. Make it mandatory to get rid of A-holes like Dan Snyder.

  40. Slow Joe says: Jun 8, 2010 1:53 PM

    Al Davis would beat this rule. He’d sue his way out of it. Al Davis cannot be stopped. Al Davis will not die. Ever. Get ready for more Raider drafts of incredibly fast guys who can’t play and more $36M free agent signings of players no other team would touch.

  41. Mike Daly says: Jun 8, 2010 1:54 PM

    I’m not in favor of eminent domain – the concept of seizing property etc. for nebulous reasons is fundamentally wrong.
    That said, there are numerous owners who need to be forced to give up their teams to more qualified people – Ralph Wilson, Al Davis, Woody Johnson and his PSLs, Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, Bill Bidwell, Mike Brown, Jim Irsay, all have proven to be incompetent owners.
    Irsay presides over one of the strongest teams in football almost entirely because of Bill Polian and his quarterback. Wilson invests so little into coaching it’s frightening. Al Davis and Jerry Jones are insanely meddlesome and Jones can’t stop ripping off every nickel from someone. Wood Johnson has that same madness. Bill Bidwell has something going now but he has no ability to sustain it. Mike Brown got rescued by Marvin Lewis but hasn’t gotten better. Dan Snyder – a fantasy geek.
    The irony is Irsay has more success but I trust Bud Adams as an owner more.

  42. robert ethen says: Jun 8, 2010 1:56 PM

    For his birthday, Florio’s wife bought him tickets to Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the Central African Republic.
    He was delighted until he found out all three countries have an average male life expectancy of around 45 years.

  43. Bob Nelson says: Jun 8, 2010 1:57 PM

    You cannot take away an owner’s property.
    Helen Thomas was a crazy old bat saying stupid things back in 1972.
    She doesn’t own a sports franchise.
    Most owners attempt to gradually have their kids take over the business and retain figuehead status.
    Why does their need to be a rule?
    Let the Lions and the Raiders have their self created problems. What duty does anyone have to intervene?

  44. favrecansuckit says: Jun 8, 2010 2:00 PM

    They need to impose this rule on “journalists”.

  45. Dewey Axewoond says: Jun 8, 2010 2:01 PM

    DoomsDayD75 says:
    June 8, 2010 1:34 PM
    What Helen Thomas said was pretty dumb but she gets a pass for being such a bad ass white house reporter for so long. Besides she’s probably just fed up with all of Israel’s crap. They are murdering humanitarians for gods sake.
    She is a poor example of why the NFL should institute an age limit on owners, which is a slippery slope anyways. I don’t think that would fly in your every day business so I don’t see how that would work in football.
    _____________________________
    All your bong-sucking has clearly obliterated any remaining shred of intelligence you may have once held, Cheech.
    “Humanitarians” with RPGS, IEDs, pistols, and lead pipes, right?
    The kind that violently refuses to allow itself to be searched, the same way EVERY international vessel coming in has to be?
    Humanitarians that also happen to belong to Hamas and want nothing more than the total obliteration of both the United States AND Israel?
    I bet you also lobby for violent jihadists to be let go because someone “profiled” them, right?–at least, we can always give them HBO, gourmet meals, and daily massages before their time off for good behavior kicks in…
    Hey, maybe they’ll even get a job working in the White House…fit right in.
    Puff on, dude–your total irreversible separation from reality is almost complete. Like, far out…right?

  46. stnmmc says: Jun 8, 2010 2:04 PM

    I can’t wait until I’m 85, the possibilities are endless…
    * Give kids the middle finger with no repercussion
    * Don’t have to actually get up to go to the bathroom
    * Cruising in my sweet whip (imagine the technical advances in the hoveround 50 years from now)
    * Able to drop trou at any time, using senility as an excuse, something #7 wishes he had available to him
    * Able to consume entire meals in liquid form
    * The variety of weapons available (canes, walkers, colostomy bags)
    * The chance to make new friends each day (again with the senility)
    * Having Death on speed dial
    Hell, I do half that stuff already, but unfortunately it is frowned upon when a 34 year old engages in hover by colostomy bag tossing while sipping breakfast through a straw.

  47. Hauschild says: Jun 8, 2010 2:11 PM

    America isn’t communist China – yet.
    What a foolish proposition. I love your product, but I sometimes don’t like you as a business owner, so that means, in my small mind, that you should go away when I decide the time is right – even though the business is YOURS.
    Progressives and their agendas are sweeping the nation and nobody cares. Wild.

  48. dustindmw says: Jun 8, 2010 2:15 PM

    They own the team, it’s theres, they can run it into the ground if they want to. They paid for it and they own it.

  49. wwwmattcom says: Jun 8, 2010 2:17 PM

    I think the age for writers should be 45. This was an article that shows your age. Ya know I can hear other elderly people speak about non sense all day by visiting a retirement home. I don’t need it to be on a site that sometimes reports news accurately.

  50. poonhok says: Jun 8, 2010 2:20 PM

    Helen Thomas is a bigot.
    Her age and sense of entitlement simply led her to believe that she would not suffer any repercussions because of her anti-Semitic beliefs.
    She falsely believed this because of the pass given to her anti-Semitic hero that she reports on…

  51. Martin Keamy says: Jun 8, 2010 2:21 PM

    Mike Daly, you, sir, are an idiot.
    I’d just like to say that most owners act in very different ways and adopt very different coaching philosophies, money spending habits, etc… It makes the league more interesting. And who is to say that if i’m the majority share holder owner of some sort of property (any property at all), that anyone has a right to tell me what to do with my property?
    But after you do take away my right to use my stuff as I want to, you can then take away my right to say that Mike Daly is a total moron.

  52. pancho smith says: Jun 8, 2010 2:22 PM

    No mandatory retirement, but I am fully in favor of a related move: If an owner’s team hasn’t managed to make it to the play-offs during any consecutive ten year period, they should be required to sell that team.

  53. bobinpuertorico says: Jun 8, 2010 2:22 PM

    Actually, there is much good that could come from age limits, but then they need to go both ways. For example, I agree that owners should be forced to sell their teams when they reach 65, but young people should not be able to work in management positions until they are mature enough – perhaps not until age 55.

  54. DcNinerFan says: Jun 8, 2010 2:26 PM

    # ADogDC says: June 8, 2010 1:40 PM
    “No.
    And Helen Thomas said nothing wrong. Since when does speaking your mind is a bad thing?”
    See Hitler, Adolf, speech to the Reichstag of January 30, 1939 then tell me speaking your mind isn’t a bad thing…
    ____________________________________
    DoomsDayD75 says: June 8, 2010 1:34 PM
    “What Helen Thomas said was pretty dumb but she gets a pass for being such a bad ass white house reporter for so long. Besides she’s probably just fed up with all of Israel’s crap. They are murdering humanitarians for gods sake. ”
    Yes, those poor weapons wielding humanitarians with bunker materials (no food/medicine/water on the 2 vessels that put up a fight), just like those poor humanitarian Hamas leaders that launch rockets into Israeli civilian targets. Just like those Hezbollah guerrilla fighters that target civilians non-Muslims throughout Gaza, with their humanitarian efforts. Seriously, if you think 9 militant deaths are a tragedy, just look at the death toll from Hamas and Hezbollah rockets over the past few years, and tell me what the Israelis did was wrong (IE, responding to attacks, not preempting them.

  55. Dan Mateus says: Jun 8, 2010 2:26 PM

    What’s next?
    Force out all owners and appoint GM’s to each team and spread out all star players equally between all teams?
    /i’m sure Comrade Florio would approve of such a move by Comrade Goodell.

  56. Card Magnet says: Jun 8, 2010 2:29 PM

    Considering Al Davis is now 10 years past being legally dead, I don’t think we’ll see a mandatory age.

  57. CanadianVikingFan says: Jun 8, 2010 2:33 PM

    Happy Birthday Mike Florio!
    Aside from you looking like a tool sometimes in your posts, you still run a great site with a good sense of humour. Thanks.

  58. bringbacktheflex says: Jun 8, 2010 2:38 PM

    Why is it:
    If you disagree with Israeli politics you are anti-semite?
    If you disagree with Jesse Jackson you are racist?
    (BTW, why do Jews get their own racist term while other races don’t? Isn’t that, well, racist??)
    If you admire a woman’s body you are sexist?
    If you don’t want to watch Brokeback Mountain you are a homophobe?
    Why should these groups be untouchable when it comes to viewing (or not viewing) or disagreement?
    I stopped being politically correct a long time ago. If you don’t like it – too bad. It’s called ‘freedom of speech’.

  59. vanhelsing says: Jun 8, 2010 2:40 PM

    Should the NFL have a mandatory retirement age for website proprietors trying to make money off the NFL?
    Indubitably (thanks, Tiki).
    Especially if they are modern liberals.
    ////////////////
    And, i am no fan of Resident Zero or Helen Thomas, but the larger lesson is that in modern America, one cannot criticize israel.
    When the @#$% did a bunch of imperialist unamericans become untouchable? They arent God. But they sure think they are, and we are forced to bankroll them for no benefit to us. And they have a lot of folks bamboozled into thinking they are all they are cracked up to be.
    Wake the @#$% up, America. make them pay their own way. End foreign welfare, i mean, aid.

  60. silverback says: Jun 8, 2010 2:46 PM

    Well, you can’t discriminate based on race or sex anymore, so why not age? My God is Florio a biggot!

  61. Deb says: Jun 8, 2010 2:47 PM

    The question isn’t about seizing the owners’ property. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s about requiring them–as franchise owners–to relinquish control of day-to-day operations when they’re no longer able to function optimally. Art Rooney owned the Pittsburgh Steelers until he died, but had long before turned over day-to-day operations to his son. Dan Rooney did the same several years ago.
    Older people have earned knowledge and wisdom their younger peers lack. And if the juvenile clowns whining “I hate old people” manage to live that long, they’ll rant to be treated with more respect than they’ve shown. Elderly owners should continue to have a voice and a vote in league decisions. But by age 80, it’s time to give up sole decision-making control of a multi-billion-dollar team that employs hundreds of people. Better for the owners to start putting a plan of succession into place before nature inevitably does it for them.

  62. CanadianVikingFan says: Jun 8, 2010 2:59 PM

    Al Davis is so old, he was the bouncer for Jesus at the last supper.

  63. 420fan says: Jun 8, 2010 3:01 PM

    Florio, your a Joke! Can I have my 5 minutes back that I wasted reading your garbage. So everyone over 85 can’t have anything, cuz they are too old??? Can’t own a house, car, or a football team….
    Give it to the Bankers, they need the money….

  64. Carly Syms says: Jun 8, 2010 3:06 PM

    How could you possibly make a case for age discrimination? There are certain elderly people that I know who I’d trust with more responsibility than those younger than them. It’s absurd to blindly state that those over a certain age are no longer fit or this.
    Especially since they OWN the team.
    Ridiculous post.

  65. BigSuede says: Jun 8, 2010 3:10 PM

    I love how the media (which is dominated by a specific ethnic group- unabashedly non-diverse) make any statement critical of Isreal as anti-semetic.
    There is a huge difference between criticism of zionism and being a bigot- but name calling works, and public flogging of those critical voices works. Now the media can feel good in spinning Helen Thomas as just another evil bigot- and it conveniently takes attention of Isreal killing 9 innocent people (including one american!)
    This really has gotten to the point that it is ridiculous- I thought intelligent people were supposed to see through propaganda- but sadly it still works pretty well

  66. beer_beer_beer_beer says: Jun 8, 2010 3:24 PM

    How old is Mike Brown? There’s your starting point…

  67. Hauschild says: Jun 8, 2010 3:30 PM

    Deb:
    This is what progressives and their ilk cannot grasp – that in America, one cannot control somebody else just because one feels superior to them in every way. This type of reasoning and behavior is better suited to the China’s, Cuba’s and North Korea’s of the world – not America.
    Live and let die.

  68. Chapnasty2 says: Jun 8, 2010 3:51 PM

    I personally think that old people shouldn’t be allowed to drive as well. That being said, 45 y/o’s who have proven again and again that they are biased and yet pretend to be sports journalists should also be forced to retire.

  69. FriarBob says: Jun 8, 2010 3:55 PM

    Should there be a mandatory retirement age? No, No, and NO! Because there will always be somebody who disproves the rule that “old people are dumb” or “are slow” or “have lost their game” or whatever other rule you want to use. No blanket rule can ever cover all circumstances. There will be some example (even if he/she’s badly in the minority) of an 85+ year old owner who still has enough ability left to still perform their duties at least adequately.
    That said, if the owner in question has the common sense of a brickbat, they should also generally know they are no longer up to the day-to-day full-control of their teams and should voluntarily turn over at least partial control to their children and/or hire a competent GM and turn over things to them. The fact that people like Davis, Brown, and others like them haven’t had that limited amount of common sense is why so many of their teams fans hate them so much.

  70. A_M says: Jun 8, 2010 4:05 PM

    Why don’t you let the Government own all the teams since the Government is taking over major industries anyway, then the NFL can fail just like everything else the government controls!

  71. A_M says: Jun 8, 2010 4:11 PM

    Why don’t you let the Government own all the teams since the Government is taking over major industries anyway, then the NFL can fail just like everything else the government controls!

  72. DcNinerFan says: Jun 8, 2010 4:37 PM

    BigSuede – I’m not sure what media you’ve been watching/reading/listening to, but the vast majority are smearing the facts (as you’ve just proven), conveniently leaving out the fact that weapons were used by members of the “peaceful” flotilla against the IDF, and 12 members of the IDF were injured and responded out of self defense. I guess you/they forgot that part, eh?

  73. Deb says: Jun 8, 2010 4:51 PM

    @Hauschild …
    You had to stretch to twist my post into a claim of superiority over older people. The most amazing person I know is 80. I’ve watched her step into an unfamiliar situation and outmaneuver an experienced, highly educated businessman 25 years her junior. I want to be her when I grow up. Heck, I want to be her now.
    You’re simply trying to damn me for Communism’s failings when I do not support Communist ideology. It would improve the nation’s political dialogue if people from all political persuasions would stop engaging in wild exaggeration. And it would improve this site’s football dialogue if people would stop inserting politics into discussions about the game and the business of the game.
    NFL owners agree to abide by rules when they join the league. As my example demonstrates, some people function brilliantly at 80. Others run their organizations into the ground, jeopardizing the livelihoods of their employees. If you have a more equitable solution than adding mandatory retirement to the franchise agreement, please present it. Your views on Communism and progressives are not relevant.

  74. BigSuede says: Jun 8, 2010 5:13 PM

    To be honest DC I couldn’t care less about either group. There are just as many news sources saying they were unarmed. I am pointing out the Helen Thomas is being used more as spin and to muddle the picture on what happened on that event. (It sure doesnt look good for Isreal to kill in a circumstance where they could have just as easily took a less confrontational tact)
    I am sure there are facts both sides can bring up and argue both ways.
    I am more upset with a person’s inability to voice an opinion critical of Isreal without being labeled a bigot. There are valid criticisms of Israel (just as there are other countries). Those who hold opposing views of Israel should not have to fear being ostracized from society or be forced into an early retirement. These tactics are meant to chill any free debate on the subject. That is wrong-

  75. chitownlionsfan410 says: Jun 8, 2010 5:33 PM

    my god, is there really nothing else to talk about in the NFL right now? Ford is old and dumb…we knew that 15 years ago

  76. edgy1957 says: Jun 8, 2010 5:34 PM

    # EverybodyGotAIDS says:
    …and don’t even get me started on people who advocate “imminent domain”. Communists, the lot of them.
    ********************************
    Quick history lesson: eminent domain predates Communism by a long time AND it’s used in this country for redevelopment purposes, like building a new stadium or shopping mall (Which are all the rage in Communist countries, right).

  77. edgy1957 says: Jun 8, 2010 5:37 PM

    I think it’s funny that some owners might object to this and yet, they don’t seem to have a problem getting rid of a long time coach that they say the game has passed them by.

  78. Martin Keamy says: Jun 8, 2010 5:52 PM

    Also, Florio I think its funny that you say we should consider this when you just slammed the panthers a few weeks ago claiming they were firing staff and cutting players based on age.
    I’m not going to buy your preseason book. I prefer to read serious, well researched reporting in my preseason mags!

  79. pancho smith says: Jun 8, 2010 6:14 PM

    This is a discussion about football, not politics. Football is a highly competitive, entertaining game supported by lots and lots of loyal fans who don’t want the game polluted by politics. And certainly not politics that intrude into websites devoted to the sport. There are a zillion blogs politically-inclined people can post to.
    If the owners want to impose a mandatory retirement age on themselves, that’s their business. My earlier post had nothing to do with age and everything to do with competency: If an owner’s team hasn’t managed to make it to the play-offs during any consecutive ten year period, they should be required to sell that team. This rule would apply regardless of the age of the team’s owner.
    Considering that teams routinely ask cities to help fund stadiums, considering that it’s the fans who buy tickets (or get deprived of watching a game because of the black-out rule), fans who buy NFL merchandise and the products advertised during games, and considering the pride fans invest in their teams, it seems only fair that owners do everything possible under the rules of the game to produce winning teams.
    The NFL owes it to its fans to take the next step to enhance the league’s competitiveness: Either get your team into the play-offs every once in a while or get out of the way and sell the team to someone who can. It’s not about ageism, politics, free speech or even about property and money. It’s about hope and pride, and about competence and competitive excellence in a great game that deserves nothing less.

  80. raiderblazerfan says: Jun 8, 2010 6:46 PM

    hard hitting journalism

  81. Deb says: Jun 8, 2010 7:57 PM

    pancho smith says:
    This is a discussion about football, not politics. Football is a highly competitive, entertaining game supported by lots and lots of loyal fans who don’t want the game polluted by politics. And certainly not politics that intrude into websites devoted to the sport. There are a zillion blogs politically-inclined people can post to.
    ———————————————
    Hallelujah and amen!!!!
    Don’t necessarily agree with the rest of your post, but it’s certainly thought-provoking and discussion-worthy.
    Forcing owners to sell if they haven’t made the playoffs for 10 years isn’t altogether practical. People with the financial resources and qualifications to be NFL club owners aren’t a dime a dozen–as we’ve all seen by the difficulty in finding an owner’s group for the Rams. But it would certainly be reasonable to demand teams hire new presidents, GMs, player-personnel directors, scouts, and other decision-makers if their teams can’t produce within a specified time frame. No other corporation would be allowed to continue indefinitely on a path of self-destruction.

  82. CJ says: Jun 8, 2010 8:00 PM

    uh…call me crazy but why would any owner vote for this? The geezers don’t want to give up control, and the younger guys know that they won’t want to either when that comes, and in the meantime they get to enjoy the competitive advantage as they essentially a few less teams since they’re run by incompetent ownership.

  83. Shanahan's Rat Teeth says: Jun 8, 2010 8:01 PM

    pancho smith says:
    June 8, 2010 6:14 PM
    “…The NFL owes it to its fans to take the next step to enhance the league’s competitiveness: Either get your team into the play-offs every once in a while or get out of the way and sell the team to someone who can…”
    ————————————————
    Let’s say an owner was forced to sell his team after 10 non-playoff seasons. Here’s the owners that would’ve been removed since 1960:
    Bill Bidwell- Cards
    Ralph Wilson- Bills
    Rankin Smith- Falcons
    George Halas- Bears
    Mike Brown- Bengals
    Gerald Phipps- Broncos
    William Clay Ford, Sr.- Lions (twice)
    Green Bay Packers, Inc.- Packers
    Lamar Hunt- Chiefs
    Billy Sullivan- Patriots
    Dave Dixon & group- Saints
    Wellington Mara- Giants
    Leon Hess- Jets
    Art Rooney- Steelers
    Eugene Klein- Chargers
    Victor Morabito & Louis Sapdia- 49ers
    Noordstrom Group- Seahawks
    Hugh Culverhouse- Bucs
    George Preston Marshall- Redskins

  84. Meldog says: Jun 8, 2010 8:36 PM

    If I owned a professional football team and someone told me I couldn’t own it because of my age in another year or two….I would run the team into the ground so it was such a horrible franchise that nobody would want to buy it from me.

  85. amstel says: Jun 8, 2010 8:43 PM

    I’m conflicted on this one. As a Bills fan I can see Ralph, while may still have sense may be losing it and the Bills have been among the worst teams in the league the last decade. Would they be better with sound decisions with regard to the Personnel and Coaching areas? I’m sure. How meddlesome he truly is I don’t know. I think he realized he needed to cede power and tried doing that with Donahoe and it didnt go as planned and soured him on that idea. I had dinner with my Girlfriends Step Granparents recently who are Ninety and still totally with it and thought, could they at their age really run an NFL franchise?…….

  86. Lance19 says: Jun 8, 2010 9:40 PM

    As a Charger fan, I would have to oppose this.
    Yes, the Chargers have beat the Raiders 13 straight
    times, and that might make a few people feel sorry
    for the pathetic bunch “led” by ol’ man Davis.
    But, all-time, the Raiders still have a 10 game advantage
    (54 wins, 44 losses & 2 ties) over the Bolts, and until that
    injustice is rectified, we NEED Al Davis to continue to
    to drive that franchise with his left blinker on…

  87. steely devil hab says: Jun 8, 2010 10:04 PM

    ADogDC says:
    June 8, 2010 1:40 PM
    No.
    And Helen Thomas said nothing wrong. Since when does speaking your mind is a bad thing?
    ==============================
    Ever since George Bush was in power…

  88. steely devil hab says: Jun 8, 2010 10:11 PM

    bringbacktheflex says:
    June 8, 2010 2:38 PM
    Why is it:
    If you disagree with Israeli politics you are anti-semite?
    If you disagree with Jesse Jackson you are racist?
    (BTW, why do Jews get their own racist term while other races don’t? Isn’t that, well, racist??)
    If you admire a woman’s body you are sexist?
    If you don’t want to watch Brokeback Mountain you are a homophobe?
    Why should these groups be untouchable when it comes to viewing (or not viewing) or disagreement?
    I stopped being politically correct a long time ago. If you don’t like it – too bad. It’s called ‘freedom of speech’.
    —————————-
    Forgot one:
    If you disagree with the President (circa 2000-2008) …OR don’t want to send troops to invade other countries…
    You are anti-American.

  89. kishcollageit says: Jun 8, 2010 10:41 PM

    Ford should give the team to his son and not use them as a toy although people are living longer these days!

  90. Steve W. says: Jun 9, 2010 2:07 AM

    Bigotry has no age, that being said, this is a free country, what happened to freedom of speech?
    Every human being has some sort of racial or religious hatred in them. To pretend that everyone is created equal, is living in LALa Land. Once the people have figured this out. The better the world will be.
    _________________________________
    Nothing happened to freedom of speech. Thomas worked for a privately owned company. Her comments embarrassed them, and could have had a negative effect on their profits had a boycott or protest against them occurred. Furthermore, the cloud that’s hanging over her now means that no other company in her field was going to hire her at the moment. So, considering her age and the likelihood of her getting another position while she was still capable of doing her job well, she retired. There’s nothing here that even resembles a freedom of speech issue. She simply made a huge mess while working in a very image conscious industry. Such things tend to come with consequences.
    As for your other comments, they’re just a bit too cynical for me…and that’s saying something. Are all people created equally? Of course not. People are born with differing levels of intellect, athletic ability, and any number of other issues. Some are also, unfortunately, born with serious health issues. None of this has anything to do with ethnicity or religion, however. I do discriminate against others, but not based on the criteria you mentioned, but on criteria that has meaning to me: intelligence, integrity, honesty, and quite a few other traits that determine whether or not I want to have anything to do with someone. You can say I’m living in LaLa land all you want, but I’m not exactly one of those people that goes around thinking everything is wonderful. I just know what I think is bad, and I like to be upset at things that matter.

  91. texasPHINSfan says: Jun 9, 2010 2:25 AM

    Is this more Obamanomics? Part of tearing down capitalism and turning this country socialist?
    NFL teams are private companies, with the exception of the Packers. You can’t force ownership. If you want someone else to own the team, make an offer.
    If you’re talking about public office, that’s one thing. But you’re talking about a private asset. I don’t want the government making any more decisions about what happens to our private assets.
    If I wanted communism I’d move to Cuba.

  92. Juan Corsair says: Jun 9, 2010 8:16 AM

    Humanitarians that also happen to belong to Hamas and want nothing more than the total obliteration of both the United States AND Israel?
    ***********
    If we are calling a spade a spade, Isreal is just as guilty of genocide as the Nazis they never cease in reminding us about.
    It was called “Jenin”. Look into it.
    How anyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe size can defend a degenerate bunch of right-wing lunatics as that god-forsaken country is far beyond my comprehension.

  93. AutumnWind999 says: Jun 9, 2010 10:47 AM

    This would, and should, never happen. How could something like this not violate the constitution?

  94. stnmmc says: Jun 9, 2010 11:36 AM

    If we forced people to retire at 85, who the hell is gonna be running the Playboy Mansion. I volunteer my services for a period of ten years without pay

  95. BboyFiasco says: Jun 9, 2010 12:34 PM

    @ joelvis72 & Dewey Axewoond
    First.. Just because you Dont agree with what Isreal does NOT make you anti semite.
    Second.. Find out what the word means because you re not even using it right you IDIOT.. only small percencetage of Jews are actually Semetic and most are Ashkenazim (not semitic) Jews.. so STFU!!!
    Third.. Helen Brown was saying what she felt was true.. Seniors, like Drunks always speak the Truth..
    What does this haveto do with the NFL.. most of the NFL owners could care less what you and I THINK…kINDA LIKE ISREAL

  96. Deb says: Jun 9, 2010 2:13 PM

    Florio, what do Helen Thomas’s views on the blockade crisis have to do with a) her age, and b) the NFL? Apparently Browne doesn’t agree with Thomas and decided to wisecrack that she’s senile in segueing to this subject. That didn’t mean you needed to follow his lead. Surely you’ve suggested to Florio Jr. that if his friends all jump off a cliff, that’s no reason for him to do it.
    Because you included that bit of irrelevancy, every other post is about Israel instead of retiring owners. Good grief, there are political blogs for that.

  97. Dewey Axewoond says: Jun 9, 2010 2:23 PM

    @BboyFiasco,
    Not sure what part of that addresses me, but I never even used the word/phrase “anti-Semitic”…
    I’m the last person to be tossing around the old “whip words” (ad hominen attack words that impugn the person, rather than addressing the substance of an argument)…famous ones are:
    “racist”, “homophobe”, “fascist”, “liberal”
    (okay, maybe I do use SOME of them)
    By the way, since you seem to be such an expert on all this, where the heck is “ISREAL” and what the hell does “Semetic” mean?
    Thanks, “you IDIOT”

  98. BboyFiasco says: Jun 9, 2010 2:49 PM

    @ DEWEY
    Although you did not use the word anti semitic your comments about The people on the boats implying that they are terrorist makes your comment MORE ignorant.. The fact that you only address my spelling Errors and not the point that i was making which is TRUE makes you a Douesch Bag ( did i spell that right)
    The mainstream media who is controlled by a certain Race/ Religion of people who did the Murdering are saying that the boat was armed.. And they also said they shot the boat with Paint balls!! Its funny how Arab news says the opposite.. Stop The Unrightful occupation of Palestine, Iraq and Afganistan now!!!!

  99. DcNinerFan says: Jun 9, 2010 5:03 PM

    Juan Corsair – “It was called “Jenin”. Look into it.”
    Wait, wait, wait… are you implying that the battle of Jenin, where there were multi-thousands of militants that laid traps, ambushes, and insurgencies against the IDF, is the same as the Nazi’s rounding Jews by the millions and executing them? …I just don’t see it. Call me crazy…

  100. buzzbissinger says: Jun 10, 2010 6:45 PM

    Slow news day eh? Decided to generate another 100+ comment thread eh?
    you Raider hating, twitter promoting twit.
    Cite all the twits you like, I will never, ever subcribe to you twitter agenda, twit.

  101. riscifiguy says: Jun 12, 2010 10:47 AM

    If you read the article, and if (and it’s a big if) Florio’s math is right them Brown would be 63.
    Ownship and property rights aside, perhaps the right approach is the funtion of team president and managing partner. In anyevent all they hurt is themselves, their team, their players and their fan base.
    If they don’t keep up with modern marketing (Bills) or have pressing off field business issues (Lions) or are stuck in the 1970’s (Raiders) then so be it. Unless a team suffers financial issues that hurt the leauge’s product let it be.

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