Monday, August 7, 2017

Jerry Jones Got An Ugly New Jacket Because, Well, Money

Nip, Tuck, Die
In alphabetical order, the list of front office personnel who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Note that I'm not listing coaches, and plenty of these guys held that role in addition to being a GM or an owner. But you get the gist.)

George Allen
Bert Bell
Charles Bidwill
Paul Brown
Joseph Carr
Al Davis
Eddie DeBartolo
Weeb Ewbank
Jim Finks
Sid Gillman
George Halas
Lamar Hunt
Jerry Jones
Curly Lambeau
Vince Lombardi
Tim Mara
Wellington Mara
George Preston Marshall
Bill Polian
Dan Reeves
Art Rooney
Dan Rooney
Pete Rozelle
Tex Schramm
Jim Thorpe
Ralph Wilson
Ron Wolf

More than you might have thought, right? Well, that's football for you: the rich guys who got richer for exploiting the talent are awfully good at congratulating themselves for that. But let's dig into this a bit.

George Allen won with middling talent. Bert Bell founded the league. Bill Bidwill... well, whatever, the Bidwills suck and have always sucked, but maybe ol' Bill had blackmail material. Paul Brown was a genius. Joseph Carr got in because the NFL always inducts their commissioners. Al Davis was a genius, and probably would have sued if he wasn't in. Eddie DaBartolo won a lot, and was beloved even when he cheated, mostly because he cheated in ways that actually put money in player's pockets.

Weeb Ewbank won in New York; that always gets you in a Hall of Fame, regardless of league. Jim Finks ran three middling franchises and probably collected a lot of incriminating photographs. Sid Gillman invented the modern passing game. George Halas damn near invented the league.

Lamar Hunt was critical to founding the AFL. Curly Lambeau was a legend; Vince Lombardi is *the* legend. The Maras and Rooneys get in because the NFL has always had hard-ons for the Giants and Steelers. George Preston Marshall moved a team to DC and had an on-again, off-again affair with Louise Brooks, and I can only carry so much hate for a man who bedded Brooks. Bill Polian built contenders in three cities, and kept the Patriots from utterly dominating the 21st century.

Dan Reeves got the league to the West Coast. Rozelle made it profitable with the use of TV. Schramm built the borderline dominant Cowboy teams, Jim Thorpe made the game mean something at the dawn of football, Ralph Wilson introduced football to Buffalo, and Ron Wolf won in Green Bay, which is almost as good as winning in New York or Pittsburgh.

And now we come to the newest member of this caste cast, one Jerry Jones. Who won Super Bowls when he just wrote the checks, and has barely won any games of consequence ever since. Sure, Dallas occasionally rattles off a deceptively big year, just like every other franchise in the NFC LEast over the last couple of decades, but they inevitably fall apart in a favored playoff game, then fall off a cliff the year after that, mostly because Jones can't help himself from overdosing on bad character dudes who can't keep their noses clean for very long. He's responsible for some of the biggest reprobates drawing a paycheck in our lifetimes, and he's also responsible for treating a Hall of Fame coach (Tom Landry) like he was Willy Loman. If your idea of a Hall of Fame owner is a paper tiger team fronted by a grinning death mask of plastic surgery, Jones is your guy.

But that isn't why he's in the Hall of Fame, and everyone knows it. Jones got in because he showed everyone else the way to even greater riches: build a pleasure palace for the worst and richest men in America, stick local tax paying rubes with the bill, and treat it as the greatest possible tribute to yourself. The fact that the stadiums are never necessary doesn't matter. Then watch as the nation's sports media fawns over it, all because the NFL is staffed by guys who think subtle should be spelled without the b, because you don't really hear it. No new stadium has ever been described as less than the greatest invention since the blow job, and no owner who has ever gotten one failed to, well, get one from the media for years afterward. Even when the stadium clearly stinks on ice.

Jerry Jones is to football ownership as Donald Trump is to the Oval Office; a new and precedent-crushing low, where a clown and an asshat masquerades as the Emperor, and no one drawing a significant paycheck notes the nudity. The fact that it's all a facade, and actual Cowboy fans (there are some, honest, pushed below decks every time the team wins more games than it loses by the bandwagoneers) dream of the day where Jones dies, so that actual competent GM work will take over, but even that is a hollow hope, considering that he's got his cracker spawn all over the place as well... well, none of that matters, because NFL owners don't really love NFL owners who win games.

They do, however, love the ones that make them more money. Preferably by showing them that silly little notions like class, human decency, or even a trace amount of self-awareness and humility is for the rubes who can no longer afford tickets to games.

So yes, Jerry Jones is now enshrined in Pro Football's Hall of Fame, with a bronze likeness of his douchebag face and skull to reside for all eternity, or however long it is that humans care about football and draw breath.

Oh, and if you want to feel just a teeny tiny bit better about that, and maybe even still want to visit the place?

Well, it's in the same room as OJ Simpson's.

Fitting company, yes?


Tracer Bullet said...

Don't forget about Jones' slowly corrupting the league so that even a commissioner who LOVES suspending players is afraid to punish a running back who likes punching women. A land Marshall was a bigot who tagged his team with a racial slur and who had to be forced to integrate on the threat of losing his franchise. I can hate him enough for the both of us.

DMtShooter said...

Agreed on Jones, and I should hate Marshall more than I do, but Old Time Racism pales (get it? pales? I kill me!) in the face of the modern equivalent. If for no other reason than we've had much more time, data and experience to learn that even if you aren't ruled by hate, racism ruins property values, culture, food...

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