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George Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban and Al Davis.
Collectively that may be the Mt. Rushmore of “hands-on” owners in professional sports.
Those four represent owners who are (or were) the face of their franchise. They took an open and active role in all aspects of franchise operation, right down to wanting to be involved in the calling of actual plays on the field.
In Part I last week, we examined the track record of Bucks’ General Manager John Hammond, and the fact that many of his player personnel moves tended to look like losers very quickly after they were made. Hammond apparently agrees with our take, since said players acquired or signed to a new contract have been so often traded by Hammond shortly thereafter. However, the question that has dominated the Bucks fan base the past two decades is exactly how responsible is the team’s general manager for the overall record and talent base of the team at any given moment?
Senator Herb Kohl has a long-standing reputation as a “hands-on” owner, similar to the NFL’s Jerry Jones and Al Davis, MLB’s George Steinbrenner, and the NBA’s Mark Cuban. While their respective franchises have had varying degrees of success, the fingerprints of their involvement in the management of their teams are obvious, often to the point of detriment. This article will explore how Senator Kohl’s reputation for this first came about, illustrate some of the historical instances of “meddling” and finally discuss how Kohl, much like his college roommate Bud Selig, has an opportunity for civic immortality if he is able to successfully navigate the Bucks to a long-term future in Milwaukee.