What happens to Rams if Rush Limbaugh buys in? Top 10 celebrity owner misfires.(Read article summary)
Rush Limbaugh wants to buy into the NFL's St. Louis Rams, but the record of celebrity sports owners is generally poor.
Alexis C. Glenn/UPI
American glitterati just don't have the golden touch when it comes to owning athletic teams. That's something conservative radio maven Rush Limbaugh might consider as he makes a bid for the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Former NFL head coach Joe Gibbs runs a successful NASCAR team, but he's the exception. Here's our list of the Top 10 celebrity/high-profile sports owners who misfired.
10. Jon Bon Jovi, rock superstar
Majority owner of Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul
Pros: Made playoffs in three of the Arena League’s five seasons, winning one championship. Legitimately went to games and stayed involved with the squad.
Cons: Arena Football League was livin' on a prayer … until it folded in 2009.
9. James Brown, CBS sportscaster
Minority ownership stake, Washington Nationals
Pros: The local boy chose the right horse in the competition to land ownership of the Nationals.
Cons: Bought into a putrid team in a beautiful ballpark.
8. Jay-Z, rap mogul
Minority owner, New Jersey Nets
Pros: Was in the bidding for the Nets from the beginning. Significant force behind push to move team from New Jersey to Brooklyn, his hometown.
Cons: Hired Lawrence Frank, the league's least intimidating coach. Overall record between 2005-06 and 2008-09: 158-170.
7. James Denton, "Mike the Plumber" of Desperate Housewives
Minority owner, Fullerton Flyers, semi-pro baseball team
Pros: Maybe "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria will show up behind the home dugout?
Cons: When you're introduced in the press release announcing your purchase of the team as "who stars as Mike the Plumber," do you really even count as a celebrity?
6. Sen. Herb Kohl (D) of Wisconsin
Owner, Milwaukee Bucks
Pros: Bought the team in 1985 to make sure they stayed in Wisconsin. Didn’t sell the team to Michael Jordan in 2003, which turned out to be a stroke of genius.
Cons: Unfortunately, keeping them in Wisconsin is about all he did: the team is 867-1,028 under his ownership. Just traded star forward Richard Jefferson for journeymen.
5. Nick Lachey, former 98 Degrees heartthrob
Minority owner, Tacoma Rainiers, Triple A minor league baseball affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Also created American Basketball Association team "The Hollywood Fame," which has since folded.
Pros: Combined record of 222-210 since LaChey's investment. Gave him something to do other than consider what’s left of him after breakup with Jessica Simpson.
Cons: Zero playoff appearances. Oh, and the only thing that folded faster than the "Fame" was LaChey's solo career.
4. Michael Jordan, basketball icon; Nelly, rapper
Minority owners, Charlotte Bobcats,
Pros: Get to hang out with BET owner Bob Johnson … for now.
Cons: Jordan drafted an 11th man (on a good day) in Adam Morrison with the No. 3 pick in 2006 and the hefty Sean May with the 13th pick in 2005. Nelly chose to become a co-owner of a team led by Jordan, who didn't exactly tear it up in Washington, D.C. Team has gone 144-266 in its five years in existence.
3. David Letterman, talk show host
Owner, Rahal Letterman Racing
Pros: One Indianapolis 500 championship (Buddy Rice in 2004) and 20 victories in a decade of racing. Gave Danica Patrick her start.
Cons: Going through a rough patch with infidelity admission. Almost missed 2009 racing season because of sponsor troubles.
2. Serena and Venus Williams, tennis pros; Marc Antony, Gloria Estefan, Jimmy Buffett , singers
Minority owners, Miami Dolphins
Pros: All Floridians by residence or by devotion. Buffett even wrote the team a song.
Cons: Makes majority owner have butterflies, which is never good. After a 1-15 season in 2007, the Dolphins shocked the world with an 11-5 rebound in 2008 and a trip to the playoffs. After adding this glittering cast to the owner's box? Toppled to 1-3 so far this year.
1. Wayne Gretzky, hockey legend
Majority owner, Phoenix Coyotes
Pros: He is The Great One. Gretzky drafted Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris, two rising stars.
Cons: Gretzky was so Great, in fact, that he quit because he felt nobody would be willing to tell him to step down after “leading” the team to a 143-161-24 record over four seasons. Team is currently bankrupt and a judge recently denied an offer to buy it because it was “unfair” to Gretzky and co-owner Jerry Moyes.
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