Normally a tweet should not pique your interest, because there are so many tweets and so little interest, but ESPN’s Jim Trotter informs the planet that among the people stacking up over Charlotte Douglas International Airport to get a crack at the suddenly-available NFL franchise there is your friend and his, Eddie DeBartolo.
Yes, THAT Eddie DeBartolo. Of the Youngstown-via-San-Francisco DeBartolos. As if there could be any other.
This is just one of those “sources” specials, which is to say there is verifiable smoke but not yet enough visible fire. Plus, DeBartolo has never made much of a secret of his interest in running another team – maybe just to see if he could handle a salary cap that is higher than the highest payroll he ever had in his time running the 49ers.
So the single-digit addition is pretty easy to make; of course DeBartolo would like to get back in the biz, and of course he would like to be the guy in charge of the group he is trying to assemble for what we suspect is probably going to be a sale in the neighborhood of $3 billion.
That’s not the result to bet on, of course. The NFL is an old-boys club, but it has never had an owner be forced out and then try to come back later with another team. I mean, this isn’t baseball.
But it would be delicious to see Jed and his original ownership beacon facing each other across a mahogany table, or sitting in adjoining suites, or just sniping on antisocial media without mentioning each other’s names.
It would be one of those daftly charming things the NFL could do to show that it isn’t just a rolling hot mess with games.
But that would probably be too risky a concept for the 31 geezers – and yes, you can also say that for the Diddy rumors, the Stephen Curry rumors, the Michael Jordan rumors, the Oprah Winfrey rumors and all the other rumors afloat in the wake of Jerry Richardson’s panicked exit from the scrutiny that is about to melt him.
The business doesn’t play that.
Too bad, too. Just as Diddy would have been an owner beyond their scope of understanding, so would Eddie. Indeed, it would be worth seeing the two of them meet up, pool their investors and make the over-the-top bid of the century, upsetting the entire orchard in one madcap flip.
I mean, their chances wouldn’t have been any better, but who wouldn’t want to see Jerry Jones’ head explode just for snicks and giggles? That alone makes this a good idea.
Not just a doable one, sadly. The NFL doesn’t do sense of humor the way it used to.