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DeBartolo says he “would be a moron” not to be interested in Bucs

Though ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers loudly has shot down rumors regarding a possible sale of the team, one local resident is ready and willing to explore buying the club, if it were to go on the market.

Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr.

“If a situation came about with something as close as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I would be a moron not to at least look into it and be somewhat interested,” DeBartolo told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, before Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer denied that the team could be for sale.

“If [the Glazers] are interested in selling, and they’re very serious about it, of course we have a small syndicate that would be interested in it,” DeBartolo said.

DeBartolo owned the 49ers from 1977 through 2000, and the team won five Super Bowls on his watch. He eventually yielded the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, after pleading guilty in 1998 to federal charges relating to the failure to report an extortion attempt by former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards at a time when DeBartolo was trying to secure a casino license. (On a somewhat related note, we wonder whether DeBartolo said to himself at the time, “I would be a moron not to report this to the feds.”)

So will this black mark on his permanent record be enough to keep DeBartolo out?

“The feeling I get from people is nothing but good,” he told Farmer. “I can’t say that goes for the whole league, but I have a lot of friends. . . . I’m sure I have my detractors, and I’m sure I have my friends. Personally, I don’t think that would be a problem.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell might disagree about that, especially if Goodell is going to be facing any Congressional committees in the future.