Originally Published: Jul 13, 2010 10:7 AM CDT
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away Tuesday at age 80. A man who didnt hope for winning teams...he demanded it.
Weve lost a pair of sports legends this summer. And they are the opposite ends of the greatness spectrum. John Wooden was quiet, respected, revered, soft-spoken, a teacher and you may never find a person who would say a bad word about him. George Steinbrenner was loud, brash, arrogant and had more enemies than Al Capone.
But we may never see a better coach than Wooden...and we may never see a more impactful owner than Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner and a group of investors bought the Yankees for $10-million in 1973. Its now worth over $1.5-BILLION. Thats a return on an investment. And the interesting part is this, Steinbrenner only bought the Yankees because his bid to buy the Cleveland Indians the year before fell through. (Sorry Cleveland...I know its been a rough week)
"The Boss" was hated by many inside and outside the Yankees organization. But I think he became a more lovable character in latter years thanks in large part to the portrayal of him on the show "Seinfeld." It softened his image. You couldnt help but laugh every time you saw the back of his head.
Steinbrenner was in the perfect place for his antics. He could get away with the way he acted in New York. He fit in. Clay Bennett could never get away with being a tyrant in Oklahoma City.
The dichotomy between Wooden and Steinbrenner proves theres more than one way to skin a cat. Although, Wooden is lucky he never coached the Yankees. Steinbrenner wouldve fired him at least 3 times.