PFHOF Profile: Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

1024x1024In the NFL the owner is king and there is little question about that as they are constantly the biggest voices in what the league does.

They are the people who determine how the league is operated and they make the league run but that doesn’t sit well with most people.

In every other league, the power of the owners is nowhere near what it is in the NFL and the perfect expression of that is after the Super Bowl.

Where most league had the trophy over to a player on the team, usually the captain, the NFL hands over the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the owner of the team.

The power that they have is bigger than in any other league and many are personalities themselves.

Jerry Jones is bigger than the sport as the charismatic owner of the Dallas Cowboys while Al Davis was always the anti-establishment owner.

They are a big part of the league but for some, they still don’t deserve much recognition as they aren’t the ones playing the game.

They don’t make the moves, at least most don’t, or win championships they simply provide the money for the team to use in order to win.

They sit in their expensive boxes and watch the games with little influence on what actually happens.

If they truly don’t have any influence than some wonder why they earn busts in Canton beside the best players and coaches in the NFL.

The answer might be the fact that without the owners there simply is no NFL because that is where the league began.

Where other leagues started with unorganised teams that were eventually lumped into one organisation, the NFL always had owners of some shape.

Without the owners, there would be no AFL and therefore the game would not have grown nearly as fast as it has.

The owners are an important part throughout the history of the league and despite the fact that many have little to no influence on the game itself they still belong in the history books.

The latest member of that fraternity will be Eddie DeBartolo Jr. who was at the head of one of the greatest franchises of all time.eddie debartolo

The DeBartolos made their money through the development of shopping malls around the USA and eventually used that money to buy the San Francisco 49ers in 1977.

While sitting as the owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. gained the love of the players as he spared no expense in giving them everything they needed.

That strategy seemed to work out for them as the Niners became one of the most dominant franchises in the NFL.

DeBartolo may not have played on the field or brought a new system to the NFL but he did provide the base needed for them to be successful.

When asking any of the players about DeBartolo many would say that he belongs alongside the many players from the Niners already in the Hall of Fame.

He was beloved by the players and the fans for his willingness to help the team in the best way that he could.

The fact is that the 49ers were one of the best franchises in the history of the NFL becoming the franchise of the 1980s.

During his ownership of the team, they won five Super Bowls and produced legends like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and head coach Bill Walsh.

All throughout DeBartolo provided a stability that the best teams need in order to win games and championships.

For nothing else, that stability makes him an essential part of the history of the NFL.

In many other Hall of Fames, owners are few and far between but in the NFL they take on an entirely different section.

The debate will continue on though as many will continue to believe that among the rest of the busts of the best players.

That is simply not the case in a league where owners are stars and are a massive part of the history of the league.

Whether someone agrees or disagrees the fact is that DeBartolo will join the Class of 2016.

He will forever be remembered in the history of the league as an owner that won over his players and helped to define a franchise.


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