AFC OWNERS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Team: New York Jets

Owner: Leon Hess

Background: Hess, 78, is a native of Asbury Park, N.J., where his father ran a fuel delivery business with two trucks. Hess left school at age 18 to drive of those trucks and eventually worked his way up to become the chairman of his own oil company, Armerada Hess Corp. He first bought a piece of the team in 1963, eventually took control from Sonny Werblin and has been the sole owner in 1984. He's considered by many to be an ideal owner who stays in the background and lets the football people run the team with virtually no interference.

Views on Baltimore: If Hess skips the meeting, he'll leave the vote in the hands of team president Steve Gutman, who would likely vote for the committee recommendation.

Team: Miami Dolphins

Owner: Tim Robbie

Background: Robbie, 38, is the son of the late Joe Robbie, the former team owner. Robbie graduated from Tulane in 1977 and was an executive for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League before joining the Dolphins. Before the elder Robbie died, he put Tim, his other son, Dan, and his daughter, Janet, in charge of the team. Faced with crushing debt because Joe Robbie privately financed the team's new stadium, the three sold half the stadium and 15 percent of the team to H. Wayne Huizenga.

Views on Baltimore: Because former Colts coach Don Shula is likely to put in a good word for Baltimore, and because Robbie was impressed with the city when the Dolphins played the exhibition game here, Baltimore is counting on his vote. Robbie likes public financing of the stadium because his father piled up so much debt building his stadium privately.

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Owner: Bob Irsay

Background: Irsay, 70, is a native of Chicago. He built an air conditioning company that he sold in 1971 to get the cash to buy the Los Angeles Rams in 1972 and trade them for the Colts. He moved the Colts to Indianapolis in 1984. During his tenure, the team has yet to win a playoff game, and he's having the same problem selling seats in Indianapolis (the local TV blackout has been lifted for only five of the past 26 games) that he did in Baltimore.

Views on Baltimore: This is one vote Baltimore's not counting on, although Baltimore officials have been careful not to criticize him in their presentation. Baltimore's hope is that if it's included in the committee's recommendation, he'll vote for that.

Team: Buffalo Bills

Owner: Ralph Wilson

Background: Wilson, 74, grew up in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Virginia and attended Michigan Law School. He is chairman of Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Enterprises, which has its headquarters in Detroit. It is a diversified management and investment company with interests in construction, television broadcasting and the venture capital industry. One of only three original AFL owners still in the league. Even though he helped the NFL grow by forming the AFL, he opposes expansion by more than two teams.

Views on Baltimore: Wilson hasn't made up his mind, but it could be helpful for Baltimore that he's good friends with Wellington Mara, a Baltimore supporter.

Team: New England Patriots

Owner: James Busch Orthwein

Background: Orthwein, 69, is a member of the St. Louis Busch family, but his business was advertising, not beer. He began his business career with D'Arcy Advertising Co. in 1947 and worked his way up to become chairman of the board in 1970 and president and co-chief executive officer of a merged company before retiring in 1983. He joined the St. Louis effort in 1990, bankrolled Fran Murray's minority interest in the Patriots and wound up buying the team to protect his investment. His original plans were to sell the team to a New England investor and return to the St. Louis effort. Instead, he pulled out of his majority ownership position with the St. Louis effort and has yet to sell the Patriots.

OC Views on Baltimore: He's the mystery man in this whole process.

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Owner: Dan Rooney

Background: Rooney, 61, is the son of the team's founder, Art Rooney Sr. He was born the year before the team was founded (1933) and grew up with it. He's been actively involved in the team for 38 years. Although his father didn't officially name him team president until 1975, he started running the team on a day-to-day basis in the late 1960s. He's one of the most influential owners in the league and played a major role in negotiating labor agreements in 1977 and 1982 and earlier this year.

Views on Baltimore: As one of the old-guard owners, he is sympathetic to Baltimore, but he's likely to support the committee recommendation if it's unanimous.

Team: Cleveland Browns

Owner: Art Modell

Background: Modell, 68, is a New York native who dropped out of high school at 15 to help support his family after his father died. He joined the Air Force when he was 18 and enrolled in a New York television school in 1943. He later became an advertising executive. Modell bought majority control of the Cleveland Browns in 1961. The following year, he fired the team founder, Paul Brown. Although the Browns won the NFL title in 1964, they've never won since and have never appeared in a Super Bowl.

Views on Baltimore: A member of the expansion committee and of the old guard, he is likely a supporter of Baltimore, but probably would go with the majority if Baltimore isn't

recommended.

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Owner: Mike Brown

Background: The son of the legendary Paul Brown, Brown is a graduate of Dartmouth, where he played quarterback. He received his law degree from Harvard and was with a law firm in Cleveland before he joined his father with the Cleveland Browns. He then joined his father in starting the Bengals in 1968. Although he's only one of 13 owners, Brown has effective control of the team. Brown is noted for running a profitable operation and for keeping a keen eye on the bottom line. Although the Bengals tend to be a bare-bones operation, they did get to the Super Bowl twice in the 1980s.

Views on Baltimore: Because Brown has fond memories of Baltimore's heyday, the city is likely to get his support.

Team: Houston Oilers

Onwer: Bud Adams

Background: Adams, 70, is a native of Bartlesville, Okla. He went to Menlo College in California and the University of California before serving in World War II as an aviation engineering officer. He went on to become a successful oilman. When Lamar Hunt founded the "Foolish Club" of owners who formed the AFL, Adams was his first recruit. Adams is been the only owner the team has had. He tends to stay in the background, although he has started attending meetings more frequently in recent years.

Views on Baltimore: As a member of the Finance Committee, Adams will have a vote on the recommendation, but he doesn't appear to have formed a strong opinion.

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Owner: Lamar Hunt

Background: Hunt, 61, is a native of El Dorado, Ark., and the son of legendary oilman H.L. Hunt. Lamar also made money in the oil business, but managed to avoid going bankrupt the way his brothers did after they made a failed attempt to to corner the world's silver market a few years ago. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he changed the shape of pro football when he founded the AFL in 1960. One of the most successful teams in the AFL, the Chiefs played in two of the first four Super Bowls.

Views on Baltimore: As a member of the Finance Committee, Hunt is expected to be a voice for Baltimore because he recognizes the strengths of the Baltimore package.

Team: Los Angeles Raiders

Owner: Al Davis

Background: Davis, 64, is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who likes to foster the image that he grew up as a street kid, although he was actually the son of a successful businessman. When the AFL was formed in 1960, Davis was hired by the Los Angeles Chargers. In 1963, he was hired as head coach by the Oakland Raiders. After serving as a brief stint as AFL commissioner in 1966, he returned to Oakland after the merger and gained control of the team. He won a court fight to move the team to Los Angeles in 1982, but never enjoyed the success in Los Angeles that he did in Oakland.

Views on Baltimore: Davis is unpredictable because he relishes his maverick image, but those close to Davis say he likes the Baltimore deal.

Team: San Diego Chargers

Owner: Alex Spanos

Background: Spanos, 70, is a native of Stockton, Calif., who started working in his father's restaurant at age 8, rising before dawn to help prepare pastries before going to school. He is the founder and chairman of 10 companies that bear his name. They build, market and manage multi-housing units in 15 states. He bought the Chargers in 1984 from Eugene Klein. Spanos hasn't been involved heavily involved in league matters, but is a member of the expansion committee.

Views on Balimore: Baltimore is counting on his vote because when the city officials made their presentation, he was so impressed with the deal that he said he'd take it right there.

Team: Seattle Seahawks

Owner: Ken Behring

Background: Behring, 65, is a Wisconsin native who built a real estate empire in Florida and California. He's also amassed one of the finest collections of classic and rare cars in the world. Behring purchased the Seahawks in 1988 from the original owners, the Nordstrom department store family. He quickly developed a reputation for running a bottom-line organization that turned off the fans as the club dipped to 2-14 last year, but Tom Flores' rebuilding program featuring Rick Mirer may reap some dividends. Behring's minority partner, Ken Hoffman, is a member of the Finance Committee.

Views on Baltimore: With his reputation for watching the bottom line, Behring is expected to go for the Baltimore deal.

Team: Denver Broncos

Owner: Pat Bowlen

Background: Bowlen, 49, is a native of Prairie duChien, Wis. who attended the University of Oklahoma, where he got degrees in business and law. He has real estate and natural resources holdings in Alberta, as well as real estate holdings in Colorado, Arizona and California. An outstanding athlete, he has competed in the Ironman Triathlon and several marathons. Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984, and quickly gained a lot of influence. He is a member of the league's finance and broadcasting committees and the Management Council's Executive Committee.

Views on Baltimore: Because he's one of the new-guard businessmen in the sport, Baltimore hopes he'll go for its deal.

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