NFC OWNERS FOOTBALL

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Owner: Norman Braman

Background: Braman, 61, is a native of West Chester, Pa., who got a marketing degree at Temple and was a millionaire by age 36. He then moved to Florida where he founded an automobile sales and leasing empire. He bought the Eagles in 1985 from Leonard Tose for $65 million. He's a member of the expansion committee.

Views on Baltimore: One of the two owners to publicly endorse Baltimore, he could be an influential voice on the city's behalf since he's on the expansion committee. He's one vote Baltimore can count on.

Team: New York Giants

Owner: Wellington Mara

Background: Mara, 78, is a graduate of Fordham who has spent his life in pro football. His father, Tim, founded the Giants in 1925. Over the past six decades, he has served in virtually every capacity on the team from scout to president. His willingness to give up exclusive rights to the New York TV market, which enabled the NFL to pool the revenue from its network TV contracts, helped fuel the pro football boom.

Views on Baltimore: He's one of the two owners who has publicly supported Baltimore in the past. Although he's a 50 percent owner, he votes for the club. Robert Tisch, who owns the other 50 percent of the team, was interested in a prospective Baltimore franchise before the Giants became available. Tisch is still believed to be a Baltimore supporter

Team: Washington Redskins

Owner: Jack Kent Cooke

Background: One of the last of the tycoons, Cooke, who will be 81 tomorrow, is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. The former owner of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers and NHL Los Angeles Kings, he built the Los Angeles Forum before moving to Washington in 1978 to take control of the Redskins. He started buying up shares of the Redskins in the 1960s and was majority owner by 1974.

Views on Baltimore: The conventional wisdom is that he's against Baltimore because of its proximity to Washington, but he has made no attempt to market the Redskins in Baltimore. He shows virtually no interest in league affairs -- he almost never attends meetings and has little influence with other owners -- so even if he doesn't vote for Baltimore, he's not expected to attempt to block Baltimore from getting a team.

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Owner: Jerry Jones

Background: Jones, 51, grew up in Little Rock, Ark., where his father, J.W. "Pat" Jones, was a successful businessman in supermarkets and insurance. Jones played football at the University of Arkansas on an unbeaten 1964 team. He then made his money in the oil and gas business. When he bought the Cowboys on Feb. 25, 1989, for $140 million, he fired coach Tom Landry and said he was going to run the team from "socks to jocks." He was openly ridiculed, but got the last laugh when the Cowboys went from 1-15 to Super Bowl champions in four years.

Views on Baltimore: He has publicly praised the Malcolm Glazer family and said he prefers a sole owner to a group.

Team: Phoenix Cardinals

Owner: Bill Bidwill

Background: Bidwill, 62, is a graduate of Georgetown and a Navy veteran who has spent virtually his whole life in football. His father, Charles Bidwill, bought the Chicago Cardinals the year Bill was born, 1932. Bill Bidwill became the sole owner of the Cardinals in 1972 when he bought out his brother, Stormy. He moved the team to Phoenix in 1988 after St. Louis failed to build him a new stadium. During his tenure, the team has failed to either win or play host to a playoff game.

Views on Baltimore: He rejected Baltimore as a site for his team before he moved to Phoenix, so the city can't count on his vote. He generally supports the league and would likely vote for the expansion and finance committees' recommendation.

Team: Green Bay Packers

Owner: Community-owned team (Bob Harlan is team president)

Background: Harlan, 57, is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who has a journalism degree from Marquette. He worked for United Press International, and in public relations at Marquette and for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals. A member of the Packers' front office since 1971, he succeeded Judge Robert Parins as the team president in 1989. Even though the team is community-owned, he gets to cast the vote for the team in league meetings.

Views on Baltimore: Harlan said he's going into the meeting with an open mind and will listen closely to the presentations. Since he doesn't have his own money invested in the club, he may not be as concerned about the bottom line as most owners during the presentations.

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Owner: Hugh Culverhouse

Background: Culverhouse, 74, is a native of Birmingham, Ala., who got a law degree from the University of Alabama. He became wealthy with interests in real estate and banking. He was awarded the Tampa Bay franchise in 1974 after the original owner pulled out before the team had played a game. He was once one of the most powerful men in the NFL and was a noted hard-liner in the league's labor battles with the players. He's now fighting lung cancer and has had to cut back on his league activities. Even though he's a member of the expansion committee, he didn't attend the last meeting but he hopes to attend this one.

Views on Baltimore: Since he's been ill, he hasn't divulged his views on the expansion race. Team vice president Rich McKay would cast the team's vote if Culverhouse can't make the meeting.

Team: Chicago Bears

Owner: Mike McCaskey

Background: McCaskey, 49, is the grandson of the legendary George Halas. He played football at Yale, served in the Peace Corps and got an MBA at Case Western Reserve before teaching at UCLA and the Harvard Business School. He was running a consulting firm in Boston when his grandfather died and the family asked him to return to Chicago to run the team. Since McCaskey was named the club's chief executive officer in 1983, the Bears have been the second most successful team in the NFL, behind the 49ers.

Views on Baltimore: A member of the finance committee, McCaskey won't tip his hand. Since McCaskey is trying to get a new stadium in Chicago, public financing for stadiums in Baltimore and St. Louis probably would be attractive to him.

Team: Detroit Lions

Owner: William Clay Ford

Background: Ford, 68, the grandson of Henry Ford, graduated ** from Yale, where he played on the tennis and soccer teams before going into the family's automobile business. He bought the Lions on Nov. 22, 1963 for $4.5 million, which was considered a huge sum of money in those days. Although he recently got into a flap over reports that he insisted coach Wayne Fontes play Andre Ware at quarterback, he has spent most of his career in the background. He lets the chief executive officer, Chuck Schmidt, run the team.

Views on Baltimore: Ford rarely attends league meetings, so he may let Schmidt make the call. Schmidt could go for the league recommendation.

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Owner: Roger Headrick

Background: Headrick, 57, is a native of Lancaster, Pa., who graduated from Williams College and got his masters in business administration from Columbia University. He then spent 30 years in business, holding management positions with Exxon and Pillsbury. He was a surprise choice to become CEO when Mike Lynn was pushed out of the top job. He is the type of business-oriented executive currently in favor in the NFL and was recently appointed to the league's broadcast committee.

Views on Baltimore: Because he is so new to the league, Headrick is not noted for having strong views on the cities and likely would vote for the league recommendation.

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Owner: Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.

Background: DeBartolo, 46, is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and the son of the shopping center magnate. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1968, DeBartolo entered the family business. He bought the 49ers in 1977 for $16 million and was immediately derided in San Francisco as an outsider. Now he's one of the most popular men in town because the 49ers were the most successful team in the 1980s, when they won four Super Bowl titles.

Views on Baltimore: Baltimore was counting on his vote because he knows Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass, who has Merry-Go-Round stores in his shopping centers. But DeBartolo may skip the meeting even though he's on the expansion committee. Team president Carmen Policy, who is on the finance committee, might follow the league recommendation.

Team: New Orleans Saints

Owner: Tom Benson

Background: Benson, 66, is a native of New Orleans who studied business and accounting at Loyola University before going to work as a bookkeeper for an auto dealer. He eventually became a successful auto dealer and banker. He bought the Saints in 1985 to keep them in town when a group from Baltimore was trying to buy them and move them here. As chairman of the finance committee, Benson has become one of the more respected owners in the league despite his habit of twirling an umbrella and doing a dance on the sidelines when the Saints win.

Views on Baltimore: He agreed to having the Saints play an exhibition game here a year ago, but he's been careful not to tip his hand.

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Owner: Georgia Frontiere

Background: Frontiere, 61, is a former lounge singer who has been married seven times. She married her sixth husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, in 1966 when he owned the Baltimore Colts. They moved to Los Angeles in 1972 when he swapped the Colts for the Los Angeles Rams. She became the owner in 1979 when he died in a swimming accident. Frontiere became the owner of the team when Rosenbloom died. She then ousted her stepson, Steve (Rosenbloom's son), who had expected to get the team, and took control. She now leaves much of the day-to-day operation of the team to vice president John Shaw.

Views on Baltimore: She often skips league meetings, but is scheduled to attend this one. She also relies on the advice of Shaw, who's likely to favor Baltimore.

Team: Atlanta Falcons

Owner: Rankin Smith

Background: Smith, 69, went to Emory University before serving in World War II as a combat pilot. After returning, he enrolled at the University of Georgia. He started his career as a clerk in his grandfather's insurance business and eventually became the CEO. He became the first and only owner of the Falcons when the team was founded in 1965. Smith has yet to find a way to be a successful owner and has given his son, Taylor, a bigger role in recent years. Although he hasn't generally played a big role in league affairs, he's a member of the expansion committee.

Views on Baltimore: He is likely to vote for Baltimore because he thinks the city has the best overall deal.

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