As much as I like sports there are times when I’m completely at a loss to explain how and why it is that the executives act the way that they do ? In hiring a GM a franchise looks to have an executive to oversee the behind the closed door operations of a sports entity. We’ve seen some successful ones from the likes of Scott Pioli of the New England Patriots, Dave Dombrowski of the Detroit Tigers, Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox and Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees. What these executives have in common are that they’ve each had success in their chosen field.
Scott Pioli GM of the New England Patriots alongside the team’s coach Bill Belicheck. Pioli and Belicheck are the architects behind the team’s success. Though as of late it’s been widely rumored that Pioli will be leaving the franchise for pastures green. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Dan Foster …………………..
In reality however who’d really want to be the point man for a franchise ? Where at every press conference you’re the one who becomes the voice and reason when the franchise may well be in trouble . Be it a player , a coach or even the owner themselves. These are the guys who become the face of the franchise at these most sensitive of times.
Dave Dombrowski the GM of the Detroit Tigers and the team’s coach Jim Leyland. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Todd Boumann ……………….
Recently however we saw where then coach Romeo Crennel was fired by the Cleveland Browns. Prior to Crennel’s loss of employment the GM in place Phil Savage was let go by the team. Merely done one would believe because of the sheer lack of success by the team. And when it comes to success a franchise is judged by its team first and then the coach, manager and lastly the General Manager. These men and in some cases women are recently a hot commodity when they’re at a premium.
Boston Celtics’ GM and President of Operations congratulates his head coach Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers after the team’s triumph in last season’s NBA Finals. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Elsa Burke ………..
A good GM can earn in excess of $5m a year and upwards . And it’s not unheard in some cases it can be an astronomical sum. Suffice to say these guys aren’t exactly crying and asking where their next meal will be coming from. But to those who aspire to hold such a position within a franchise they’re very much the Chief Executive Officer and they hold sway over the owner. PR has to be part of their DNA when dealing with the press and public alike. And it says a lot as to their communication skills when they’re able to have the press eating out of their hands even when the subject matter is indeed a sensitive one.
Former Brown’ GM Phil Savage(foreground) and former coach Romeo Crennel at each other’s side during a press conference. Both men have since been fired by the organization after a lackluster and disappointing NFL season. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tony Dejak …….
When a sensitive matter come to light where it becomes a staple of the tabloids then it’s very much up to the GM to keep the press at bay while the franchise has to deal with the problem from within. For the New York Giants this had to be the case when the Plaxico Burress episode came to light and was very much the press’ raison de etre’. And as litigious as society has now become. It can only be said that it also helps if they’ve also got a legal background behind them. It may well be one of the most desired positions within a sport’s franchise. But I for one wouldn’t relish being the focus of such unwanted attention even if only briefly.
So for now let’s just see how these individuals will suffice over their tenure at the top of the food chain. Much like the execs at the top of a multi billion dollar enterprise these men are placed under a great deal of pressure to make the right sort of decisions that’ll go a long way in defining a franchise and the ultimate direction that it heads in.