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Patrick Ryan, head of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Monday, June 22, 2009, where he assured city taxpayers and city council members that it's unlikely they'll be on the hook for millions in case the games turn out to be a financial flop. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The Chicago Bears are doomed, and just one man has the skills to save them.
This man doesn't have a cannon for an arm. He isn't fast and his name isn't Bill Cowher.
He is Patrick Ryan, the founder of the AON corporation and the architect of Chicago's failed bid for the 2016 Olympics, and a 20 percent owner of the club.
Surely this silver-haired Chicagoan can wrest control of the struggling Chicago Bears franchise from the arthritic hands of matriarch Virginia McCaskey. That's the conclusion of Forbes magazine, at least, who says the Bears are one of the most mismanaged brands in the NFL. According to their analysts, a guy like Ryan could capture the $800 million which the Bears are missing out on.
How, exactly, isn't clear.
Perhaps Ryan, once he grabs control of the team from the McCaskeys in some clandestine power struggle that employs medieval weaponry, will be able to use his powers of persuasion to convince the The Chicago Park District, which owns Soldier Field, to turn the stadium over to him.
Then the Bears could sell the naming rights for gazillions of dollars. The McCaskeys failed in this endeavor when they revamped the stadium with the approval of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who said, "you can't rename the stadium."
With their own stadium, Ryan's Bears would have more control over premium seating, luxury boxes, naming rights, even the type of playing surface that is on the field.
Then they could use all this cashola sign quality free agents, hire proper management and make a run at a Super Bowl dynasty the way the The Patriots, who have won three Super Bowls this decade. Or the Giants, who won the Super Bowl in 2008. Or the Jets (spelled J-E-T-S), who made the AFC Championship last season after spending cash on coaching and talent.
A team who has money can spend it on free agents, coaches, training facilities, and all the little extras that make a team great.