Best BC Lions Owner?

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Best BC Lions Owner?

Poll ended at Sun May 15, 2005 10:17 pm

Murray Pezim
0
No votes
Bill Comrie
2
5%
Nelson Skalbania
1
3%
David Braley
35
92%
 
Total votes: 38
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Robbie
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Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:17 pm

In the past, there have been several polls and discussions on who was the best BC Lions player or coach. However, I don?t recall any kind of poll or discussion about who was the best BC Lions owner, so let?s do that now. Ever since the BC Lions left community ownership in 1989, there have been four owners:

1. Murray Pezim (1989 ? 1992)
2. Bill Comrie (1992 ? 1995)
3. Nelson Skalbania (1996)
4. David Braley (1997 ? Present)

Who do you think has been the best owner?

I will start off this thread by giving my thoughts on each owner.

1. I remember very well when the BC Lions put themselves up for sale in 1989, there were two front-running potential buyers: Jimmy Pattison and then Steven Funk. Both parties eventually backed off after long negotiations. This must mean that both men had high demands over the purchasing conditions that the sellers were unwilling to meet. However, suddenly Murray Pezim came in and bought the team just like that with very little negotiation. I like the way that Pezim didn?t have high demands when buying the team. But as the owner, I don?t think he did a good job of choosing his management. The Joe Kapp and Lary Kurahich season of 1990 was a joke as the team had a horrible 6-11-1 record and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. And while the team had more stability under Bob O?Billovich in 1991, the biggest mistake Pezim made was that he was unwilling to match the offer made by Calgary owner Larry Ryckman and as a result, Doug Flutie was lost as a free agent. The team went through a horrible 3-15 season in 1992 and Pezim abandoned the team before the season was over.

2. I really respect Bill Comrie for having the courage to step in and take over a last place team in 1992 after Pezim left it. I like the way he brought in Eric Tillman and Dave Ritchie as part of the rebuilding process as well as willing to pay for better players such as Kent Austin. As a result, in only two years the team was turned into a Grey Cup winner. Unfortunately, Comrie didn?t think of other ways to boost attendance and 1995 was mediocre. In less than four years, he sold the team.

3. Under Nelson Skalbania, the team lost its starting QB Danny McManus and decided to take their chances on Andre Ware. The team went through an embarassing 5-13 1996 season and missed the playoffs only two years after the team won the Grey Cup. Although Damon Allen was brought in midway in the season, it was too little too late.

4. David Braley took over the team in early 1997 and has been the owner for over eight years now, making him the longest owner. If there was one thing I like about him off the top of my head, it?s that he?s been patient with the team through the good times and the bad times, and did not sell the team after a while like the previous owners. With eight seasons under him, there are naturally many good and bad things that have happened to the team in all those years. But one good thing I want to point out is that although there have been less-than-stellar seasons, the fact is that the Lions made the playoffs for each and all of the eight seasons under the ownership of David Braley. Therefore, the team didn?t have a completely horrible season as it did with each of the three previous owners.

Therefore, my ranking from best to worst owner is:

1. David Braley
2. Bill Comrie
3. Murray Pezim
4. Nelson Skalbania
Last edited by Robbie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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OrangeShoes99
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Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:22 pm

No contest, Braley wins hands down. A guy from Hamilton with nothing but his love for the CFL comes and saves our team, takes huge losses and sticks it out to where they are today. David Braley is definitely the best owner the Lions have had, IMO.
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TheLionKing
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Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:26 pm

No debate, Braley by a mile

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LFITQ
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Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:29 pm

Just as a correction on your post .. Jimmy Pattison wanted to buy BC Place as a condition of sale of the Lions as well. That is why his deal fell through .. The Provincial government of the day didn't want to sell the Stadium to him, and the Lions and the League probably missed out on one of the greatest owners it could have seen ... Maybe ... perhaps ....

But based on the list you have supplied us with I would have to say Braley hands down as well ...
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Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:08 pm

No question about who's No. 1 but you have to give all four owners credit for stepping up and putting their money on the line when prospects looked bleak. For all of his management flaws, Pezim was a heck of a promoter and created more buzz in the community and the stadium than at any time in the succeeding decade. And he will be remembered as the owner who brought Doug Flutie to the CFL and the Lions.

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D
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:04 am

Comrie was a very good owner ... he tried a lot of things but they just didn't always work out :sigh:

My only beef with his ownership would be who they sold the team to ... Skalbania :shock:

and why is Nelson Skalbania even on the list :oops:

I still would have to say David Braley is the best

PS ... Mr. Braley if you reading this send me a PM I have personal matter I would like to discuss :wink:
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Bosco
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:26 am

Just the fact that the Lions were still breathing following Skalbania's reign of error is amazing. How this scoundral was able to be the front man in 1996 - without putting in a dime of his own money - I'll never know.

Thank you, David Braley. :thup:

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bc49
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:49 am

To further my brother in arms LFITQ mention of Jimmy Pattison and his onwership aspirations in the BC Lions there were actually 2 occasions (perhaps more) where Pattison contemplated buying the team.
Already mentioned was the latest interest when he wanted BC Place thrown into the pot but the first was in 1978 where he called his interest of the local CFL team a 'worthwhile community involvement.'
Not sure if this worthwhile community involvement would have been as long lasting and commited as that of Mr Braley. I have serious doubts about that.
Pattison did own Vancouvers entry in the WHL - anyone remember the Blazers? After some substantial losses he moved the team to Calgary 3 years later. Pattison also had a chance to own the Canucks in '73 for a cool 13 million which he turned down as too expensive. He also owned the Vancouver Canadians for a time.
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Robbie
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:49 am

LFITQ wrote:Just as a correction on your post .. Jimmy Pattison wanted to buy BC Place as a condition of sale of the Lions as well. That is why his deal fell through .. The Provincial government of the day didn't want to sell the Stadium to him, and the Lions and the League probably missed out on one of the greatest owners it could have seen ... Maybe ... perhaps ....
Yes, I remember Jimmy Pattison wanting to buy BC Place as a condition to buying the Lions. His friend Peter Toigo also asked for that condition. That is what I meant when I said that other potential buyers had high demands with regards to the purchasing conditions.

One is left to wonder how the team might have done with Jimmy Pattison as owner. But mind you, a rich owner doesn't necessarily make a better team. The best example is that of the Seattle Seahawks, whose owner is one of the world's richest men, billionaire Paul Allen. And yet, the team was mediocre at most under his ownership, always bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.

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SammyGreene
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:56 am

D wrote:Comrie was a very good owner ... he tried a lot of things but they just didn't always work out :sigh:
I echo your thoughts D. Comrie was a solid owner who did a lot of things right including a ton of giveaways (hats, radios, travel bags) to try and bring in extra fans. He also hired the right people in Tillman and Ritchie.

He spent too much money on Kent Austin who didn't generate even a trickle of new ticket sales.
And as memorable as the ?94 Grey Cup run was ... it didn't do a whole lot to spike ticket sales the following season.
Cheering for an underdog is a whole lot of fun but a winning and entertaining product in the regular season is more important for overall fan interest as the Wally era is proving.

My only grudge against Comrie was bailing in late January of 1996. That came on the heels of Tillman stepping down to move south and Ritchie being fired. It left George Chayka in charge of a sinking ship with free agency around the corner.
Key players such as Darren Flutie and McManus just walked away with the franchise doing nothing about it. :bang:

I agree on Braley but only since Ackles arrived. He made plenty of questionable moves prior to that including giving way too much control to Adam Rita.

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D
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:48 am

I agree on Braley but only since Ackles arrived. He made plenty of questionable moves prior to that including giving way too much control to Adam Rita.
Giving Rita ANY control was to much
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Jim Mullin
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:48 am

Community ownership gets my vote.

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rb
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:54 pm

Jim stole my line.

Braley best of rest.

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Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:41 pm

Community ownership failed in the '80s when the cash ran out and community support waned. It's constantly teetering in Saskatchewan, where the whole province chips in to keep the team afloat. David Braley dug into his own pocket to save the Lions and build a first-rate organization before he ever made a dime of profit, and he did it without going cap-in-hand to government for handouts. That beats community ownership for me.

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Dan_Payne_fan!!
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:04 pm

go braley! go braley!
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