Appreciating Lurie

Posted: May 31st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Appreciating Lurie

Jeffrey Lurie bought the Eagles back in 1994. I was incredibly excited when he bought the team. That was the end of Norman Braman, who was more interested in selling cars than winning Super Bowls. I didn’t know what to expect from Lurie, but I knew he had to be better.

And boy was he ever.

Lurie has been a great owner. The Eagles have gone to the playoffs with four different coaches in that span. That tells you there is a strong organization behind the coaches. The Eagles have been a model franchise in that time span. That doesn’t mean they win 12 games every year, but the team is well run, wins on a regular basis and does things the right way. The Eagles are active in the community. And in more than just a hung for good PR. Players like playing for Lurie and the Eagles. That wasn’t always the case under Mr. Braman.

Sheil Kapadia wrote a great piece on Lurie. This was one interesting nugget.

The decision to buy the team in 1994 was a fork-in-the-road moment, Lurie says. He’d previously put together a bid to try to buy the Patriots but ended up losing out to Robert Kraft. When the Eagles became an option, Lurie thought ownership would be emotionally satisfying and also a smart business decision. Lurie paid $185 million, the most ever for a sports franchise at that time. The Eagles are now worth $2.8 billion, according to Forbes.

Lurie wanted to buy the Pats, but had to settle for the Eagles. I think things actually turned out better for him in Philly. Lurie has created quite the legacy for himself by being the man who brought a Super Bowl to the City of Brotherly Love.

Sometimes the best moves aren’t the ones you really wanted, but the ones that happened. Lurie really wanted Mike Holmgren back in 1999. He had to “settle” for Andy Reid. Doug Pederson wasn’t the leading candidate in 2016, but ended up being the right guy.

I was glad to read this from Lurie in regard to Chip Kelly.

“I don’t regret the hiring of him because it was done with a really good thought process,” Lurie says.

Kelly is reviled by many people, but Lurie absolutely made the right call in hiring him. Kelly didn’t turn out to be right for the NFL, but some of his ideas were good and will benefit the Eagles for a while. Kelly’s presence also helped the Eagles realize they needed someone very different as the next coach and that led to Pederson getting hired. The rest, as they say, is history.

Good owners take chances. Don’t be afraid to fail. Smart owners learn from their mistakes.

Lurie learned from the Kelly experiment. The Eagles kept the parts they liked and fixed the areas that needed it.

I hope the Eagles can bring home another Lombardi. It would be cool for Lurie to become one of the owners who is lucky enough to have multiple titles. (I might also have some selfish reasons for wanting another title.)

Lurie has come a long way since he bought the Eagles. He was not always embraced by fans and the media. I think some of that was blowback from the Braman era, when the owner was seen as the bad guy. Lurie has very much flipped the script on that. He still has critics, but they are in the minority these days.

What is harder for an owner, winning the Super Bowl or winning over Eagles fans?

Lurie did both.


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