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Personal Fool: The problem with owners in sports

By Bam Ransom, Contributing Writer

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I've got a secret.

Don't tell anyone, but rich people aren't that smart.

Usually they're rich because they are able to muster the concentration to do one thing better than others.

In a way, they're kind of like professional athletes.

But like pro athletes, don't confuse rich peoples' skills with intelligence.

Once you take rich people out of the realm that brought them wealth, they're hopeless.

They're even more hopeless than the rest of us because their wealth convinces them they are smarter than the rest of us.

Take Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, for example.

He got rich by picking one of the best seats in the dotcom bubble and leaving before the end of the game.

But when it comes to basketball, he's lost his mind.

The whole basketball arena is his oyster, so to speak, and he chooses to sit, a pearl amongst the swine, and then he can't clam up.

Whether he told Kenyon Martin's mother that Martin was a punk, a thug or just hot shot as he mingled in stadium seating is irrelevant.

On his blog Cuban wrote in an offhand apology to no one in particular and certainly not the Martin family: "No one takes more abuse and gets more threats on the road than I do. So I know exactly how it feels. I've also had my family and friends spit on at games in this series. So I know how unpleasant that is as well."

That sounds more like a dare than an apology.

And the difference between Cuban and the rest of us is that he chooses to live that way, while we don't.

He chooses to sit with the beer swillers and to be an overly emotional "super fan."

The families of players, and the just plain regular families, who spend a not- inconsequential fortune to take in a game a few times a season don't want to live that way.

It's just the only ticket the rest of us can afford.

At least Jerry Jones, the other crazy Dallas owner, has sense enough to build a luxury suite with a hot tub in it. That's exactly where an owner should be spending his time.

Players should play, coaches should coach, managers should manage and owners should own.

And part of an owner owning has to do with where he watches the game.

An owner should watch the game from the rarified air of a suite, high above the court, with drinks served on silver trays and the state's governor sharing off-color jokes with him.

Maybe Cuban realizes that a little belatedly.

On Monday his blogged non-apology was titled "An Apology to Kenyon Martin's Mom."

On it he offers the Martin family: "[Your] family, and the family of other Nuggets players are welcome to stay in my suite, with my family. Its (sic) amazing how tempers mellow when real people talk to each other and realize that its (sic) still just a game."

Cuban doesn't mention where he'd be sitting if it ever came to that.

But if he's really smart, he'll take himself up on his own offer and sit in the owner's box himself.

It's amazing how much he'd mellow if he realized that it's still just a game.

And that he's not a player.

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Bam Ransom's "Personal Fool" appears at sportsnetwork.com on alternating Fridays.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Bam Ransom at jransom@ransomcreative.com.

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