~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
October 6th, 2013
★~ Today’s Quote: “I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
★~ Mad Hatter Day:
Celebrate Mad Hatter Day by embracing the absurdity of Lewis Caroll’s Mad Hatter in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Mad Hatter Day is celebrated each year on October 6 because the Mad Hatter wears a top hat labeled “In this style 10/6” in the book’s illustrations.
The real spirit of Mad Hatter Day is turnabout: The nonsense we usually have to pretend is sane can be called madness for one day in the year; the superficially crazy things that really make sense can be called sane on Mad Hatter Day.
Feeding the Mind: Lewis Carroll’s Rules for a Fine Information Diet and Healthy Intellectual Digestion (in case you want to plan a mad hatter party…)
How to Apologize for Standing Someone Up: A Lesson from Lewis Carroll’s Hilarious Letter
★~ Frugal Fun Day:
The challenge today is to have fun spending as little money as possible Some ideas: carve a pumpkin it doesn’t have to be for Halloween, attend a high school football or soccer game, head to Cosco or Sam’s Club and have lunch on the samples! Watch a Bears game on Television!
★~ Noodle Day:
In the categorical blanket of all things pasta, one might guess the main difference between noodles and, say, macaroni is shape — but one would be mistaken to assume such. Although all pastas use a base of water and flour, noodles by definition must also contain eggs or egg yolks.
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1889 – The Moulin Rouge in Paris first opened its doors to the public. It was in the Montmartre district of Paris, a district that had been historically outside the city limits, where the local nuns made wine and Paris taxes did not apply. It evolved into a center of entertainment and drinking, the home of artists, and a popular locale for nightclubs like the Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge means “red windmill,” because the building itself had a giant red windmill on top.
♥~ 1863 – The first Turkish bath was opened in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Charles Shepard was the proprietor.
♥~ 1956 – Dr. Albert Sabin discovered an oral polio vaccine. It was put into use in 1961 and by 1965 was widely used.
♥~ 2007 – 40-year-old British adventurer Jason Lewis completed a13-year trip around the world, powered by only his arms and legs. Lewis crossed the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a wooden pedal boat; roller bladed across North America; kayaked from Australia to Singapore; biked from Singapore to the Himalayas, etc. etc. etc.
★~ Famous Birthdays:
♥~ 1846 – George Westinghouse inventor: railway braking systems; developer: alternating current [AC] electricity; founder: Westinghouse Electric Company; died March 12, 1914
♥~ 1906 – Janet Gaynor, one of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, in 1928 Gaynor became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films: Seventh Heaven (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) and Street Angel (1928).
♥~ 1936 – Anna Quayle Tony Award-winning actress: Stop the World, I Want to Get Off ; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mistress Pamela
♥~ 1963 – Elisabeth Shue actress: The Trigger Effect, Leaving Las Vegas, Blind Justice, Heart and Souls, Back to the Future: Part 2 and Part 3, Cocktail, Adventures in Babysitting, The Karate Kid Call to Glory
♥~ 1964 – Matthew Sweet musician: guitar, singer, songwriter: Girlfriend
★~ Good to Know: NFL Owners
♥~ Arizona Cardinals: Bill Bidwell – Forbes estimates the Cardinals are worth $961 million, making them the 24th most valuable team in the NFL. Bidwill inherited the Cardinals from his father, Charles. Charles was a wealthy Chicago lawyer, and according to the book From Sandlots to the Super Bowl: The National Football League, 1920-1967, he had connections to Al Capone.
♥~ Atlantic Falcons: Arthur Blank – The Falcons are estimated to be worth $933 million, placing them 26th in the NFL franchise financial rankings. Blank reportedly bought the team for $545 million. In 1978, Arthur Blank co-founded Home Depot. Story has it that during Home Depot’s early days, Blank and his business partner would stand in the parking lot handing out dollar bills to entice customers to browse the store. Blank is now worth an estimated $1.6 billion.
♥~ Baltimore Ravens: Stephen Bisciotti – Bisciotti was a minority owner of the Ravens from 2000 until he bought the whole dang team through a $325 million deal with Art Modell in 2004. The Ravens are now worth $1.2 billion. Bisciotti founded Aerotek in a basement office with his cousin. This later turned into the parent company the Allegis Group, which owns both Aerotek and TEK systems, staffing firms for engineering and technology companies.
♥~ Buffalo Bills: Ralph Wilson – The Buffalo Bills are worth $870 million, according to Forbes. Ralph Wilson founded the team in the then-AFL in 1959. The league eventually merged with the NFL in 1970, where the Bills went on to define small-market success in the early ’90s—before doing the exact opposite of that for the following two decades. At 94, Ralph Wilson is the oldest owner in the NFL. After World War II, Wilson took over his father’s insurance company, and went on to purchase manufacturing plants, trucking companies, highway construction firms, TV and radio stations, and other businesses in the Detroit area and across the country.
♥~ Carolina Panthers: Jerry Richardson – The Panthers are worth a little over $1 billion. Richardson actually played in the NFL for two seasons. He was a receiver for the Baltimore Colts in 1959 and 1960. Richardson owned Hardee’s franchises in South Carolina before going on to become the CEO of food services company Flagstar, which ran every Denny’s in the country. The company flirted with financial unrest until it was purchased by a private equity group in 1992. Richardson retired in 1995.
♥~ Chicago Bears: Virginia Halas McCaskey – Virginia McCaskey owns 80% of the Bears, who are valued at over $1.2 billion. Nearly $1 billion of that money is spent reminding people the 1985 Bears won the Super Bowl. It’s hard to find any Halas family holdings or enterprises that don’t have to do with the T-formation, linebackers, or angry, mustachioed head coaches. The family’s fortune grew with the NFL, which is to say it grew a lot. Virginia inherited the team from her father, George Halas, who took a starch company’s rec-league squad and essentially turned it into the NFL. He was a founder, player, coordinator, coach, and owner of the Bears—hence his nickname, “Mr. Everything.”
♥~ Cincinnati Bengals: Mike Brown – Mike Brown took over the Bengals after his father’s death in 1991. The team is worth an estimated $924 million. Mike Brown’s father, Paul Brown, was the namesake and first coach of Ohio’s other team, the Browns. He went on to co-found and own the Bengals before leaving the team to his son. Like the Halas family, the Browns’ money comes from football. Should football one day cease to exist, the Browns would be penniless and confused, wandering through the Midwest wondering where their publicly-funded stadiums and fortune went. Luckily for them, football has continued to exist and looks relatively stable.
♥~ Cleveland Browns: Jimmy Haslam – In 2012, Jimmy Haslam bought the Cleveland Browns from Randy Lerner for a reported $1 billion. Haslam had to sell a minority interest in the Pittsburgh Steelers that he held since 2008 in order to buy the Browns. NFL rules state that owners aren’t allowed to have ownership stakes in multiple teams. In fact, that’s pretty much the only rule the NFL has for its owners. Jimmy Haslam is the CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop company, a nationwide chain founded by his father. Pilot Flying J is the largest such company in the country and sells more over-the-road diesel fuel than anyone else. Haslam and Pilot Flying J are currently under federal investigation for allegedly scheming customers and shortchanging them on fuel rebates.
♥~ Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones – The Cowboys are worth an estimated $2.3 billion, making them the number one team on Forbes’ list of the most valuable NFL franchises. Jerry Jones bought them in 1989 for $140 million and has been one of the most visible owners in all of pro sports. In 2009, Jones opened the new $1.3 billion Cowboys Stadium, now named AT&T Stadium. Remember to call it that—AT&T paid an estimated $500 million and would appreciate it. Jones is an oilman, naturally. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Jones made his fortune wildcatting with Jones Oil and Land Lease, drilling all the way to the Cowboys’ owners box. Jones’ estimated net worth now sits at $2.7 billion.
♥~ Denver Broncos: Pat Bowlen – Pat Bowlen became the majority owner of the Denver Broncos in 1984 after his family purchased the team from Edgar Kaiser. The Broncos are now worth $1.1 billion. Bowlen also owns the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse. Pat Bowlen achieved success as a lawyer in Edmonton before becoming an executive for his family’s oil drilling and exploration company, Regent Resources. The lesson here seems to be that if you can strike oil and buy a sports team before the league’s popularity explodes, you might be able to make a buck or two.
♥~ Detroit Lions: William Clay Ford, Sr. – William Clay Ford, Sr. bought the Detroit Lions in 1963 for $4.5 million. The team is now worth $900 million. Since buying the team, Ford’s Lions have won exactly one playoff game. Bill is Henry Ford’s last surviving grandchild and the Ford Motor Company’s single largest stockholder. According to a 2011 calculation, Ford’s shares in the motor company were estimated to be worth about $500 million.
♥~ Green Bay Packers: Green Bay Packers, Inc. – The Packers are a very special case. They are a publicly traded non-profit company owned by their 364,122 shareholders. If they ever need to raise money for a stadium or something else expensive, they just sell more shares. To prevent anything even resembling a majority owner from coming into existence, there’s a limit on how many shares you can buy. It’s a remarkably effective and successful model that goes directly against the NFL’s runaway capitalist ideal. Naturally, it’s long been banned by the league—the Packers have been grandfathered in.
♥~ Houston Texans: Robert C. McNair – McNair and his partners bought the expansion Houston Texans for $700 million. In little over a decade, the team’s value ballooned to an estimated $1.4 billion, making them the 5th most valuable NFL franchise according to Forbes. Robert C. McNair owned a cogeneration power plant company and sold it to Enron in 1999.
♥~ Indianapolis Colts: Jim Irsay – The Colts are worth an estimated $1.2 billion, much of which is tied to a sweet stadium deal hashed out with Indianapolis. Jim Irsay’s father, Robert Irsay, built a fortune estimated to be over $150 million through successful heating and air-conditioning companies. In 1972 he bought the Los Angeles Rams for $19 million before trading franchises with Carroll Rosenbloom for the Baltimore Colts. The franchise trade wasn’t the last oddball ownership trick he pulled: Irsay infamously moved the Colts out of Baltimore in the middle of the night in 1984 via a fleet of moving trucks.
♥~ Jacksonville Jaguars: Shahid Khan – The Jaguars are worth an estimated $840 million, which must come as a surprise to the citizens of Jacksonville. They never knew they even had a football team. Khan just purchased Fulham FC, of the English Premier League, for a price estimated to be over $200 million. Khan arrived in America from Pakistan when he was 16 to study engineering at the University of Illinois. After graduating, Khan found work as an engineering manager at Flex-N-Gate, a nearby autoparts company. Flex-N-Gate made bumpers, and they made them inefficiently. Khan streamlined the process and started his own company, Bumper Works. Soon after, Khan bought Flex-N-Gate and began supplying lightweight bumpers to General Motors. After GM decided to use his methods on their own, Khan shifted his focus to Japanese automakers in the ‘80s, just as the Japanese auto invasion began to storm U.S. shores. Flex-N-Gate is now the sole bumper manufacturer for Toyota, and made $3.9 billion in 2012 alone.
♥~ Kansas City Chiefs: Clark Hunt – The Chiefs are worth a little over $1 billion, and have been in the Hunt family since the team’s inception in the AFL. Clark Hunt is the Chairman of Hunt Sports Group, which operates the Columbus Crew. Clark Hunt is the grandchild of extravagant oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, who was the Platonic ideal for a Texas billionaire (he may have been the inspiration for J.R. Ewing on Dallas). H.L’s son (and Clark’s father) Lamar was a co-founder of the American Football League. He’s also the person who coined the term “Super Bowl,” and had investments in various soccer, tennis, hockey, and basketball ventures (including the Chicago Bulls). When Lamar died in 2006, Clark inherited the Chiefs and has served as chairman and CEO ever since.
♥~ Miami Dolphins: Stephen M. Ross – The Dolphins are worth an estimated $1.07 billion. Not bad for a team whose logo is a porpoise wearing a helmet. Ross increased his share of the franchise from 50% to 95% in 2009. Stephen Ross started his career as a tax attorney before getting into real estate. He started by investing in affordable housing and syndicating and selling these projects as tax shelters to wealthy investors. His real estate ventures eventually grew to include mammoth projects like the Time Warner Center and the sprawling Hudson Yards development site in Manhattan. His estimated net worth is now $4.4 billion. Ross donates a lot to his alma mater, the University of Michigan. A lot: he’s given $313 million so far.
♥~ Minnesota Vikings: Zygi Wilf: Wilf and his partners bought the Vikings in 2005 for a reported $600 million. The team is now worth over $1 billion. Wilf’s family, German immigrants and Holocaust survivors, launched their wealth by building and selling single family homes in the ‘50s. The company grew with Wilf and his brothers at the helm, and their business now develops town homes in 39 states. They also have a commercial arm that specializes in shopping malls and owns around 21 million square feet of retail space in the U.S.
♥~ New England Patriots: Robert Kraft – Robert Kraft bought the Patriots for $172 million in 1995, and their estimated net worth is now $1.8 billion. Robert Kraft got his start working at his father-in-law’s packaging material company. He eventually bought the business and merged it with International Forest Products, a separate packaging and recycling company he started. All his ventures are currently under the umbrella of The Kraft Group, a holding company that also controls various real estate and entertainment ventures. His estimated net worth is $2.3 billion.
♥~New Orleans Saints: Tom Benson – The New Orleans Saints are worth around $1 billion. Benson bought the team in 1985 when he found out they were in talks to be moved to Jacksonville, a city with far inferior zydeco music and gumbo. Benson also recently bought the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.Benson owned (and still owns) multiple car dealerships in the New Orleans and San Antonio areas. He began to invest in and purchase local banks and formed Benson Financial, which was a successful enough enterprise to fund his purchase of the Saints. In 1996 he sold Benson Financial to Norwest Banks for $440 million.
♥~ New York Giants: John Mara and Steve Tisch – The Giants, one of the NFL’s first teams, are estimated to be worth around one and a half billion dollars. The Maras’ fortune started with the Giants’ original owner, Tim Mara. Tim was a bookkeeper in the horse racing circuit and bought the Giants for $500 in 1925. Story has it that Mara’s buddy, a boxing promoter, was offered the team but passed it along to him. Mara didn’t know much about football, but he ponied up the five hundred bucks anyway. Steve Tisch is a film producer and inherited his part-ownership of the Giants from his father, Bob Tisch, a former postmaster general and co-owner of the Loews Corporation.
♥~ New York Jets: Robert Wood Johnson IV – Robert “Woody” Johnson IV bought the Jets in 2000 for a reported $635 million. They are now worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Woody Johnson is an heir to the Johnson & Johnson company, which was co-founded by his great-grandfather.
♥~ Oakland Raiders: Mark and Carol Davis – The Raiders are worth $825 million, making them the paupers of the NFL. Mark Davis and his mother, Carol, inherited a controlling interest in the Raiders from Mark’s father, Al. The elder Davis began as a coach and general manager of the Raiders before becoming the team’s owner by shouldering out Wayne Valley, the man who’d originally hired Davis, when Valley was out of the country. The moral of the story: Don’t go on vacation when Al Davis is around.
♥~ Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffrey Lurie – Jeffrey Lurie bought the Eagles in 1994 for $195 million. The team is now worth around $1.3 billion. The Lurie family fortune started with a chain of movie theaters founded and built by Jeffrey Lurie’s grandfather. The family wealth blossomed after acquiring other ventures like bottling companies and clothing retailers.
♥~ Pittsburgh Steelers: Dan Rooney – The Steelers are worth $1.1 billion, making them the richest towel manufacturer in the world. They also run a football team on the side. Lore has it that Art Rooney, Dan’s father, got the $2500 needed to purchase Pittsburgh an NFL franchise in 1933 after he won a parlay at the horse track. There is some dispute over the validity of this story, but no matter how he earned the money, Art managed to turn the Steelers into one of the NFL’s wealthiest franchises. Gambling never left the family’s blood, either: Dan Rooney’s brothers own various horse and greyhound tracks across the country.
♥~ San Diego Chargers: Alex Spanos – The Chargers are worth an estimated $949 million. Spanos’ business career began in 1951 when he started a catering company with an $800 loan. He threw his catering profits into real estate and rolled those investments into the A.G. Spanos Companies, a construction business specializing in apartment and commercial buildings.
♥~ San Francisco 49ers: Jed York – Forbes estimates the 49ers to be worth about $1.2 billion. Jed York is the nephew of Edward DeBartolo Jr., who was the 49ers’ remarkably successful owner for 23 years. The DeBartolo fortune came from construction and real estate: they built some of the first suburban shopping malls in the country.
♥~ Seattle Seahawks: Paul Allen – The Seahawks are worth an estimated $1.08 billion. In 1975, Paul Allen founded Microsoft with Bill Gates. He is now worth $15 billion, making him the NFL’s richest team owner (by far).
♥~St. Louis Rams: Stan Kroenke – The St. Louis Rams are worth an estimated $875 million. Stan Kroenke is a real estate magnate who owns developments around the country, many of which are anchored by Wal-Mart locations. His wife, Anna Walton Kroenke, is the daughter of Bud Walton, co-founder with his brother Sam of Wal-Mart.
♥~ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malcolm Glazer – Glazer bought the Bucs for $192 million in 1995, which was a record at the time. When he was 15, Glazer inherited his father’s watch business. In the ‘70s, Glazer began buying trailer parks and soon developed that real estate venture into First Allied Corporation, a holding company that owns and rents shopping centers across the country. The company took a huge hit during the recession, and his current wealth is mainly due to his sports franchise ownerships.
♥~ Tennessee Titans: Bud Adams – The Titans are estimated to be worth $1.05 billion. Adams was a wildcatter in the ‘50s and ’60s and made his money in oil. Hence the Titans original identity: The Houston Oilers. He also owns car franchises, because all that oil’s gotta go in something, right?
♥~ Washington Redskins: Dan Snyder – The Redskins are worth $1.7 billion. Snyder started a marketing and advertising company with his sister. They specialized in doctors’ offices and hospitals. According to a report in the Washingtonian, “When new mothers were sent home from the maternity ward, they were given goodie bags of creams and diapers—through Dan Snyder’s company.” This direct marketing proved successful and the business took off and started to branch out to include telemarketing.
Oh what a storm we had last night. Thunder, Lightening, Wind…Oh my! Which would have been kind of fun had I been enjoying it from my living room window. Instead, I was driving to the the Tunnel of Love engagement party with family whilst Cole was meeting at us the party driving his VW Bug – with inadequate window wipers. We all made it. Blog posts coming soon, it was an adventure.
It’s a rainy Sunday morno, Cole is off to a Bears game and I’m curling up with my computer and precious furs. What are your plans for the day?
Odd Loves Company!