FINANCIAL TOUCHDOWN

Janice McNair scores spot among wealthiest owners of NFL teams

Courtesy photo

The Houston Texans are at the top of their division and now, a new report reveals that owner Janice McNair is also in an elite group.

A new list, published by CNBC, finds McNair rounding out the top 10 richest billionaire owners in the National Football League. McNair, whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion, took control of the team following the death of her husband, Robert "Bob," McNair, in 2018.

Robert McNair worked as an ad salesman and struggling entrepreneur for years before founding energy company and power plant operator Cogen Technologies in 1984. The company was successful and he sold it to Enron in 1999 for $1.5 billion (two years before the latter filed for bankruptcy), notes CNBC.

That same year, McNair paid the NFL $700 million for an expansion franchise in Houston, the Texans, which is now worth $3.1 billion. Local football fans, grieving the loss of the Houston Oilers to Tennessee in 1997, were instantly grateful.

The Texans franchise is now tied for No. 22 among the most valuable sports franchises in the world.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys might be having a so-so season, but owner Jerry Jones, aside from being the fifth wealthiest resident of Texas, is tied for third richest among owners of NFL franchises.

CNBC puts Jones and Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the No. 3 spot. Each man's net worth is estimated at $8.5 billion, CNBC says.

CNBC notes that Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million. In the 30 years since, the team has scored three Super Bowl victories, and its value has soared to $5.5 billion. That makes the Cowboys the most valuable team in the NFL.

McNair and Jones aren't the only Texans in the NFL billionaires club.

To find out the others, please see the rest of the story on CultureMap here.

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The Marlins are showing interest in Yuli Gurriel. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

As the reporting date for pitchers and catchers draws near, there are still some decisions hanging over the Astros. One of them is whether or not to bring back Yuli Gurriel. “La Piña,” as he's affectionately called, is 38 years old. He turns 39 in June. His leadership and instincts cannot be matched. The man has seen a ton of baseball and comes from a family of baseballers. So, what's the holdup?

Enter the Miami Marlins. The ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman, is undoubtedly trying to capitalize on the heavy Cuban population in the Miami area. Bringing in the Cuban Babe Ruth is a great way to attempt to get more fan engagement. The franchise has only been to the playoffs three times. First two times (1997 and 2003), they won it all. In 2020, they were swept in the NLDS. They're most likely offering him a ridiculous amount of money to come to a team with a losing history. Knowing the Marlins are willing to hand out stupid money, would you blame La Piña for taking one last ridiculous payday?

Think about it. He's got two rings and made a ton of money. He can safely retire very comfortably. The lure to come back for another year or two would definitely be about money. The Marlins aren't a real threat in the next couple of seasons to do anything, but are willing to pay me like I'm still a star? Plus, I'm closer to my home country with all my family and friends? Sign me up!

This is where the Astros have to make a decision. Bring Yuli back for another year or move on. If he follows through with his last four years, this should be a bounce back year. Since 2016, his first year in Houston and MLB, he's hit .262, .299, .291, .298, .232 (pandemic shortened season), .319, and .242 last season. The man is a professional hitter. He knows how to work an at-bat and can drive pitchers nuts. His defense isn't bad either. He's a more than capable first baseman.

This won't win me any favor, but I think it's time to move on. Yuli will always have a place in my heart because he was a major factor in the Astros' two World Series wins. Last season's title run was even more satisfying since it helped silence the haters. That was the mouthwash that got rid of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. Piña was there through it all.

Now, it's time to start transitioning towards the future. Piña, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, and Lance McCullers Jr were the only holdovers from the 2017 team. Verlander was one of the guys the Mets backed the Brinks truck up for this offseason. Altuve (32), Bregman (28), and McCullers (29) should be all that's left of that group. While it would've been great to have Verlander (39) back, the emergence of the youth movement in the pitching staff made his loss somewhat expendable. At some point, the nostalgia wears off. Father Time and Mother Nature are both undefeated. If they were to bring Piña back, he should be a part timer transitioning into a hitting coach. Careers come to an end. It's time to start looking at his exit.

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