SNIDER: It's Harris versus Bezos for Commanders


Josh Harris seems the right choice for the next Washington Commanders owner. Maybe Jeff Bezos writes a big check out of nowhere, perhaps the rumored "mystery" buyer finally materializes, but for now it's looking like Harris' team.

If Bezos wants the Commanders badly enough and is willing to spend crazy money, he can simply outbid Harris. But, Bezos didn't get to be one of the world's richest men being stupid with money. He can always buy the next team on the market, which is expected to be the Seattle Seahawks in 2024.

Live On-Air
Ask Your Smart Speaker to Play One oh six seven the Fan
106.7 The Fan
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Harris would be the better owner. He has an extensive sports ownership background with partner David Blitzer. Bezos has none. He owns a space rocket company, but may not even possess a frisbee. The NFL is not kind to outsiders with no sports experience. Ask Dan Snyder.

Harris controls the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers along with pieces of Crystal Palace of the English Premier League, Cal Ripken baseball and Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s a pretty well-rounded resume. Partner David Blitzer is a partner in many of those ventures plus owning a minority share of the Cleveland Guardians. Harris' Apollo Global Management even owns Chuck E. Cheese, which might offer pizza and a different mascot wandering the mezzanine.

Certainly, Harris is a smart businessman worth a reported $7 billion. Maybe he needs to liquidate some franchise holdings (including Steelers shares) to pay the NFL's required 30 percent cash minimum for the Commanders, but that shouldn't be problematic. Harris was a failed bidder for the Denver Broncos last year so he knows the rules and the NFL has certainly vetted him.

We could say Harris' Chevy Chase roots would be a nice bonus, but Snyder's local ties didn't go well. Jack Kent Cooke was a great Redskins owner as a Canadian.

Bezos' biggest resume is money. The NFL loves people with money. Even better, people who can make them more money. Bezos can certainly do better than Snyder in generating shared income.

But what kind of Commanders owner would Bezos be given the demands of Amazon and other businesses? Probably a good one if you like a hands-off owner who writes big checks and lets others run daily operations. That has been Bezos' M.O. for decades. It was Cooke's system, too. Bezos could worry about a stadium and certainly would be welcome by District leaders to seek the RFK site.

Harris' track record is solid, too. The 76ers have seen five top execs and three coaches and the Devils' three execs and six coaches since Harris' arrival. It seems excessive, but the NBA and NHL seem to move staffs regularly. Snyder had three coaches in his first three seasons before later settling down. It wouldn't be surprising to see Harris or Bezos clean house.

Getting to the settlement table won't be easy given Snyder is reportedly seeking $7 billion for a franchise he wrecked. It comes down to an NFL-tax where people pay extra to join the U.S.'s top sports league that is certain to go global in the coming decade.

Either Harris or Bezos would bring an exciting change. Who knows how their long-term success will fare, but Harris offers a more seasoned approach.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

We strive to be a platform where varying opinions may be voiced and heard. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by the author(s) of this article and/or by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not represent those of Audacy, Inc. We are not responsible for any damages or losses arising from this article and/or any comment(s).
Featured Image Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images