Congratulations to Step2 Co. President Tom Murdough — for not becoming owner of the new Cleveland Browns.
We recently offered on this page that Murdough would make a good owner for the National Football League's newest, most-coveted franchise. And we concluded this precisely because he had proved to be such a good marketer and businessman.
But, in the end, the Murdough talents that prompted us to suggest he had the right stuff for the NFL, led the entrepreneur toy maker to drop out of the high-stakes bidding contest Sept. 1.
The bottom line: He smelled a lousy business deal. Murdough rightly predicted the Browns' final price tag would exceed half a billion (with a ``b'') dollars. He concluded that at that ridiculous price, return on investment would be a very long time coming.
One can understand the allure of owning a professional sports team, especially one in your own back yard. But the truth is, the NFL is not a good business proposition. Its teams, for the most part, are ego-inflating playthings for a select, billionaire boys' club.
Many, like the Browns' new owner, Al Lerner, are willing (and able) to grossly overpay for personal reasons. But this is no way to run a business, which Tom Murdough understands. That's why he gave a pass to the Browns. That's why he has succeeded in business the way he has.