At his essence, George Steinbrenner was about winning. Sometimes at all costs, sometimes with strange methods, but I believe you can say his heart was in the right place.
If you believe winning is everything.
I would contend that -- in addition to a sense of belonging to a community and maintaining a version of a public trust -- an extreme commitment to winning is an ideal quality in your sports team owner.
Now, Steinbrenner enjoyed some tremendous financial advantages that allowed him to spend-spend-spend on the Yankees.
But consider the larger point: He spent. He reinvested, always. Everything went back into the business, with the goal to make the team a winner.
As you all know, I have spent the last few years fairly obsessed with the notion of "Championship or Failure." Perhaps that's why Steinbrenner's maniacal focus on winning championships resonated with me.
You can question his methods. You cannot question his intentions.
More in today's SN column:
*If you are college-aged or younger, last night was probably the first NL win in an All-Star Game you can ever remember.
*Do Al Jefferson and Tyson Chandler make the Jazz and Mavs contenders in the West? I certainly wouldn't pick them over the Lakers, but I like that they are continuing to try to contend for a title. They will remain on my very short list of teams sincerely attempting that.
*Stanford clocks in at No. 51 on SN's preseason CFB countdown, and I contend that not only will Andrew Luck out-rank Jake Locker among Pac-10 QBs, but Luck will finish the season as 1st-team All-America at QB... and the top-picked QB in the 2011 NFL Draft.
(Between Luck, Locker and -- at least according to scouts -- Ponder, it should be a solid QB class at the top of next year's draft. Makes you wonder if the Rams -- who will undoubtedly have a top choice -- blew it by taking Bradford over Suh, when they could have had an even better prospect a year from now. Yes, I think Luck and Locker are better pro prospects than Bradford, who has yet to prove he can withstand a pounding from BYU linemen, let alone NFC linemen.)
*I am predicting a big night for the Saints at the ESPYs tonight.
*The Old Spice viral video campaign yesterday was absolutely brilliant.
Complete SN column here. More later.