What do we really know about Bob McNair?

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Mr. White, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Mr. White

    Mr. White H-Town Beatdown

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    Seems like we're all working off of message board mythology right now as far as to how cheap he is, how risk-averse he is, how much he wants to win, etc.

    I've seen lots of assertions made about him the past week and have made a few myself. I've also seen arguments against those assertions. What do we really know? How do we know what we know?

    How did he make enough money to buy a football team? How much control does he have over football operations? How much control does he have over the entire operation? How is Cal involved? How is the organization run?

    BTW, I'm not asking for opinions and I'm not looking to start a flame war....even though I'm sure this thread will devolve into that just like every other one does.
     
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  2. Mr teX

    Mr teX Hall of Fame

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    I know wiki isn't the greatest of sources, but lets start here & then those who know more can confirm or deny what's in it. Me myself, i have a hard time believing the guy is what he's portrayed by some in here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_McNair
     
  3. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

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  4. Norg

    Norg Hall of Fame

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  5. Mr teX

    Mr teX Hall of Fame

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  6. Mr. White

    Mr. White H-Town Beatdown

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    So far, we know that he sold a company to Enron in 1999. One question down.
     
  7. Double Barrel

    Double Barrel Modified Simian

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    It's a good question, Mr. White, and if we're honest with ourselves, the truth is that we really don't know much about the dude.

    To paraphrase Churchill, he's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    However, we can build somewhat of an M.O. on the guy by using past decisions.
     
  8. Hervoyel

    Hervoyel The Right Track

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    Well, we know that he owns the team. That alone answers the "How much control does he have over football operations?" question. Now, he might not exert said control but he "has" total control over the team. He is the owner.

    From that fact we can also safely say that Cal is involved to the degree Bob wants him involved. We can also say that the organization is run the way Bob wants it run.

    If either of those two statements isn't true then it's Bob who ceded that power or who allows people to stay who don't follow his direction (or who fails to provide sufficient direction).

    He made his money in power generation by founding Cogen Techologies which he sold to Enron in 1999 giving him enough money to woo the NFL. He still owns power plants (all this is wikipedia fodder really, matter of public record) and today he seems to be primarily in the business of having a lot of money and investing it where he sees opportunities to make more money.

    I don't really know how much of a business genius one has to be to make money in the electrical generation business. I assume one can't just be a complete dipshit to found a company that ends up being worth a billion dollars. I guess you could stumble into it somehow but more than likely you have to be at least somewhat on the ball.

    What I think we have established in 9 years though is that whatever skills he may have brought from his "core business background" did not necessarily transition to his new role as an NFL owner. I think how he got the money to buy the team is kind of beside the point. He owns it and isn't in financial trouble so he'll go on owning it.

    The cheap/risk-averse/wants-to-win stuff we can only speculate on.

    My specualtion on those subjects is that:

    1. He's not particularly cheap but the events thus far have left him looking a bit like he is.

    2. He is averse to taking chances and the Texans approach to improving their team bears that out.

    3. He wants to win but not enough to deviate from his basic nature which appears to be frugal and conservative with an emphasis on his organization looking good in the public eye at all times.

    But you're right about those three. We don't know. We'll never know.
     


  9. disaacks3

    disaacks3 Site Contributor

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    My favorite quote I found during a search...referring to the Defensive performance against the Jets..

     
  10. GP

    GP Go Texans!

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    1. Heavy emphasis on public image.

    2. Steadfast refusal to add players of questionable character.

    3. Desires to be viewed, by his peers, as a gentlemanly owner who strives to play fairly and to establish the franchise as a top destination for players.

    4. Loyal to his players and coaching staff; often giving them more time than other teams would have in similar situations.

    I think those four things are fairly true, but yet you see how each of those four things--when carried to an extreme--can become weaknesses instead of strengths. Maybe No. 3 on that list is exempt, though.

    Our weaknesses are our strengths carried to an extreme.
     
  11. Hookem Horns

    Hookem Horns That Server Guy Staff Member

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    I am still in the camp that McNair is just a noob owner. Right now I think he is too much of a Mr Nice Guy for his own good. Not sure about the cheap thing yet.

    He reminds me of my wife's former employer. They started a new company in a new field and relied on their employees to show them the ropes. For the first few years they were coming off more as friends to their employees more than bosses.

    Because they were not too demanding their employees would take advantage of the situation. However once they realized their business was seriously failing they wised up and realized they could not be friends with their employees. They fired a bunch of people and started laying down the law. (for the record my wife wasn't one of those, she resigned when we started our own business).

    I am hoping this same situation is going on with McNair and he soon realizes that he can't be friend with his players and personel. While his businesss may not fail in the same sense, he will keep getting embarrassed if his teams continue to fail.
     
  12. Mr. White

    Mr. White H-Town Beatdown

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    Here's another one.....

    Drayton McLane has been known to make himself available to fans. He doesn't mind going around and shaking hands.

    Does Bob McNair do this at all? Has anyone here met him? If so, what was your impression? Do you see him often?
     
  13. The1ApplePie

    The1ApplePie Hall of Fame

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    Not sure about Mr. McNair, but the company had to deal with the group that runs the Reliant complex and its various buildings. Total asshats that screwed us on parking at the last minute and demanded a ridiculous cut of our revenue to open their gates. I know the guys running the lot in Astroworld got the screws put to them as well.

    But I work for total asshats, so I’m sure it was mutual.:)

    Not sure what bearing that has on anything, but that is the only practical experience I have in a vague manner with the organization.
     
  14. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    For those interested, this is the most detailed account of McNair's rise and fall and rise again out of the ashes I've ever come across:

    Golden achiever Billionaire NFL owner, USC grad has overcome Houston hardships CLICK LINK
     
  15. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

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    This is internet mythology.

    Travis Johnson had discipline problems in college.
    Jerome Mathis also had discipline problems in college.
    Amobi Okoye admitted pot use.
    Brian Cushing had rumors swirling around him of PEDs.
    Cedric Benson was made an offer after multiple arrests.
     
  16. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    How dare you cloud internet rage with facts.
     
  17. Double Barrel

    Double Barrel Modified Simian

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    Initially he was very sensitive to it. Barry Warner was talking about it last night that during the early stage of the franchise and the expansion draft, McNair refused to allow anyone with a checkered past to be on the list. Casserly told him point blank that there will not be enough players available using that criteria. I don't have a link to Warner's show last night, but he claims to have been there at the beginning and was close to several folks working with McNair, fwiw.

    I think McNair wants to win, but he's not an owner than wants to win at all cost (not necessarily monetary when I say cost). Losing doesn't bother him as much because he appears to have a long-term vision to win within a predefined set of standards that he has established for his franchise. Obviously, those standards can deviate as circumstances allow, but it appears that losing is not the end-of-the-world to him and will not cause him to make any decisions that could be construed as "knee jerk".
     
  18. eriadoc

    eriadoc Texan-American

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    Brilliant businessmen don't typically hand over the operations of their business to a group entirely full of rookies. Just sayin'.
     
  19. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

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    I have no doubt he has a preference for clean players (as I would bet every owner has) but the evidence we actually know is he is able to get over it. We're talking three 1st round draft picks with red flags.
     
  20. HOU-TEX

    HOU-TEX Ah, Football!

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    He wants to win, but hasn't figured out how to go about it.
     

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