Imrem: Why the McCaskeys are the 'best' owners in sports

  • Chicago Bears chairman George H. McCaskey talks to reporters after an end of season NFL football news conference with coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Lake Forest, Ill.

    Chicago Bears chairman George H. McCaskey talks to reporters after an end of season NFL football news conference with coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Lake Forest, Ill.

  • Under chairman George H. McCaskey and the McCaskey family, the Chicago Bears rank seventh in value among NFL franchises yet continue to struggle on the field.

    Under chairman George H. McCaskey and the McCaskey family, the Chicago Bears rank seventh in value among NFL franchises yet continue to struggle on the field. Associated Press/2015 file

 
 
Updated 9/21/2017 6:27 AM

Congratulations, McCaskey family, you now are No. 1 in my book.

Oh, sure, Forbes ranked the Chicago Bears as only the seventh-most valuable NFL franchise, but circumstances put the McCaskey ownership up top in another category.

 

"Sports writer" at one time was this planet's most desirable occupation. Many wealthy doctors and lawyers would have surrendered their incomes to attend games for a living.

But there's a new most desirable station in life, and it isn't third baseman for the Cubs or agent for the third baseman of the Cubs. Nor is it rock star, trophy husband to a supermodel, wine taster, quarterback for the New England Patriots or nutritionist for the Patriots' quarterback.

The planet's new most desirable position is owner of the Bears … yes, despite all the criticism from envious sports writers.

As bungled as the Bears have been on the field for most of the past quarter-century, Forbes tabs the club's worth at $2.85 billion. That's seventh in the NFL, considered an underachievement for a franchise in the league's largest single-team market.

Not that the McCaskeys are complaining … $2.85 billion is still $2.85 billion.

The Bears finished with a 3-13 record last season, are 0-2 this season and increased in value by 6 percent.

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Then the McCaskeys raised ticket prices for most seats in Soldier Field!

That's like a soup company inserting chunks of asphalt in its products and charging several dollars more per can.

The McCaskeys -- through their spinners -- noted that this was the club's first price increase since 2014. The urge was too powerful even after posting the NFL's third-worst record last season.

(For the record, so to speak, the San Francisco 49ers, with the second worst, froze prices through 2018; the Cleveland Browns, with the worst, lowered prices to thank fans for their loyalty.)

A Bears fan has nowhere else nearby to go for NFL football, at least not until the Raiders complete their journey from Oakland to Los Angeles back to Oakland to Las Vegas to Rosemont.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A survey by website FiveThirtyEight still ranks the Bears the NFL's seventh-favorite team, lower than it should be but an indication the brand can't be destroyed.

For all of you still begging the McCaskeys to sell the Bears … why would they?

Some project the Bears to have the NFL's worst record this season, so it's scary to think how much the cost of tickets will increase next season.

The Bears stink. Interest around town is waning. The wrong quarterback is playing. The head coach is as popular as the next hurricane to land on land. And the value of the franchise keeps rising.

This is so outrageous that the McCaskeys receive the gold medal ahead of Miami Marlins outgoing owner Jeffrey Loria.

The Marlins haven't made the playoffs since 2003, were last in National League attendance 11 of the past 12 seasons and generate the lowest amount of TV revenue in the major leagues.

Meanwhile, Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 and sold them for $1.2 billion this summer.

If the Marlins are worth $1.2 billion, a winning Bears team would have to be worth $1.2 trillion.

The McCaskey family's station in life really does have to be the planet's most desirable.

Eat your hearts out, sports writers.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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