Lately in the news we’ve all been reading about the lack of ethics, and personal character of professional team owners. But what we aren’t reading or hearing about are the real owner/heroes who have exhibited character, care for their team, and professionalism. One of those just passed away yesterday, Wednesday, May 28th. His name is Malcolm Glazer. Glazer purchased the Tampa Bay football team in January of 1995. He and his family have owned of the Buccaneers ever since. Glazer immediately hired Tony Dungy, the successful defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, as the head football coach. Dungy turned the Bucs into a defensive powerhouse, and by 1997, a team with a winning record. In 1997 the Bucs were 10-6.
I was living in the Tampa Bay area in 1995, and I vividly remember reading about Malcolm Glazer and his impact on the team, and the Tampa Bay community. In the community, Glazer founded the Glazer Family Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting charitable and educational causes in the Tampa Bay community. During its existence, the foundation has donated millions in programs, tickets, grants and in-kind contributions. The foundation donated $5 million toward the construction of the Glazer Children’s Museum in downtown Tampa, which opened on September 25, 2010.
Not only did Malcolm Glazer have an impact on his community, but he also impacted individuals. Many of the NFL players who played for the Buccaneers, under Glazer ownership, remember him as a very personable man, who’d approach them with words of encouragement, and acknowledge, with pride, their efforts on and off the field. Many of those players include Ronde Barber, Warrick Dunn, and Shaun King. This is what former starting quarterback Shaun King had to say:
An amazing man, So personable and kind. He used to come up to me after every game when I was the starter and say, ‘I’m so proud of you, Shaun.”
Malcolm Glazer has made an impact on many players and coaches under his ownership. With the hire of Tony Dungy, coaches like Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith, and Herm Edwards, would make their impact on the NFL as head coaches themselves. If there were a such a thing as a great legacy, Malcolm Glazer would be in the top 5.
Side note: I don’t know what is spiritual status with Jesus was, hopefully he trusted him as Lord, or all the “good” things Glazer did would be moot eternally.