George Steinbrenner – Love him or hate him he did it his way

July 13, 2010 | Tom Clayton

“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.” – George Steinbrenner

I hate the Yankees with every fiber of my being, they rank up there with the Steelers and Duke as organizations I would like to see crumble to the ground but even the most stanch George Steinbrenner hater must admit he was one hell of an interesting man.

With his passing this morning at the age of 80 I started to think about Steinbrenner’s life and legacy. Just think about the business coup he orchestrated at the age of 42 when he bought the Yankees for $8.5 million ($168,000 of which was his own money). Today the Yankees are worth a reported $1.2 billion dollars and have become the most recognizable brand in sports. Think about that business deal, he made his investment 141-times more valuable in the 38 years he owned the Yankees; 141-times more valuable!!!!!!!!!!!

On top of his amazing business move he was also a pop culture icon. Think about what other owner hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’, inspired a reoccurring character on the greatest sitcom of all time ‘Seinfeld’, and wrote the forward for the autobiography of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes? The answer is nobody; no owner has ever been more a part of American pop culture as George Steinbrenner.

Many people believe he ruined baseball by attempting to annually buy a World Series Title but he did what he thought was in the best interest of HIS organization to win. He won at all costs and that is something that every fan should demand from their teams owner and George Steinbrenner did that EVERY YEAR.

I am not going to say that George Steinbrenner is an American hero but he was a great owner and should be remembered as such.