The Peter Principles (Ch. 8) – That time Peter Angelos tried to buy the Washington Redskins

June 28, 2017 | Nestor Aparicio

for D.C.’s competitive teams under Joe Gibbs and the Hogs. It truly spoke to Angelos’ lack of knowledge in regard to local sports and fans to think that he’d be interested in buying the hated Redskins and still be able to call himself a legitimate Baltimorean. Certainly, Ravens fans thought it was heresy at the time. Even his Orioles partner and famed author Tom Clancy, who would’ve far preferred to be a majority NFL owner than a minority MLB owner, said: “I’d sell my children to the gypsies before I’d support the Redskins.”

But, Angelos, seeking more profit and fame, marched ahead telling Mark Hyman of Business Week a month later, “Why wouldn’t I be interested in an economically successful franchise?”

The magazine also had this footnote: “If he owned the Redskins, I believe it would help him block a baseball team in the metropolitan Washington area,” says Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., president of the Maryland state senate and a longtime Redskins season-ticket holder. “He’d have an inordinate amount of influence. Fact is, he’d be king of the franchises in the Washington region.”

Meanwhile, columnist Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post had more to say a week later:

Ever since it was reported last week that the Orioles owner had informed baseball commissioner Bud Selig that he intended to pursue the Redskins, local wits have been in heaven. Angelos styles himself as the quintessential native Baltimorean, not Washingtonian. He’s the sworn enemy of baseball for Washington. But now he wants to buy the city’s favorite team – for $450 million or more. Is this a joke?

It was not a joke.

Angelos was sounding off that he was a serious bidder and believed owning teams in both sports would add to his cache and personal portfolio of significance. He was already courting Washington sports fans via the Orioles, and routinely attracting bigwig Washington politicians at Camden Yards. “Why not own the Washington Redskins?,” he thought.

He had flown to Los Angeles to try to win the Rams. He was the legitimate high bidder to purchase the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wasn’t allowed into the NFL fraternity. And then Arthur Modell, who’d he already offended with some comments at a society event during the Ravens first year in Baltimore, brought a vagabond team in purple Barney outfits into his parking lot, which infuriated him.

And now the Redskins were sitting on the “open” market and he had the money and the desire to be an NFL owner.

As it became clear that the younger John Cooke would be unable to control the team and the estate taxes were too deep of a burden, the Redskins were put on the bidding block in the spring of 1999. The NFL believed the team was worth $800 million.

On April 13, Angelos said that he thought the money and the bidding process were awry.

“Our review of the numbers of all the details pertinent to the franchise did not establish that kind of a value [$800 million],” Angelos told The Sun. “You wouldn’t have sufficient funds to build a winner, which is the ultimate goal. It’s a great franchise, but it has to have a sound financial basis if I’m going to become involved.” Angelos wasn’t happy that the trustees used a blind