Family Issues Today

Happy Flag Day to everyone in the US …

I neglected to mention yesterday that a series of positive events happened last weekend.  Notwithstanding some tense negotiating and a brief work stoppage, the Canadian Football League started its regular season on time.  The weekend featured 4 games with 8 of the 9 teams in action.

  • The defending Grey Cup champions – – Winnipeg – – began with a tight 19-17 victory.
  • The losers in last year’s Grey Cup game – – Hamilton – – seemingly suffered a hangover and lost 30-13.
  • The team that beat Hamilton – – Saskatchewan – – will be the host for this year’s Grey Cup game on November 20 in Regina.

Astronomically, it is not  yet summer – – but this start to the CFL season is a harbinger of Fall…

Pat Bowlen was the majority owner of the Denver Broncos from 1984 until his death in 2019.  He left the team to a trust that was supposed to arrange for Bowlen’s seven children to own the team.  He did not specify who was to be in the lead there and legal battles broke out.  Those legal squabbles among the heirs led to the recent sale of the Broncos for a reported $4.65B.  I mention that situation as a backdrop for two other happenings that are out there today.

Peter Angelos is the majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles and has been since 1993.  Angelos is 92 years old and even though Peter Angelos’ is still alive, there is sufficient family strife related to the team that it has spilled over into court.  John Angelos is one of Peter Angelos’ sons and is the CEO of the Orioles; his brother, Lou Angelos, asserts in a lawsuit filed recently that John has “seized control of the team in defiance of his father’s wishes.”  As if that were insufficient family drama to have a court sort through, Lou Angelos also asserts that their mother, Gloria Angelos is culpable here in that she has been manipulated by John Angelos in order for him to carry out his nefarious intent.

The lawsuit asserts that Peter Angelos had heart surgery in 2017; and subsequently, he executed a revocable trust and durable power of attorney.

“A principle purpose of these documents was to ensure that Mr. Angelos’ sons worked together in support of their mother, shared decision-making and enjoyed equal rights of inheritance.  Mr. Angelos never intended that one son should wield control over his estate to the exclusion of his other son.”

So, Thanksgiving dinner at the Angelos’ residence ought to be a fun time for all…  A brother is suing his mother and his brother over control of the team.  Might the Orioles be up for sale anytime soon…?

As they say on those infomercials that are on at 3:00AM:

  • “But wait … there’s more!”

Alex Spanos bought the then San Diego Chargers’ franchise in 1984  When he died in 2018, he left 15% of the team to each of his 4 children and 36% of the team to a family trust.  His daughter, Dea Spanos Berberian has filed a lawsuit seeking control of the family trust which would give her 51% control of the franchise.  The basis for her lawsuit is:

  • She claims her brother, Dean Spanos, has engaged in “financially ruinous” behavior and that the family may need to sell the Chargers to pay off outstanding debts.
  • She also accuses Dean Spanos and another of her brothers – Michael Spanos – with operating “out of their deeply held misogynistic attitudes and sense of entitlement as the men of the family.”

Let me ignore the business around misogyny simply because at least part of any decision making on that front will involve a bit of mindreading.  What I found interesting was the assertion that when the Chargers decided to move to LA – to cohabitate in SoFi Stadium with the LA Rams – Berberian’s lawsuit asserts that move put the family trust $358M into debt.  In addition, she asserts that Dean Spanos “diverted $105M from the trust” and used $60M “for the wasteful purchase” of a private aircraft that has no business justification.

If the Berberian lawsuit is taken literally, the claim is that the trust may be forced to sell the team just to pay off its debt load.  That would put another NFL franchise on the market in the wake of the Broncos commanding a $4.65B price tag.  I have no idea how this action – or the Angelos family squabble – will resolve itself but I am certain of one thing:

  • There will be a phalanx of attorneys amassing great numbers of billable hours in the procedures that lead to whatever resolutions obtain in these matters.

One last “economic note” for today.  Over the last year or so, several pro athletes opted to take part or all of their contract payments in cryptocurrency.

  • Trevor Lawrence reportedly put his signing bonus of more than $22M into cryptocurrency.
  • Saquon Barkley reportedly put $10M into cryptocurrency.
  • The list goes on…

Trust me, I am no expert on cryptocurrency; I have never owned any of it; my understanding of what it is and how it works is a mile wide and an eighth of an inch deep.  However, let me present some data:

  • For the year to date, 1 Bitcoin was worth $47,733.40 on Jan 1, 2022.  As of close of business yesterday, 1 Bitcoin is worth $22,162,60.  That is a decline of 54%.
  • For the year to date, 1 Dogecoin was worth $0.17 on Jan 1, 2022.  As of close of business yesterday, 1 Dogecoin is worth $0.056.  That is a decline of 67%.
  • For the year to date, 1 Ethereum was worth $3767.54 on Jan 1, 2022.  As of close of business yesterday, 1 Ethereum is worth $1222.39.  That is a decline of 68%.

Finally, since much of today’s rant had to do with family squabbles on a grand scale, consider these two adages about families:

“An apple never falls far from a tree … And isn’t it amazing how many bad apples one tree can produce?”

And …

“Family:  A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Family Issues Today”

    1. TenaciousP:

      Same “problems” facing the Bowlen family and the Angelos family…

  1. Well…it seems to me that if I had 7 children…or 4 children…I might think to designate at least one of them as the lead person…before I went off into the great NFL-beyond…and would tell them and put it in writing…while that would not assure future internecine battles, it would at least help with the boundaries. I rich folks…that get money…but too often obviously have no common sense…..

    1. Gary now in France:

      I recognize the reluctance of a parent to demonstrate favoritism for one of his/her children of the other(s). Nonetheless, I agree with you here 100%…

      Enjoy some top-shelf cognac after a fine meal in your time in France. Fine meals there are not hard to find…

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