Normally the mention of anything sports-related makes my eyes glaze over. But even I enjoyed Frank Deford fearlessly calling out team owners in this morning's commentary. Those objects of Frank's scorn included the Bidwell family ("the role model for long-term owner-operator ineptitude"), Peter Angelos ("arrogant") and James Dolan ("the highest payroll and the most screwed-up team in the NBA")
Then there's Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban is different. He is, as Frank sees it, "passionately involved in all the right ways."
Finally, Frank Deford and I have something in common. I am interested in Mark Cuban too. This is a guy who's been in the news twice this week, once for apparently throwing a courtside hissy fit operatic enough to warrant a $250,000 fine, and then again, for potentially being the next employer of former CBS news anchor Dan Rather. Wow. Cuban is in talks with Rather to host a show on HDNet-that's a high-definition cable television network Cuban owns.
Cuban also owns Landmark Theaters, a chain of cinemas that show independent and foreign films. And he runs a foundation that benefits the families of American military personnel who were killed or injured in the war in Iraq.
Cuban is on the cutting edge of all kinds of interesting projects, many of them, quite controversial. This is a guy who's clearly doing exactly as he pleases and his range of interests and impulses are extraordinary. I like seeing what Cuban is up to. Fortunately, he makes it easy — he updates his blog regularly. Look him up.