On Independence Day, Philadelphia Eagles owners Jeff and Christina Lurie declared their independence from one another and announced that they will be divorcing after 20 years of marriage.
They are stating that the parting is amicable and the two “would remain close friends.” And, this in no way would impact anything as it relates to the team or organization.
This is somewhat stunning news in an offseason that has been filled with mostly positives for the team.
Would the fact that owners of a professional sports team whom are getting a divorce have any type of impact on the organization as a whole? Particularly, the on-field product?
Logically, I wouldn’t think so. They are far enough removed from the football side of things that it shouldn’t have any impact whatsoever.
However, is it possible the divorce could have had a slight psychological impact on the team because it filters down from above? Sometimes when things are unstable at the top, it has a way of causing a ripple affect throughout an organization.
Consider this: Just before the beginning of last football season, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank filed for divorce from his wife of 16 years, Stephanie.
The Falcons were coming off a 13-3 season in 2010 and made a bold move in the NFL draft to move up and snare talented WR Julio Jones, as they thought he was all the team needed to take the next step.
In 2011, they got off to a sluggish start at 2-3 in their first five games and ended up with a 10-6 record and had a quick exit in the wild card round of the playoffs. Though their season wasn’t a complete bust, it was far from what they had expected.
Did the owners’ divorce have an effect? Hard to say, but it’s the most recent example of an owner divorce besides the debacle that impacted the Los Angeles Dodgers when owners Frank and Jamie McCourt went through a divorce.
Let’s hope the Luries don’t end up like the McCourts!
I don’t think the Luries’ divorce will have any impact on the team this season. They seem to be handling it the best way imaginable and genuinely do not want it to impact the team in any way.
Well, at least that’s what it sounds like. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into an ugly distraction that takes away from what could be a great year for the football team.
*You can view this article in its entirety over at GCobb.com, as this was one of my weekly contributions there.