With the oft used line about “the billionaires vs. the millionaires” coming to a head this week with the current CBA expiring on Thursday, it’s always curious to reflect on just how some of these owners came to be rolling in it.
- The Titans’ Bud Adams and the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones made their fortunes in oil and natural gas.
The Falcons’ Arthur Blank co-founded a little something called Home Depot.
The Jets’ Woody Johnson is from the Johnson & Johnson lineage of Johnsons.
And then there’s Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie whose heart has always been in the pictures.
Lurie inherited much of his money from his grandfather, Phillip Smith, who owned a chain of 620 movie theaters across the country, which was bought by AMC in 2002.
Lurie dabbled in producing in the 90s and churned out a few screen gems like Kathleen Turner’s “V.I. Warshawski,” and one of Angelina Jolie’s first roles as Legs Sadovsky in “Foxfire.”
But Lurie took a break from the big screen to concentrate on the Eagles when he bought them from Norman Braman for $195 million in 1994 (the team is worth $1.1 billion today.)
Recently, Lurie and his wife Christina decided to put a toe back in the scene when they opened Screen Pass Pictures and changed their focus from feature films to documentaries with slightly more depth than some of his previous works.
The new focus paid off with Screen Pass’s second film, “Inside Job” narrated by Matt Damon about 2008’s world financial meltdown, won the Oscar for best documentary feature last night.
The Eagles’ released a statement saying the Luries were “humbled” and “proud” of the win as executive producers, and that their “goal was to bring a fair and thoughtful presentation of the actions that led to the financial collapse and show how it has negatively impacted millions of lives across the globe.”
Director Charles Ferguson also caused something of stir upon accepting the Oscar by saying, “ I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s just wrong.”
Lurie famously gave Michael Vick a second chance after he served his prison time when other owners shied away.