Jason Lisk of The Big Lead has an article up ranking the Top 15 owners in the NFL. Lisk made his judgements based on these criteria:
I like to do things objectively, so I went through and found each ownership group, the date they took over, and then tried to measure by the bottom line. In the NFL, the bottom line is winning. So I found the winning percentage for each owner, the percentage of seasons in which they have been in the final eight teams in the league in the playoffs, and the number of Super Bowl appearances and wins.
Based on that, it's tough to argue where Lisk has Colts owner Jim Irsay ranked.
7. Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts. Irsay may come across as a weird dude on Twitter, but he has far surpassed his father as an owner, and made some bold moves this offseason to rebuild for another era. (15 seasons, 60.8% win percentage, 2 SB Appearances)
To say Jim Irsay has far exceeded his father is an understatement. Robert Irsay obtained ownership rights to the Baltimore Colts on July 26, 1972, when he traded his recently purchased Los Angeles Rams franchise to Carroll Rosenbloom. From 1972-1996 (Robert Irsay died in 1997, but by '96 Jim had pretty much taken over as owner of the team), the Colts were an embarrassing 144-219. In Robert Irsay's infamous 25-year stretch of owning the Colts (both in Baltimore and in Indianapolis), they only won in the playoffs once.
The Jim Harbaugh 1995 season.
The same Jim Harbaugh who now coaches at Stanford, and who Robert Irsay once famously called Jim "Harbro" when asked who his team's starting QB should be during that '95 season.
Robert Irsay also clashed with a young John Elway in 1984 when the Stanford grad stated he'd rather play baseball than be drafted No. 1 overall by Irsay and the Baltimore Colts.
Today, John Elway is the top executive in Denver and he now has Peyton Manning (the man Jim Irsay drafted to turn around the franchise one year after Robert died) while Jim has Andrew Luck (the best QB prospect to come out of Stanford since Elway, and who was recruited and coached there by Jim "Harbro").
Amazing how interconnected everything is when you take a step back.
Back to Lisk, I like his list and think it's fun to pick apart and discuss. I think if you went by what these owners have done the last ten years or so, Irsay's name would be much higher while Pat Bowlen and Jerry Jones are out of the Top 15.