February 5, 1995 |
At about 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday, sitting in a hospitality suite at Turnberry Isle Resort in luxurious Aventura, Fla., about 10 miles north of Miami, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie rose from his chair to shake the hand of Ray Rhodes. Rhodes, a stout man of few words except when it comes to the game of football, looked at Lurie for a moment and then surveyed the room. His inquisitors were all there - Lurie and his wife, Christina; Jeff Auerbach, Lurie's Hollywood buddy, who runs the Eagles' business operations; and Joseph Banner, Lurie's boyhood chum and cautious alter ego. These four NFL neophytes had just spent nearly four hours questioning a man who had spent all of his adult life in the insular, fraternal world of pro football.
June 11, 1997 |
Jeffrey Lurie reached up to put an Eagles cap on first-round pick Jon Harris. The power forward-size defensive lineman from Virginia, who signed a five-year contract yesterday, bowed slightly to meet his new employer halfway. "I feel like David Stern at the NBA draft," Lurie said. The owner's good humor was understandable. Not so long ago, the signing of an Eagles first-round draft choice was more likely to take place in August, after weeks of rancorous public posturing. Now, the only posing was for the photographers assembled at the Veterans Stadium news conference.
March 31, 1994 |
Don't fret, Eagles fans. When he buys the team for $185 million, Hollywood producer Jeffrey Lurie will have plenty of money left to invest in players, facilities and the front office to keep the Eagles a strong force in the highly competitive NFC East. That's what Lurie's Boston-based financial adviser, Ed Rudman, said yesterday, confirming that the sale of the team by Norman Braman, a Miami car dealer, was imminent. "The people of Philadelphia will not have to worry," Rudman said.
April 10, 1994 |
How much is a pro football team worth? The bottom line, of course, is that it's valued the same way everything else is: It's worth what people are willing to pay for it. So if film producer Jeffrey Lurie wants to ante up $185 million for the Philadelphia Eagles, $25 million more than has ever been paid for a football team, maybe that's what it's worth. A cool $185 million may seem like an awful lot of money, but people who study the business side of professional sports franchises say values have been moving up fast, and will continue to do so. "Values are clearly moving in that direction," said Timothy Mueller, the director of sports-industry consulting for the KPMG Peat Marwick, the consulting and accounting firm.
March 31, 1995 |
Eagles president Harry T. Gamble, who joined the team as a volunteer coach in 1981, resigned yesterday to become coordinator of football operations and club relations for the NFL in New York. Gamble, who watched somewhat uncomfortably as his role and responsibilities were reduced dramatically under owner Jeffrey Lurie, said he was looking forward to his new duties - even if it meant commuting daily from his South Jersey home to Manhattan for the first time in his life. "This is really the pinnacle," said Gamble, who will be 65 in December.
September 1, 1994 |
Owner's box, Veterans Stadium, third exhibition game. The Eagles have just defeated the Cincinnati Bengals. It is the first and - as it turns out - the only victory of the Jeffrey Lurie era, and the new owner is pleased. The final whistle blows. Eagles win! Eagles win! Seated in the first row of the box, Lurie slowly gets to his feet and begins to applaud. Then the guy sitting to his left notices and stands up and begins clapping. Then the guy to his right - who happens to be club president Harry Gamble - notices and stands up and begins clapping.
September 24, 1998 |
The Eagles are now 0-3 with no end of losses in sight. Who's to blame? Bobby Hoying? Ray Rhodes? The Bank of Boston? If there is an enduring article of faith in this town, it is that Jeffrey Lurie paid too much for the Birds. Or more on point: borrowed too much from that New England institution, more than $190 million. And now, those who subscribe to this theory will tell you, he is unable or unwilling to spend what it takes to make the team a winner. But is it so?
March 6, 1994 |
Jeffrey Lurie loves pro football so much that he is apparently willing to shell out $185 million for the Eagles. But the similarities between Lurie and a stogie-puffing, chest-thumping, headline-craving, old-boys'-network-aspiring professional sports team owner end right there. Lurie, the 42-year-old heir to a publishing fortune, appears to be a real '90s kind of guy. He has a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University. His doctoral dissertation was titled "The Depiction of Women in Hollywood Movies.
January 13, 1995 |
Bill Walsh, who built the San Francisco 49ers into a Super Bowl dynasty, is trying to help Jeffrey Lurie do the same thing in Philadelphia by brokering a deal between his old friend Dick Vermeil and the Eagles. And it appears that Walsh's efforts could pay off. Representatives of Lurie, the Eagles' owner, and Vermeil reviewed counterproposals yesterday, and there is evidence of renewed life for a deal that could bring Vermeil to the Eagles as head coach and general manager. But Lurie, sources said, may not be done interviewing other head coaching candidates.
November 10, 1994 |
Veterans Stadium was abuzz - and the Eagles' front office puzzled - yesterday over head coach Rich Kotite's latest remarks about his job status. Kotite expanded on comments he'd made on Tuesday in The Inquirer, acknowledging that new team owner Jeffrey Lurie had made him "a lame duck" coach and that he, too, would evaluate his situation after the season. "I get along extremely well with (Lurie)," Kotite said yesterday after the team's first practice for Cleveland, which will be at Veterans Stadium on Sunday.