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Thread: This Day In History: (1963) Sonny Werblin & co. purchase the New York Titans.

  1. #1

    This Day In History: (1963) Sonny Werblin & co. purchase the New York Titans.

    March 28, 1963 Sonny Werblin leads group that purchases New
    York Titans from original owner Harry Wismer. Team changes name
    to Jets on April 15.

    Just sayin'

  2. #2
    So on what date did Leon Hess purchase the team?

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Mainejet;3989535]So on what date did Leon Hess purchase the team?[/QUOTE]

    I know they got rid of Sonny Werblin around the time of the Bowl win I think Hess bought everyone out in 1977 or there about..

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Savage69;3989545]I know they got rid of Sonny Werblin around the time of the Bowl win I think Hess bought everyone out in 1977 or there about..[/QUOTE]

    Who would be "they"? Various small percentage ownership?

  5. #5
    Hess was one of the original partners of Werblin's group. Werblin was forced out the year before the SB win. Hess was the reluctant heir to run the team when Phil Iselin died in 1976.

    Iselin and Hess and their ownership of the troubled Mommouth Racetrack were the real reason the Jets moved to Jersey. It was more the state of NJ willing to bail out the troubled track then the dirty bathrooms of Shea.

    Some history
    [QUOTE]The team was poised to make a championship run in 1968, but they would have to do it without the man who led them to the edge of the promised land. Tensions between Sonny Werblin his partners Donald Lillis, Leon Hess, Townsend B. Martin and Phil Iselin had been growing for years.

    "Donald Lillis especially felt that Sonny was leaving the other owners out of the decision-making and they had a falling out," says Frank Ramos. "They said, 'Either buy us out or we'll buy you out.' Sonny couldn't come up with the other backers." Werblin's oversized personality, which brought him success in entertainment and sports, had become his downfall with the Jets. He sold his shares to the others for about $2 million in May 1968. "There was bitterness, to be very candid," says Tom Werblin. Werblin missed the team and the team missed Werblin. "I felt a sense of loss," says Boozer, "or that a piece of the puzzle was missing in that he was not there to share the Super Bowl, because he put the club together."

    [/QUOTE]
    [URL="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-10-26/sports/17908164_1_facility-at-hofstra-university-air-conditioning-sonny-werblin"]http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-10-26/sports/17908164_1_facility-at-hofstra-university-air-conditioning-sonny-werblin[/URL]

    And Hess, Mommouth, and the Jets move to NJ
    [QUOTE]Ironically, New Jersey got into the racetrack business because of the National Football League. In 1971 and 1972, state elected officials built the Meadowlands racetrack with the thought that the proceeds from the track would help pay down the debt at the new football facility that would eventually house the New York Giants. The football venue was completed in 1976. Meanwhile Leon Hess was becoming more and more unhappy with the terms of his lease at Shea Stadium as his Jets franchise played second fiddle to the New York Mets at the New York City-owned sports facility in Queens. Hess was eyeing New Jersey and his lease with the New York City ended in 1983.

    Hess was a member of the Board of Directors of the Monmouth Park Jockey Club. By 1985, Hess had a deal for his Jets to play in the Meadowlands and New Jersey bought Monmouth Park from Hess and his fellow Jockey Club members for $45 million. The Hess-New Jersey negotiations for the football team move to New Jersey started in 1983 as did the Monmouth Park talks. The two negotiations were not linked.

    At least not officially.

    [/QUOTE]
    [URL="http://www.hallnj.org/index.php/topics/56-horse-racing/1049-a-few-ethical-questions-about-horse-racing-gambling-and-the-nfl"]http://www.hallnj.org/index.php/topics/56-horse-racing/1049-a-few-ethical-questions-about-horse-racing-gambling-and-the-nfl[/URL]
    Last edited by Queens Jet Fan; 03-28-2011 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Bewildered Beast
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    Where have I heard this before? A bunch of rich jackasses run off the one guy that can build a goddamn team.

    [QUOTE]"Donald Lillis especially felt that Sonny was leaving the other owners out of the decision-making and they had a falling out," says Frank Ramos. "They said, 'Either buy us out or we'll buy you out.' Sonny couldn't come up with the other backers." Werblin's oversized personality, which brought him success in entertainment and sports, had become his downfall with the Jets. He sold his shares to the others for about $2 million in May 1968. "There was bitterness, to be very candid," says Tom Werblin. Werblin missed the team and the team missed Werblin. "I felt a sense of loss," says Boozer, "or that a piece of the puzzle was missing in that he was not there to share the Super Bowl, because he put the club together."[/QUOTE]

    Donald Lillis. Hang his jersey in the hall of shame.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=WestCoastOffensive;3989757]Where have I heard this before? A bunch of rich jackasses run off the one guy that can build a goddamn team.



    Donald Lillis. Hang his jersey in the hall of shame.[/QUOTE]
    For sure. Werblin did not do too badly though with his investment on the Jets.
    [QUOTE]
    March 28,1963 Five Take Over
    A five-man syndicate David A. "Sonny" Werblin, Townsend B. Martin, Leon Hess, Donald C. Lillis and Philip H. Iselin purchased the New York franchise for $1 million. [/QUOTE]
    [URL="http://www.newyorkjets.com/team/history/1963.html"]http://www.newyorkjets.com/team/history/1963.html[/URL]
    In '63 he paid $200k for the team and in '68 he was paid $2 Mil for his share. Not too bad a profit for 5 year ownership.

    Although not as well as the Hess family made out.

    [QUOTE]Think those snappy toy trucks they sell at Hess stations are a bargain? How about the tidy profit that the family of the late Leon Hess turned with the sale of the Jets to Robert Wood Johnson IV yesterday?

    The sale marks the end of an era. The Hess family has owned part of the Jets since 1963, when Leon and four partners bought the New York Titans out of bankruptcy.

    Spending only for the assets, Hess, Sonny Werblin, Phil Iselin, Townsend B. Martin and Donald Lillis put up a total of $1 million for an American Football League team that still played its home games in the Polo Grounds. They changed the name to Jets and in six seasons, a brash young quarterback named Joe Namath led the team to perhaps the greatest Super Bowl victory ever. Pro football would never be the same. Nor would the team.

    Hess's original investment of $233,000 wouldn't pay today's NFL minimum salary. Yesterday's $635,000,000 price tag represents 2,704 times what Leon originally put in

    [URL="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2000-01-12/sports/18133738_1_jet-sale-jets-playoff-leon-hess"]http://articles.nydailynews.com/2000-01-12/sports/18133738_1_jet-sale-jets-playoff-leon-hess[/URL]
    [/QUOTE]

  8. #8
    This is when Hess became the 100% owner of the team.

    [QUOTE]February 9, 1984
    Hess Buys Up Rest of Jets
    Explaining that ''the return on the investment was not that good,'' Helen Dillon said last night that she had sold her 25 percent interest in the New York Jets to Leon Hess, the oilman who now controls 100 percent of the club. Mrs. Dillon, whose late father, Donald Lillis, was one of five investors who bought the team for $1 million in 1963, would not disclose the amount she had received from Hess.

    Hess paid another 25 percent owner, the late Townsend Martin, $5 million for his share several years ago.

    Hess's latest move was part of a continuing break with long-standing traditions: In the last year, the Jets switched municipalities, head coaches, radio stations and charter airline. Although Mrs. Dillon conceded that the Jets would be grossing more money than ever with their move next season to Giants Stadium, she added: ''The return you get on football - it's just not that great. There's just no comparison to investing it in something else. This is a rich man's game, and I'm not a rich man.''

    [/QUOTE]
    So Werblin was bought out for $2 Mil, Martin $5 Mil, estate of Lillis undisclosed amt. As you can see from these transactions Hess really became the default managing owner of the team. As soon as he became that he made his deal with the State of NJ over Mommouth and the Jets moved there.

    The Jets were always a toy for Hess and we fans suffered so much for the operation of his toy.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Queens Jet Fan;3989892]
    The Jets were always a toy for Hess and we fans suffered so much for the operation of his toy.[/QUOTE]

    Al Davis had the slogan"Just win Baby"... Hess had the slogan "Lets just not look like a Horse's A$$"....:yes:

  10. #10
    Bewildered Beast
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    [QUOTE=Savage69;3989916]Al Davis had the slogan"Just win Baby"... Hess had the slogan "Lets just not look like a Horse's A$$"....:yes:[/QUOTE]
    Well, maybe that slogan kept the team from being sold to Charles DOLAN.....:eek::eek::eek:, as he is a bona fide horses ass.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=WestCoastOffensive;3989757]Where have I heard this before? A bunch of rich jackasses run off the one guy that can build a goddamn team.



    Donald Lillis. Hang his jersey in the hall of shame.[/QUOTE]

    A bunch of rich jackasses?? I can't really say about the others but what would make you say that about Leon Hess? I understand he really didn't know a good coach when he saw one, but does that make him a bad guy? I don't think so. I believe he always did what he thought was best for the Jets and that's all you can expect.

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