Arthur Blank is a wanted (WAWW-NEE-EEEED) man around town. The Atlanta Falcons owner has become such a stabilizing figure that he's somehow made the city's worst long-term sports franchise its most championship-poised, and fans of other teams want in.
Via Bird Watchers Anonymous, the website ArthurBlankBuyTheThrashers.com lays out a plea for Blank to buy the [GUESS WHICH TEAM], beginning, "rarely does an opportunity to be a hero occur more than once in a lifetime." Heavy! It's actually a detailed, multi-page call-to-action for hockey fans all around the state, all revolving around getting Blank involved.
Less urgently, Talking Chop's Martin Gandy has said that Blank would be his first choice if the opportunity ever arose for the Atlanta Braves to shake free of Liberty Media. Peachtree Hoops hasn't officially requested Blank as a replacement for the Spirit Group, but their Atlanta Hawks fan commenters have in many separate discussions.
The reasons why are obvious. Besides just producing a winning team that stays out of trouble, takes community work very seriously, and is doing everything it can to educate Atlanta sports fans on punctuality, Blank also provides a respectable representative of the team and city. He's a person with a name and a face -- that alone sets him apart from Atlanta's other sports ownership.
The highest compliment any sports fan can raise about team ownership: this guy gives a s***.
He hasn't been perfect, but trusting Michael Vick is far more understandable and less embarrassing than suing himself for a half-decade, as Hawks ownership saw fit to do, and he's not the only boss to have fallen prey to Jim Mora's and Bobby Petrino's well-concealed charms. His push for a new stadium has been more muted than the average NFL owner's, and though he's on the scarier side of the NFL lockout negotiations, you haven't heard anything about him showing his hind end like Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson allegedly did.
Blank charging in to save every other team is not likely to happen, though not because of any NFL rule, as is commonly rumored. Blank is allowed to own another franchise so long as it's based in Atlanta. But as attentive as Blank is to the Falcons, I can't imagine he'd have time to devote similar energies to another franchise -- though it's at least worthwhile to note this town has one owner fans of teams in other cities are jealous of. We have not been able to say that very often.
SOLUTION: If our other teams are ever able to become owned by an identifiable human, rather than a cluster of suits, Blank could certainly offer consultation.
And while you're at it, Mr. Blank, we need to talk about Atlanta Motor Speedway's Labor Day race and Kennesaw State's football program.