Truth & Rumors > NFL

Jerry Jones' dad prevented him from buying Chargers

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08:14 AM ET 09.29 | He was a 23-year-old kid fresh out of the University of Arkansas, brimming with the exuberance of youth but loaded down with a net worth of zero, when the idea struck that he could somehow buy a professional football team. The year was 1966, and the upstart American Football League appeared to offer the best opportunity, not that he was ruling out the more established NFL. "The question was," Jerry Jones recalled last week, "how could I finagle and figure out a way to make it happen?" Jones' interest quickly shifted cross-country when he learned the San Diego Chargers were for sale. Chargers majority owner Barron Hilton was more concerned with the health of the family hotel empire than a football team that bled money faster than he could sell rooms. Jones agreed to an asking price of $5.8 million. The money would come from a group of investors already committed to putting him in the pizza business in Missouri. Hilton especially liked that Jones had produced a $1 million line of guaranteed credit the hotel magnate insisted be brought to their first meeting in Chicago. The story made its way back to Missouri, where Pat Jones, a former grocer in Little Rock, had built himself a thriving insurance business. Pat Jones wasn't interested in investing the money, in loaning the money and certainly not in gifting it. He convinced his son he shouldn't be chasing rainbows. For good measure, the father told a member of the inquiring media that he feared his son would not amount to anything because all he did was dream about pro football. Defeated, Jones notified Hilton that he would have to withdraw his offer. He dutifully went back to selling insurance.

Dallas Morning News

Jerry Jones, Getty Images Jerry Jones, Getty Images
September 29, 2013  08:31 AM ET

"He dutifully went back to selling insurance."

And now, nearly 40 years later, all he's selling is hope.

September 29, 2013  08:36 AM ET

He's not even selling that! He's the Grim Reeper of football!

Comment #3 has been removed
September 29, 2013  08:56 AM ET

I'm betting a lot of Bolts fans send Pat Christmas cards every year.

September 29, 2013  09:16 AM ET

I almost bought a Charger once too. Settled on a Buick Wildcat convertible and never looked back.

September 29, 2013  09:21 AM ET

A lot of thankful Chargers fans out there.

September 29, 2013  09:26 AM ET

I got as far as for his seventh birthday his father gave him a hammer and a nail and sent him out in the world to be on his own and told him " build it and they will come." Just too much to read so early.

September 29, 2013  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

A lot of thankful Chargers fans out there.

Any guesses as to what he a mouth full of in the photo?

September 29, 2013  09:27 AM ET

*he has

September 29, 2013  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

A lot of thankful Chargers fans out there.

This ^^^

September 29, 2013  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

This ^^^

DA BEARS!!

September 29, 2013  09:47 AM ET

Forbes values the Chargers at $949 million with annual revenues around $250 million. I'd say Jerry's dad was a bit of a dumb***. Missed the boat on that one for sure.

September 29, 2013  09:58 AM ET

It's a shame his Dad isn't around the stop him now....

September 29, 2013  10:20 AM ET

Did Jones' oil $ come really come from selling insurance?

September 29, 2013  10:27 AM ET

His Dad knew him best.... He feared, even in 1966, that young Jones's Cowboys wouldn't amount anything...

September 29, 2013  10:32 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I almost bought a Charger once too. Settled on a Buick Wildcat convertible and never looked back.

Those Hemi-Chargers were hot back in my day.

September 29, 2013  10:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Those Hemi-Chargers were hot back in my day.

Yes they were, but limited back seat maneuver room. Not Drive In Freindly.

September 29, 2013  10:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

DA BEARS!!

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!

Supposedly, the Raiders are starting Matt Flynn today...

September 29, 2013  10:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Yes they were, but limited back seat maneuver room. Not Drive In Freindly.

A Nova SS with a hatch back has lots of room.

 
September 29, 2013  11:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Yes they were, but limited back seat maneuver room. Not Drive In Freindly.

Limited? They had bucket seats in the back with a huge, unmovable arm rest between them. I believe those cars were listed in want ads under Birth Control.

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