“It’s a good offer, Clarence.” Said the well dressed man opposite from him, tapping the sheaf of papers arrayed across the table. “You get a slice of the concessions and ticket sales at any game they play, plus merchandising and a vote on any future expansion teams.”
Clarence Saunders stood up and began to pace across the room, nodding his head as he listened to his accountant.
“Bottom line, the National Football League wants the Tigers. It would bring southern blood into their yankee league, and opens them up to new crowds in the South. But, the final call is yours”
“I bought the damn team on a lark.” Sighed Clarence as he paced. “It was a marketing stunt. Get the Sole Owner name out in front of the crowds. What do I know about professional sports?
“I don’t know. Loosing Piggly Wiggly to those Wall Street sharks did something to me. Made me more cautious. Scared, I guess.
“With the way the markets have been lately, and our sales numbers…maybe it’s God surreptitiously warning me to play it safe.”
He paused for a moment, silent in thought.
“No. Tell the NFL, no. They can’t have the Memphis Tigers.”
Clarence Saunders is the man that revolutionized the grocery store with Piggly Wiggly. But, he didn’t quite know how to handle what came out of that. After losing his business to predatory investors, Saunders opened a second chain of stores named Sole Owner. As a method of promoting his new business, Saunders bought the local American Football League team, the Memphis Tigers. The team, bolstered by a few recruits from the NFL, performed surprisingly well. When offered a chance to join the National Football League in 1930, Saunders passed, seeing the team as secondary to the Sole Owner stores. The AFL and the Tigers and Saunders’ Sole Owner stores all folded within the next few years. The NFL is still around and Memphis has been pining for a team ever since.