Do you have an annoying brother-in-law? Mr. Can I Help You with the Dishes, Mrs. Cleaver? Mr. Always One Better? Bill Laurie does.
Bill owns the St. Louis Blues, one of the best teams in hockey this season. Pretty cool, yes? Ought to get you some strokes at family picnics, right? Unfortunately for Bill, his brother-in-law, Stan Kroenke, owns the Colorado Avalanche, the best team in the regular season.
Stan 1, Bill 0.
Bill, 48, married one of the richest humans on the planet: Nancy Walton, daughter of Bud Walton, cofounder of Wal-Mart, is listed by Forbes as the 129th wealthiest person in the country, worth $2 billion. Not bad, yes? Well, Stan, 53, married Ann Walton, Nancy's older sister, and Ann is even better off than Nancy—the 87th richest person in the country—at $2.8 billion.
Stan 2, Bill 0.
Bill loves Missouri football and is one of the Tigers' biggest donors, though the team hasn't won a conference championship since 1969. Six years ago Stan bought 40% of the St. Louis Rams, who went out and won him a Super Bowl after the '99 season.
Stan 3, Bill 0.
Two years ago Bill was introduced at a press conference in Denver as the new owner of the Avalanche, the NBA Denver Nuggets and the Pepsi Center. He wrote a check for $400 million, started making moves—even signed Avalanche superstar Peter Forsberg to a huge, long-term contract. But then stockholders howled that the price Bill had paid was too low and the bidding process had been too fast. They reopened the bidding. Bill got such a red ass over the deal that he refused to bid again. Ten months later Stan bought the whole kit and caboodle for $450 million.
Stan 4, Bill 0.
Bill, a hoops freak, was known as Little Bill when he was the starting point guard for the 1972-73 Memphis State team that lost to Big Bill Walton and UCLA in the NCAA finals. Bill desperately wants an NBA franchise. After the Nuggets deal fell apart, he was introduced at a press conference as the new owner of the Vancouver Grizzlies, started making moves, etc. Except the other NBA owners didn't like one part of his plan—taking the team to St. Louis on the first truck out. They blocked him from moving the franchise for at least five years. Bill got such a red ass that he walked away from the deal. Stan still owns an NBA team and Bill doesn't.