College dropout Wayne Huizenga started with a trash hauling company http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-clive-walford-jersey , struck gold during America’s brief love affair with VHS tapes and eventually owned three professional sports teams.
Huizenga owned Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and the world’s largest trash hauler, and was founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL Florida Panthers. He bought the NFL Miami Dolphins for $138 million in 1994.
The one thing he never got was a Super Bowl win.
Huizenga died late Thursday, according to Valerie Hinkell, his longtime assistant. He was 80.
”No one was a bigger Dolphin fan,” Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula said in a statement Friday. ”And no one wanted to see the team win more than he did. He supported the team in every way possible, and no one could have asked to work for a better owner.”
The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.
”If I have one disappointment, the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home,” Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to New York real estate billionaire Stephen Ross, who still owns the team. ”It’s something we failed to do.”
Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes’ list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation’s top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer.
”You just have to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. ”It can only happen in America.”
For a time http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-shaquem-griffin-jersey , Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokey pokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in only the franchise’s fifth year.
But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.
Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s retirement celebration in 2000, and kept a lower public profile after that.
In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins’ payroll purge.
”We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said, `You know what, I’m not going to do that,”’ Huizenga recalled. ”If I had it to do over again, I’d say, `OK, we’ll go one more year.”’
He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team’s public company.
Huizenga’s first sports love was the Dolphins – he had been a season-ticket holder since their inaugural season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.
He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.
Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrelle-pryor-sr.-jersey , Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sparano followed as coach.
In 2008, Huizenga’s final season as owner, the Dolphins had a turnaround year and won the AFC East on the final day of the regular season.
”It was a magical feeling,” Huizenga said. ”I had tears in my eyes. I kept looking away so I wouldn’t have to wipe my eyes in front of everybody.”
Miami lost in the first round of the playoffs and didn’t return to the postseason until 2016. But Huizenga won praise from such disparate personalities as Shula, Johnson, Saban and Marlins manager Jim Leyland even when they no longer worked for him.
”The classiest man I ever met,” Saban said in a statement Friday.
Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29, 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but dropped out and began his own garbage hauling business in Pompano Beach, Florida, in 1962. He would drive a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day, then shower and go out and solicit new customers in the afternoon.
One customer successfully sued Huizenga James Paxton Seattle Mariners Jersey , saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles – an allegation Huizenga always denied.
”I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid,” he told Fortune magazine in 1996.
He eventually bought out several competitors, expanding throughout South Florida. In 1968, he merged with the Chicago sanitation company his uncles owned, creating Waste Management Inc., which eventually became the world’s largest trash company. That became his method of operation – becoming the first national player in industries that had been dominated by small and local operations. He resigned from the company in 1984, taking $100 million in stock.
But retirement A woman frantically asks an emergency dispatcher to coach her on how to perform CPR during a 911 call as she and others desperately struggle in vain to save the life of Olympic skier Bode Miller’s daughter after the toddler fell into a swimming pool.
”Yes, hurry. HURRY,” the woman shouts at the beginning of the call released Tuesday.
Asked by a male dispatcher what the emergency is, she tells him a 19-month-old girl fell into a backyard pool, is not breathing and has no pulse.
”We don’t know,” the woman, who sounds near tears, replies when asked how long the girl was in the water.
”Are you doing CPR or do you need me to coach you through it?,” he asks.
”Coach me through it Martavis Bryant Color Rush Jersey , please,” she replies.
Neither her voice nor others heard on the call are identified.
”I have a small pulse. I have a small pulse,” a man says urgently at one point.
”I need an oxygen machine here. Like now,” he adds.
”Ok. They’re coming as fast as they can,” the dispatcher replies as he continues to give instructions.
”Come on, Emmy. Come on baby girl,” the woman pleads.
As the minutes tick off, the man swears as he asks where the ambulance is.
”They’re on their way. They’ve been on their way for several minutes. Ok? They’re just about there, they’ right there on the street,” he says shortly before emergency sirens are heard.
Paramedics continued to try to revive the girl as they rushed her to the hospital, said Capt. Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority, which released the 911 call.
There have been 13 drownings in Orange County so far this year, according to statistics released Tuesday by the agency. Three involved children under 5 while other victims were 15 or older.
The fire authority reposted its rules for staying safe in the water on its Facebook page Tuesday. Among them are always having adult supervision at pools where children are present, keeping pools behind a barricade that includes a locked gate and knowing CPR.
Miller, who lives in Coto de Caza, is the most decorated male U.S. skier with 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles Kareem Martin Color Rush Jersey , four world championships and six Olympic medals, including gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games in the super-combined. At the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, he was the oldest alpine skier – at age 36 – to win a medal.
It was at his fifth and final Olympics in Sochi that Miller was brought to tears as he reminisced about his younger brother, Chelone, a promising snowboarder who died at age 29 after a seizure the year before.
Since retiring from skiing he’s worked as an NBC sports analyst. His wife, Morgan, is a professional volleyball player.
On Tuesday Miller posted a recent photograph of himself holding his blonde-haired daughter, along with the message, ”Thank you for all the love and support.”
In a previous post he said, ”Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this,” adding that Emeline’s love and spirit would never be forgotten.
Miller and his wife have three older children.
Associated Press Writer Brian Melley contributed to this story.
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