A lot of people hated George Steinbrenner, including Yankee fans. But they'd be well-served to remember just how bottom-of-the-barrel the team was when he bought it for $10 million (it's now worth $2 billion or so).
The Stadium was empty, the roster deplete, the minor-league system a joke. It took The Boss a while, but he made the Yankees hateable again.
He also wasn't above spoofing himself, or being spoofed.
1. The Sports Illustrated cover
He did love his publicity.
2. On SNL. The Carl's Quik-Stop sketch has Phil Hartman as Pete, supervisor of a convenience store, pleading with his manager Carl (Steinbrenner), to fire an utterly hapless employee.
Pete: It's about Steve. He's not working out.
Carl: Well, what should we do? Do you think I should talk to him again?
Pete: No, Carl.. I think it's time you let him go.
Carl: You mean, fire him?
Pete: I don't think you have a choice. He's not doing his job, he doesn't show up half the time, and when he does he's rude to the customers.
Carl: Geez, it just seems firing so extreme. How about if we just give him a warning? A warning can be very effective, you know?
Pete: Carl, this can't continue! You've got twenty people on the payroll, and only five real jobs. Three employees are out there operating a cash register. You've got to start somewhere! I'll go get him. [ exits office ]
Carl: [ alone, worried ] How? How do you fire a man? How do you look in his eye and tell him he's no longer needed? Who am I to judge another man?
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SHOW ME HOW
3. On Seinfeld
And of course, there was Larry David's take on him.