The years that Miami car dealer Norman Braman owned the Eagles had their Buddy Ryan fun moments but aren't remembered especially fondly -- he didn't have the made-in-Philly bravado of his predecessor Leonard Tose, and none of his teams even made it to the Super Bowl as did Tose's squad in 1980-81 and the 2004-05 Birds of Jeff Lurie. But the biggest complaint against wealthy Miami car dealer Norman Braman was that, well, he may have been born in West Philly but now was a wealthy car dealer from Miami, bleeding not Eagles' green but blue-blood blue.
More than 14 years after selling the Eagles, Braman is still a Miami car dealer -- but apparently he's not as wealthy as he thought he was last week.
It turns out that, according to the New York Times, Braman was one of the investors who lost money by investing in what turned out to be a scam fund run by now-disgraced Wall Street legend Bernard Madoff. The Times says that Braman had invested "an undetermined amount" of money in the Madoff fund -- which handled as much as $50 billion as it seemingly delivered fabulous returns to its investors, but in fact was a fairly unsophisticated Ponzi scheme. Madoff simply paid off the old investors with deposits from the newer ones.
Whatever mixed feelings that Philly sports fans might have in Bramin's involvement, we may all be finding some schadenfreude in one of the other names listed among the big losers: Sterling Equities. That would be the firm of one Fred Wilpon, chief owner of the New York Mets. So now the Mets are backed by money from a Ponzi scheme and will play in a ballpark, Citi Field, that had to be bailed out by the U.S. taxpayers. Guess the Mets are financial "choke artists" as well.
Note: Revised slightly from original post to reflect West Philly origins.