Down on the turf of Monster Park, the supposed face of everything wrong with the San Francisco 49ers is hidden behind a pair of Ray-Bans, half-watching as the collection of undervalued assets and overpriced commodities known as a professional football team goes briskly about the business of warming up. Paraag Marathe, the Niners' director of football operations, a handsome 28-year-old wearing a crisp navy blue suit and looking like something out of Mergers & Acquisitions, stands on the sideline next to the team's bench, talking about things like "inflows and outflows" and "constrained resources." He is explaining, in his bright and energetic manner, his approach to managing the budget and personnel of a National Football League franchise, while the assorted personnel of one such franchise, the Arizona Cardinals, grunt and grab themselves in front of him. "It's like a private equity fund," Marathe says -- and to know how far the NFL has come and where the league is today, one need only imagine the same words issuing from Vince... More >>>