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View Full Version : This one's for Pat! (aka "Is Pat Bowlen dying?" "If he dies, what then?")


DomCasual
01-31-2014, 06:40 PM
Over the years, I've started at least a couple Pat Bowlen appreciation threads (sorry, SoCal). I would argue, for a lot of reasons, that he's been one of the top three or four owners in the NFL, over the last 30+ years.

This thread isn't about that - at least, not directly.

I was just reading Rick Reilly's latest column (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10372307/john-elway-second-act) (there was a time when Rick Reilly was a great sportswriter, if you can believe it - I'm being totally serious right now), and came across this: "But there's even more at stake Sunday. If Manning and Elway can do this, they can lift not just each other up but also their owner, 69-year-old Pat Bowlen, whose health is deteriorating. 'We all want this for Mr. Bowlen,' Elway says. 'We need to get this done. And we need to get it done quick. He's in a tough spot. So, it would mean so much to all of us, especially me.'"

I've seen several media references lately about his deteriorating health. And, let's face it, starting around the time that he-who-shall-not-be-named was hired (give or take), his public appearances have ranged from slightly cringe-worthy to downright alarming. Like many of you, I watched the two America's Game episodes earlier this week (from 1997 and 1998). One of the things that really struck me, as I watched, was how young Mr. Bowlen looked. Sure, it's been fifteen years, and we've all aged in that amount of time - but he looked like he'd aged at double-speed.

So, with that in mind, here are three questions:

1) Does anyone actually know what is wrong with him? Elway saying, "He's in a tough spot right now" is the most direct indication yet that we might be talking about something far more dire than just your typical aging. He's not even 70; but he comes across as being much, much older than that.

2) Does anyone know what happens with the team when Mr. Bowlen dies? I vaguely remember reading about a bunch of children that are heirs. But, if I remember correctly, they have little-to-no interest in getting actively involved. So, is it likely that Elway would buy it? (Obviously, Elway, by himself, doesn't have the capital it would take to buy the team outright. But I'm guessing he wouldn't have trouble finding a handful of investors, including himself, that could put together the necessary cash. He'd be our own considerably-less-crazy version of Al Davis. Honestly, that's an appealing scenario! He's proven himself to be a good - maybe great - NFL executive; and he's ridiculously competitive. I have no doubt he'd always use whatever resources he had available to put the best possible team on the field.)

3) Somewhat off the subject, let's say (for argument's sake only) that Sunday turned out to be Mr. Bowlen's last Broncos game. Does he go into the Hall of Fame? He'd have an incredible resume - especially if they win on Sunday:

-2-3 Lombardi Trophies
-6 Conference Championships
-11 AFC West Championships
-16 Playoff Appearances
-289 Regular Season Wins
-19 Playoff Wins
-Fastest owner to 300 combined regular and postseason victories in NFL history.

In addition, he's chaired or co-chaired almost every NFL ownership committee, at one time or another. He was the chairman of the Broadcasting Committee when the league secured its $18 billion TV contract in 1998, which was a true, outside-the-box game changer. And he was co-chair of the Labor Committee in 2011. If I remember correctly on that one, the NFLPA specifically requested him, because the felt he would be reasonable and professional. Remember, Jerry Richardson was acting like a bombastic turd, basically guaranteeing the players that they were going to be locked out. More specifically, he mocked (gasp) Peyton Manning in front of the whole room. Bowlen was considered the voice of reason, among the ownership's front line.


Anyway, a Super Bowl seems like a good time to contemplate legacies. And at this point, it seems like everything related to the game itself has been beaten to death. So, I figured it might be a good time to contemplate Mr. Bowlen's legacy, and speculate whether he might be the fifth Bronco in the Hall of Fame. Anyone have thoughts on the three questions posed above?

-------------------------------------------------------------

tldr: Is Mr. Bowlen terminally ill? What happens to the team if he dies? Has he done enough to get himself into the Hall of Fame?

spiralism
01-31-2014, 06:43 PM
Old speculation was that it was Alzheimers wasn't it? he said like two years ago that he had already forgotten a lot of the 97 and 98 seasons...

Old Dude
01-31-2014, 06:45 PM
1. Don't know, but you're right; he doesn't look healthy.

2. Anyone but the Monforts.

3. No, he will never get into the Hall of Fame. Not in our lifetimes. This is Denver, and we don't count.

NFLBRONCO
01-31-2014, 07:14 PM
1. Don't know, but you're right; he doesn't look healthy.

2. Anyone but the Monforts.

3. No, he will never get into the Hall of Fame. Not in our lifetimes. This is Denver, and we don't count.

If #2 happens I'd be a football fan only Monforts is like MCD of ownership

Bronco Yoda
01-31-2014, 07:14 PM
I haven't seen him at all during this two week media fest.

I HATE QUEEF FANS!
01-31-2014, 07:40 PM
Bowlen didn't say hardly anything at the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation. It was very disheartening to watch.

SouthStndJunkie
01-31-2014, 07:42 PM
I'm fairly certain that it's Alzheimer's/dementia related.

His memory loss is well known and he's mentioned it himself.

My grandparent's on my mom's side both suffered from this at the same time....one from Alzheimer's and the other with dementia and he's got the exact same look that they did when they were going downhill with it.

I'm sure he's still got his good moments, but it's only going to get progressively worse....it's just a matter of how slow the drugs can drag out the process.

It would definitely be awesome to see John Elway say "This one is for Pat!" and hand the Super Bowl trophy to Pat Bowlen on Sunday Night, as this might be the last season that he's with it enough to know what's going on.

I know there are Denver fans who aren't big Pat Bowlen fans, but he's provided Denver fans with a lot more great seasons than poor seasons. The Josh McDaniels Era sucked and was a poor decision, but at least it was recognized and rectified quickly.

I live in NW Ohio and I see how shoddy ownership and management weights down franchises for decades....Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati are all excellent examples.

BroncoMan4ever
01-31-2014, 07:52 PM
1. Don't know, but you're right; he doesn't look healthy.

2. Anyone but the Monforts.

3. No, he will never get into the Hall of Fame. Not in our lifetimes. This is Denver, and we don't count.

if the Monforts wound up as the owners of the Broncos, I would officially become a Texans fan. I love the Broncos and bleed orange and blue, but if I had to watch those ****ing cheap hacks screw another franchise I love I will freak the **** out.

I HATE QUEEF FANS!
01-31-2014, 07:53 PM
SSJ

Bowlen is easily a top 10 owner in the four major sports combined. The results speak for themselves.

Old Dude
01-31-2014, 07:59 PM
if the Monforts wound up as the owners of the Broncos, I would officially become a Texans fan. I love the Broncos and bleed orange and blue, but if I had to watch those ****ing cheap hacks screw another franchise I love I will freak the **** out.

I think I'd probably defect to the Vikings or Cardinals.

SouthStndJunkie
01-31-2014, 08:01 PM
SSJ

Bowlen is easily a top 10 owner in the four major sports combined. The results speak for themselves.

It's hard to argue against 300+ wins in 30 years of ownership.

That breaks down to an average of a little over 10 wins a season for 30 seasons.

colorado jones
01-31-2014, 08:05 PM
He should get in based upon that resume.

In b4 SoCal takes a $h!t in this thread.

OBF1
01-31-2014, 08:06 PM
Are you biotches kidding me, You are already making plans to jump ship not knowing anything? Shame on you future fair weather fans. Time to take a deep look into the closest mirror. I guess everyone forgot about Bronco history, It took a butt load of seasons to end being the butt of jokes in the AFL days

broncocalijohn
01-31-2014, 08:07 PM
I would hope Elway and a group would take over if Pat passed away or sold it.
If anything is wrong with Bowlen, I would check his coffee or his hard stuff and suspect that those care packages from SoCal is what is slowing the old man down.

Orange Habit
01-31-2014, 08:20 PM
If Bowlen's health is indeed deteriorating, then I have to give him a lot of credit for ceding the day to day operations of the team to Elway and Joe Ellis in 2011, and I'm sure the only evidence he needed came from the greatest nemesis in Broncos history. The last thing the team needed was to have rudderless leadership like the Raiders did in the past 10 years or so (and hopefully counting). Having a healthy and competent owner matters more in sports than people think.

You think Cowboys fans are sick of Jerry Jones now? Just wait until he hits senility in his 80s.

Broncos_OTM
01-31-2014, 08:37 PM
Broncos for life..

Long Live Bowlen

BroncoFanDoug
01-31-2014, 08:54 PM
First of all, Bowlen goes to the HOF. 7 SB appearances (and counting)? 300 win club and fastest there? It is a slam dunk. Not even close.

I can only hope that JFE and Pat have planned to have majority ownership switch to John.

Pat Bowlen
01-31-2014, 08:55 PM
I see that our society's doomsday obsession has infected even The Great Rick Reilly.

If that pinhead were really so worried about my memory he'd tell Johnny Walker to stop making his Blue Label so deliciously affordable.

BroncoMan4ever
01-31-2014, 09:06 PM
Are you biotches kidding me, You are already making plans to jump ship not knowing anything? Shame on you future fair weather fans. Time to take a deep look into the closest mirror. I guess everyone forgot about Bronco history, It took a butt load of seasons to end being the butt of jokes in the AFL days

i understand ownership changes and with Pat's deteriorating health i have known it would happen sooner than later. i am not doing a fair weather fan thing where i only root for the team when they are good. i have been through ****ty seasons, mediocre seasons and great seasons. i am simply saying if the Monforts somehow got control of the team, the team will go from being a great franchise to what the Panthers were the last year Fox coached, when the owner dumped all the big contracts and the team tanked with no end in sight. the Monforts will coast knowing the team has a fanbase just like the Rockies that will still come out even to see ****ty performances. if that happened I could not deal with that for years to come.

it wouldn't be a few bad seasons in a rebuild, it would be continued mediocrity with no end in sight.

spdirty
01-31-2014, 09:07 PM
God I could only imagine how pissed off everyone would get if the Monforts took over. First move they'd make is fire O'Dowd from the Rockies and let Geivette handle that team. Second move would be to hire O'Dowd to be the Broncos GM because they can't think of anyone else to do the job better. Dealin' Dan would of course seek counsel from Matt Millen and away we go. After 3-5 years of misery but empty promises the Mane would die from apathy after they decide to really "invest in the team" by transforming the upper half of the stadium into a party deck so no one would have to see the tarps anymore.

Damn I'm glad the NFL has that rule in there that an NFL owner can't own other teams.

Meck77
01-31-2014, 09:09 PM
His brother John is minority owner and let's not forget Pat has 4 children. Two Sons and Two daughters.

Kaylore
01-31-2014, 09:43 PM
Old speculation was that it was Alzheimers wasn't it? he said like two years ago that he had already forgotten a lot of the 97 and 98 seasons...

http://galeri3.uludagsozluk.com/138/facepalm_227785.jpg

That's not what he meant...

bombay
01-31-2014, 09:49 PM
Great post by Dom, and yes, Mr Bowlen belongs in the Hall. No better owner.

Guess Who
01-31-2014, 09:51 PM
It's hard to argue against 300+ wins in 30 years of ownership.

That breaks down to an average of a little over 10 wins a season for 30 seasons.

Does it really, I don't believe you. Let me get my calculator.................... Ok you are right.

Guess Who
01-31-2014, 09:52 PM
i understand ownership changes and with Pat's deteriorating health i have known it would happen sooner than later. i am not doing a fair weather fan thing where i only root for the team when they are good. i have been through ****ty seasons, mediocre seasons and great seasons. i am simply saying if the Monforts somehow got control of the team, the team will go from being a great franchise to what the Panthers were the last year Fox coached, when the owner dumped all the big contracts and the team tanked with no end in sight. the Monforts will coast knowing the team has a fanbase just like the Rockies that will still come out even to see ****ty performances. if that happened I could not deal with that for years to come.

it wouldn't be a few bad seasons in a rebuild, it would be continued mediocrity with no end in sight.

Ok and this year the Panthers won their division and a playoff game...lol

orange crusher
01-31-2014, 11:17 PM
Would like to see Elway and Manning put together a group when the time comes (if Bowlen's heirs have no interest in taking it over). Pat deserves the HOF but it is the HOF process where some things just don't make sense so I'm not counting on it.

BroncoFanDoug
01-31-2014, 11:22 PM
Does anyone actually believe that Bowlen would sell the team to the muppets?

He loves the Broncos - so much of his emotional commitment and self value is tied into this team. He wants to create not only a legacy for himself while he is alive, but something that will last after. I am soooo unconcerned that this might happen.

DomCasual
01-31-2014, 11:37 PM
Are you biotches kidding me, You are already making plans to jump ship not knowing anything? Shame on you future fair weather fans. Time to take a deep look into the closest mirror. I guess everyone forgot about Bronco history, It took a butt load of seasons to end being the butt of jokes in the AFL days

Well, first, I would never stop being a Broncos fan. At this point, it's not even a choice I have (and I would be shocked if it was a realistic choice for most of you). It's a part of my DNA, I think.

But second, the mere mention of the words "Broncos" and "Monfort" in the same sentence is, well, nauseating. Fortunately, it would never, ever happen - the Monforts can't afford a "small market" baseball team. (The fact that we're considered a small market is, itself, a complete load of crap! It's a label that the Monforts and Dan O'Dowd have embraced, to help manage fans' expectations. The fact is that we have a crappy television deal - one that the Rockies negotiated and accepted. On the other hand, we're the only team in the entire time zone, and we consistently draw almost 3 million fans a season.) The ingredients to allow us to spend more are there. And when I say "spend more," I am not talking about competing with the salaries of the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees. I'm talking about bumping payroll to, say, $100 million to $110 million, which would put us right about in the middle.

But it is what it is. I waited for Denver MLB all my life. The fact that I lived in Utah by the time we got it was just cruel irony. I was still a Rockies fan from the moment I first saw their logo. Now, that means following a team in spite of the misers that run it.

The thought of those clowns owning my beloved Broncos - as impossible as that prospect might be - makes my heart hurt. If I am going to imagine unlikely scenarios, I would rather go the other way - fantasizing about maybe Stan Kroenke stepping up to buy the Rockies.

theAPAOps5
01-31-2014, 11:42 PM
Same here with my grandparents and great grandparents. I have seen that all too familiar "stare" on Bowlen that I saw hundreds of times in my Grandma. Hope its not this, to me being perfectly functional while your brain just begins to die and lose function is a horrible way to live.

I hope Sunday night, John Elway gets to hoist the Lombardi and proclaim. "THIS ONES FOR PAT"

I'm fairly certain that it's Alzheimer's/dementia related.

His memory loss is well known and he's mentioned it himself.

My grandparent's on my mom's side both suffered from this at the same time....one from Alzheimer's and the other with dementia and he's got the exact same look that they did when they were going downhill with it.

I'm sure he's still got his good moments, but it's only going to get progressively worse....it's just a matter of how slow the drugs can drag out the process.

It would definitely be awesome to see John Elway say "This one is for Pat!" and hand the Super Bowl trophy to Pat Bowlen on Sunday Night, as this might be the last season that he's with it enough to know what's going on.

I know there are Denver fans who aren't big Pat Bowlen fans, but he's provided Denver fans with a lot more great seasons than poor seasons. The Josh McDaniels Era sucked and was a poor decision, but at least it was recognized and rectified quickly.

I live in NW Ohio and I see how shoddy ownership and management weights down franchises for decades....Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati are all excellent examples.

TripleTilde
02-01-2014, 06:51 AM
It almost seems that Bowlen sees Elway as a son--or at least the son he wishes that he had.

Elway wouldn't need to put together the capital if Bowlen simply willed the Broncos to Elway.

But even if it was a Bowlen who inherited the team, I'm sure they would maintain the status quo.

TonyR
02-01-2014, 06:57 AM
Great post Dom. Bowlen has been a great owner. And yes, Reilly used to be the best. I remember reading him in the Denver Post when I was a kid.

Dr. Broncenstein
02-01-2014, 07:04 AM
He's just not very good at public speaking. Or so I am told.

B-Large
02-01-2014, 07:13 AM
This is the same situation the Bills are in, kinda. An owner who is not long for this world.

The good thing is that Denver has people with the money to buy the team. Anschutz has been rumored to wanting a team. Leprino's have the money to buy the team. It's always a little scary when an owner dies and you don't know if he kids wasn't the obligations that come with inheriting the team. But you have to believe Bowlen has had plans in place to keep the Broncs in good hands and right here at home.

Find another team? What the **** is wrong with some of you?

SouthStndJunkie
02-01-2014, 07:16 AM
It almost seems that Bowlen sees Elway as a son--or at least the son he wishes that he had.

Elway wouldn't need to put together the capital if Bowlen simply willed the Broncos to Elway.

But even if it was a Bowlen who inherited the team, I'm sure they would maintain the status quo.

I'm sure Pat Bowlen's wife and kids wouldn't be down with him giving the largest asset in the family over to John Elway.

Dr. Broncenstein
02-01-2014, 07:17 AM
http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=97425

I'll just leave this here. Not necro enough to bump.

B-Large
02-01-2014, 07:19 AM
It almost seems that Bowlen sees Elway as a son--or at least the son he wishes that he had.

Elway wouldn't need to put together the capital if Bowlen simply willed the Broncos to Elway.

But even if it was a Bowlen who inherited the team, I'm sure they would maintain the status quo.

Elways would have to pay taxes... What are the Broncos worth, a Billion? What's the inheritance tax, 55 percent? I don't know if that's how it works specifically, sure there are ways around it... And I'm sure Bowlens heirs would be concerned if Elway got a Billion dollar pro sports team when he's not family.

B-Large
02-01-2014, 07:20 AM
I'm sure Pat Bowlen's wife and kids wouldn't be down with him giving the largest asset in the family over to John Elway.

So wait- what you're telling me is you are not listing me as the benificiary on your 401k should you die... I am like a son to you.... Lol

TripleTilde
02-01-2014, 07:35 AM
Bowlen has already tried to cede ownership to Elway.

Also, this is Pats choice if he were to will the team to Elway. He can be as creative as he wants in doing so. Also, people who are wealthy don't always feel like they have to give all their wealth to their kids.

Jason in LA
02-01-2014, 08:05 AM
3) Somewhat off the subject, let's say (for argument's sake only) that Sunday turned out to be Mr. Bowlen's last Broncos game. Does he go into the Hall of Fame? He'd have an incredible resume - especially if they win on Sunday:

-2-3 Lombardi Trophies
-6 Conference Championships
-11 AFC West Championships
-16 Playoff Appearances
-289 Regular Season Wins
-19 Playoff Wins
-Fastest owner to 300 combined regular and postseason victories in NFL history.

In addition, he's chaired or co-chaired almost every NFL ownership committee, at one time or another. He was the chairman of the Broadcasting Committee when the league secured its $18 billion TV contract in 1998, which was a true, outside-the-box game changer. And he was co-chair of the Labor Committee in 2011. If I remember correctly on that one, the NFLPA specifically requested him, because the felt he would be reasonable and professional. Remember, Jerry Richardson was acting like a bombastic turd, basically guaranteeing the players that they were going to be locked out. More specifically, he mocked (gasp) Peyton Manning in front of the whole room. Bowlen was considered the voice of reason, among the ownership's front line.



The media has hyped up the Peyton Manning legacy storyline, but I take it further than that. This Super Bowl, to me, is about this franchise climbing up one more notch to becoming one of the elite franchises. Two Super Bowls are great, a third one bumps them up a notch. If they can get a fourth one with Manning, they are on that top tier. Only the Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys, Packers and Giants have four or more.

Broncomutt
02-01-2014, 08:38 AM
As much as this game is being hyped as Manning‘s legacy, the person I really want this for is Bowlen.

Thank you Mr. Bowlen.