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

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

    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 (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?

  • #2
    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...

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Old Dude View Post
        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

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        • #5
          I haven't seen him at all during this two week media fest.

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          • #6
            Bowlen didn't say hardly anything at the Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation. It was very disheartening to watch.

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            • #7
              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.
              Last edited by SouthStndJunkie; 01-31-2014, 07:46 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Old Dude View Post
                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.

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                • #9
                  SSJ

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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BroncoMan4ever View Post
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by I HATE QUEEF FANS! View Post
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        He should get in based upon that resume.

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

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                        • #13
                          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

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              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.

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