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Where are you Pat Bowlen?

By Dave Bruning

The Denver Broncos are in disarray. Their performance off the field is almost as embarrassing as their performance on the field. A Spy gate II sandwich bookended by San Diego kicking sand in Denver’s face and that offensive juggernaut St. Louis dropping 36 points on a defense that can only be described as a sieve are the latest examples. Denver owner Pat Bowlen remains sadly silent and unavailable. Where are you Pat Bowlen?

It has not been acknowledged fully, but it appears Bowlen is struggling with memory loss. Rumors have been circulating since Bowlen acknowledged to Denver Post columnist Woody Paige last year some trouble remembering details of Denver’s championship seasons. If Bowlen is ill, all of the Denver Broncos community, hell, all of the NFL community, would be terribly saddened by the confirmation of this news.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have become the laughing stock of the NFL. The recent acknowledgement of taping the San Francisco 49ers walk through practice in London is the latest bad news/poor decision involving Denver. Their play on the field is ugly and their actions off the field show very little quality leadership.

The Pat Bowlen I watched guide Denver to 2 Super Bowl titles would not sit back idly and watch his team fall apart. His retreat from the public eye is eerily similar to that of now deceased New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. There are two differences, however. Steinbrenner’s failing health was definitely more common knowledge, and his sons, Hank and Hal, had been groomed to replace him. The extent of Bowlen’s health issues is not fully known, and clearly Denver is operating in a leadership vacuum.

Bowlen and Steinbrenner were very similar. Both were strong personalities and leaders driven to see their teams succeed. The inability to effectively run their teams is the only reason I can fathom for ceding control to another person.

Many decisions made by Denver in the last two years are under scrutiny. Hiring Josh McDaniels, drafting Tim Tebow, trading Jay Cutler and Peyton Hillis and questionable draft picks in general are just a start to a dirty laundry list of poor moves made by Denver. Was Bowlen in charge of these decisions? I honestly don’t know.

Those close to Bowlen have closed ranks around him and it is difficult to get any information regarding his status. His last interview was more than nine months ago. Once again, if he is ill, my heart goes out to him and his family and I wish him well. If he is ill and not capable of running the Broncos, there is a potential owner waiting in the wings who bleeds Bronco orange. His name is John Elway.

Transition of ownership or shared ownership with Elway is a step in the right direction to restoring the Denver Broncos to their rightful place in the upper echelon of the NFL. Step 1A is the dismissal of McDaniels as head coach. The on and off the field embarrassment is not part of the rich tradition of this prideful franchise. Elway could facilitate this change quickly.

Elway deeply desires to be an owner and has experience as an owner with the Colorado Crush of the Arena League. I also think Elway is savvy enough to surround himself with experienced football minds and bring order to a situation in total chaos. Elway is rumored to be involved with the return of the NFL to Los Angeles. It would be a shame to see him revive football in Los Angeles instead of Denver.

Now is the time to steady the shaky leadership in Denver. Pat Bowlen has been a great leader for the Denver Broncos; Josh McDaniels has not. It’s another two minute warning and the Broncos are down by a touchdown. John Elway was and is the man to save Denver again.

1 comment:

  1. I have also heard about the possible illness of Bolan and am more sickened by that news than anything I've seen on the field for the Broncos. He has truly earned the right to do what he will with the team, but the Bolan I have seen over the years would like to see his once proud franchise returned to glory rather than a series of cover ups, blown drafts and vindictive trades. As much as I miss some of the great rivalries in the AFC West, I really miss competitive Denver, Oakland, KC franchises. Denver is the only one of the three that isn't heading in the right direction.

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