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Volume 24 No. 156
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Up In The Heir: Scrutiny Building Around Bowlen's Successor With Broncos

With Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen stepping down due to his battle with Alzheimer's disease, "there is emphasis on which progeny will emerge to serve the Bowlen Family Trust" as his successor, and Bowlen's seven children have now been "thrust into public spotlight and scrutiny," according to Woody Paige of the DENVER POST. Bowlen has two daughters by former wife Sally Parker. Beth Bowlen Wallace serves as Broncos Dir of Special Projects & Events, while Amie Bowlen Klemmer "lives in Hawaii and is married to a prominent doctor." Pat and his current wife Annabel Bowlen have two sons: Patrick Bowlen III and John Bowlen Jr. Patrick serves as Broncos Dir of Facilities, while Johnny Bowlen was recruited to the Univ. of San Diego as a defensive back but "gave up football because of an injury." Johnny received an MBA in sports and entertainment from the Univ. of Denver and is in "executive training with the Broncos." Pat Bowlen also has three daughters with his current wife: Brittany Bowlen "works in the 'junior rotation' at the NFL offices" in N.Y.; Annabel Bowlen is in college; and the youngest, Christianna Bowlen, "attends a suburban Denver high school" (DENVER POST, 7/27).

MUM IS THE WORD: The DENVER POST's Greg Moore offered insight on how the paper secured the "super scoop" on Bowlen's announcement. People in the Broncos organization "privately acknowledged" to the Post that Bowlen "was ill, but insisted it was up to Bowlen and his family to reveal what was going on and implored us to respect his privacy." Moore: "I don’t want to get into exactly what the trigger was for the team to reveal his condition and the change of management. But I believe that the respect The Post showed for Bowlen’s privacy helped the family decide to release the information to The Post exclusively." The Broncos, "in addition to wanting to reward the Post for its determination and discretion, also wanted to control the news cycle." Rather than "have that story break at 10 p.m. Tuesday night and by the next morning the story would be focused on what this meant for the Broncos, the team wanted the moment frozen in time" (DENVER, 7/25).

: Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said that with the recent turnover of ownership in the league, it is a "'critical' time for the NFL to make sure the right people are running teams." Kraft: "Right now, the only thing that can mess up the NFL is ownership. You have to be very conscious of people we bring in, and they’re people that are passionate about their franchise the way Pat was, about winning and doing it the right way." He added of the Bills' ownership changing hands after the death of Ralph Wilson Jr., "I think we’d love to see someone really strong who wants to keep the team in Buffalo. That’s a tremendous fan base up there that is deserving of a good owner who understands how important the franchise is to the region” (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/28).