The Titans’ Ownership Future: Something For Broncos Fans To Watch?

Getting ready to enjoy wild card weekend, and to see who the Broncos’ next opponent will be? Good. But before we do, let’s be reminded briefly on a tough future subject.

Last weekend on Football Night In America, Mike Florio reported something that was quite the bombshell that’s not getting the type of attention and/or scrutiny that it probably should. Repeating on his website, Florio has alleged that in the aftermath of the death of Bud Adams, an ownership war could be on the horizon between the heirs of Adams and the league office, one that could result in litigation between the Titans in the NFL. This morning, Florio doubled down on that report by claiming there are “up to six potential buyers” interested in the Titans.

Again, these are extraordinarily strong allegations by Florio, and time will tell if things get ugly for the Titans. But if they do, the Broncos and their fans may want to take keen notice, as they could face their own ownership transformation upon the death of Pat Bowlen. Most of you know the general details of the Broncos’ succession plan, so I won’t repeat them in the text here. But it might serve us well to review this detailed report from David Migoya of the Denver Post back from September of 2014. The key highlights:

  • The Broncos may have only two years to determine which of Pat Bowlen’s seven children will succeed him. Since the article was written in September 2014, that hypothetically puts us less than nine months away.
  • Per Migoya, “[i]f none of the children can prove to the trustees they have the ability to run the team” (and Joe Ellis is one of the trustees), “then the family must sell”, per John Bowlen, brother of Pat.
  • If it does come to a selling of the team, an investment group led by John Elway was suggested to have the inside track—and ownership is something Elway’s professed an interest in before.

Since that article was written, one of the seven Bowlen children, John Jr., hurt his chances in the running with an arrest on domestic violence charges.

When it comes to success in professional sports, it all starts with the owner. The Broncos have had excellent ownership for the past 30 years, but it can’t be forgotten that that long streak could be at risk in a future that’s not too far away.