John Bowlen dubs himself the “blood of the city”
The son of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen previously had a low-level position with the team, from which he’s now indefinitely suspended. But that didn’t stop him from identifying himself as the owner of the team during the incident that got him suspended.
As it turns out, Bowlen aimed even higher than “owner” when talking to a 911 dispatcher. Bowlen described himself as the “blood of the city.”
The Denver Post has obtained a copy of the 911 communication, which began with a call being placed, a dispatcher answering, a woman screaming in the background (it sounds like she says “hurry please help!”), and the phone being hung up.
When the dispatcher called back, Bowlen answered the phone and immediately said, “This is the owner of the Denver Broncos,” in a voice that sounded like the first line of the outgoing message on an answering machine.
Bowlen then said “everything is completely fine,” adding that his girlfriend is leaving.
The dispatcher asked why she called 911, and Bowlen said, “Because she’s crazy.” (It comes out “craaaazy”.)
“If she’s leaving, why is she screaming in the background?”
“Because she’s crazy.” (Again, it comes out “craaaazy”.)
The dispatcher pointed out that it’s “kind of a big deal” when a female calls 911, which prompted this gem from Bowlen: “She has had seven beers. She is 95 pounds and she is being picked up by another male who she works out with. She is fine, and she is trying to cause a problem. As the blood -- as the blood -- as the blood of the city, I’m telling you right now, nothing is wrong. And she is leaving my house.”
Bowlen added, “I’m sober [editor’s note: his manner of speech during the 911 call, along with his mugshot pose, would suggest otherwise], I’m a man of my word, I’m a man of the city, a friend of the mayor, and everybody knows exactly who I am, and I’ve been going through a lot because I’ve been taking care of my dad.”
He ends the call with a flourish: “She is leaving right now, nothing is wrong, I love you guys. Bye-bye.”
Bowlen’s smooth-operator attempt with the 911 operator didn’t stop him from being arrested. And it didn’t stop Bowlen from being suspended indefinitely by the team. And it shouldn’t stop him from being subject to discipline under the Personal Conduct Policy.
Regardless of status or last name, all non-players need to be treated the same way players would be treated under the Personal Conduct Policy. Last month, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith suggested that a double standard exists between the handling of players and owners, citing three instances on each side of the labor-management divide.
This case of domestic violence involving the son of a prominent owner who also is employed by the team and who could be in line for more significant roles in the future gives the NFL the first potential apples-to-apples comparison between player and non-player discipline. Plenty of people will be paying very close attention to how it unfolds.