Fowler Out As Lead Guy But The Only Color Here is Green’ Long Green

By Gregory Moore
Updated: May 11, 2005

Arizona businessman Reggie Fowler failed to get the 30% needed to be a majority partner in his ownership group so he will be a minority partner.

SAN ANTONIO — Before anyone in the Black community reaches for the race card deck hidden up under Aunt Tuppy�s photo on the small television set, there was no racial decision made against Reggie Fowler in owning an NFL team. What has happened is a business transaction that has been tweaked. It was tweaked because Fowler’s cash flow was a little bit watery and for the NFL that is something they couldn’t have. So being the smart businessman, Fowler simply switched roles with one of his investors in his buying group. Zygmunt Wilf, a New Jersey real estate developer, will be taking over the lead role in the $625 million purchase of the Minnesota Vikings. Fowler, who was initially the front man, will still be a part of the group but because of his inability to raise the 30% ($187,500,000.00) necessary to be the majority owner.

So it seems that for now there will not be an African American who will be a majority owner of an NFL team and maybe that’s a sad footnote for some but for many this should be a reality. While the civil rights era has indeed been a catalyst for change, not even it can make the change in a world where race is no barrier and the only color that everyone sees is green. Fowler is a millionaire and while he may not be a millionaire in the billionaire boy’s club of NFL owners, he will still be a part of the ownership group that will eventually own the Vikings. What Fowler may want to do is to shore up his financial structure a little bit more and eventually, if that is his wish, slowly buy control from Wilt. In the meantime let’s all just take a wait and see attitude during this process. One day we will see a Black billionaire own an NFL team. Right now it just doesn’t seem to be the time.


Kellen Winslow, Jr.

Kellen Winslow, Jr. has been one of a different breed ever since he made the “I’m a soldier” statement last season after a football game. The brash tight end for the Cleveland Browns is suffering from injuries he received during a motorcycle incident. Winslow, who is 21, bought a powerful motorcycle and didn’t heed the advice of getting riding lessons. Well maybe what he should have done was read his contract a little more thoroughly because I have no doubt that his NFL contract has a clause that prohibits him from riding a motorcycle of a certain size. He now has to rehabilitate a knee and leg because he wanted to act foolishly and not listen to those who know better. Well maybe the lesson Winslow needs to learn is something Jay Williams learned during his second year in the NBA.

If you don’t remember what happened, the former Duke star, suffered career ending injuries when he crashed his new sports bike back in June of 2003. That was shortly after his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls. During the whole summer of that year there was quite a bit speculation as to whether the Bulls were going to exercise the clause in Williams’ contract that forbade him for partaking in dangerous activity. In the end, a buyout was agreed upon and Williams has gone on to do some small work for ESPN and other networks. However it was one mistake that cost him millions and millions of dollars and it was all because he wanted to ride in the wind.

Ironically Winslow suffered a leg injury as well but it is not as serious as that of Williams’ accident in 2003. Also at least Williams was smart enough to wear a helmet; Winslow did not and he was going 35 mph. Fortunately for Winslow he landed in grass and it cushioned the impact. However one has to wonder about the reasoning for purchasing a very powerful bike as your first one to very questionable. Just for clarification, when I mention a powerful bike, I am talking about anything that is above 599cc in the sports bike class and anything that is above 600cc in the cruiser class. If I had to guess what Winslow bought, it would have to be a bike that is in the 1000cc range and was a cruiser because that’s the cool thing to own right now; something big and loud when you riding in Cleveland during the summer.

The lesson Winslow needs to learn is a financial lesson and it needs to be something that even the player’s association understands is right and just. We’re not talking anything major because that contract he allowed the Poston brothers to negotiate for him is punishment enough. But $20,000 to $50,000 would be a nice little reminder as to why you should listen to those who are older and wiser than you. If he has learned anything right now, I am sure that he will be more careful as to when he rides and he will take those lessons that someone suggested to him prior to purchasing the bike.


Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds is about to meet a demise that we all have seen coming but because of his warped sense of loyalty, he has now found himself looking at another agency who will be seeing if he lied on his taxes. He has allowed himself to be operated on by a doctor who has been sanctioned twice by the California medical board. It just so happens that this doctor is the doctor who operated on Bonds a second time and it was from that operation where an infection has ensued and now Bonds has had a third surgery to correct that problem. In the meantime he still is friends with Greg Anderson, an individual who is so at the center of the BALCO investigation that even Barry’s friends may be telling him to back off. Is Bonds listening? Evidently not but he is about to reap what he sowed.

If you haven’t read by now, Bonds now has his employer, Major League Baseball, doing a small inquiry about the money he made during signing shows and other baseball related trade shows. Right now they are hampered by the federal investigation. Well maybe the league is just hoping that the feds do the dirty work that they don’t want to do. Can you see Bud Selig telling Bonds that he is no longer wanted in the league when he is just thirteen homeruns short of tying Babe Ruth? Talk about a public relations nightmare. Yet this could very well be the case because Bonds has made enemies no matter what year it was. He has alienated so many members of the press that if he is ever indicted, there will be a public witch-hunt that would shake whatever millions he has saved up from the very foundation of his pristine family life. But that’s price you pay for being pestilent, obstinate and just down right rude.