Fowler Financial Review One Day Away

Wednesday could be one of the biggest days in Vikings franchise history (big words considering the recent trade of Randy Moss), as prospective owner Reggie Fowler has his finances reviewed with the NFL's fine-tooth combs. So far, almost nothing about Fowler's ability to own an NFL team has been clear.

The NFL Finance Committee will have its hands full checking into Arizona businessman Reggie Fowler when it meets Wednesday and Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.

All sorts of red flags have been raised upon further review of Fowler's business career and a resume that had enough discrepancies and fabrications to make one wonder what else isn't exactly true.

Fowler can tap dance while being grilled by the media. However, on March 9-10, he must answer the tough questions when the finance committee rolls up its sleeves to determine whether Fowler and his New York area partners Zyggi Wilf, Alan Landis and David Mandelbaum truly have what it takes (read: cash) to pull this thing off.

Fowler and/or his businesses have been sued more than 36 times in the Phoenix and Denver areas over the past 15 years, according to research by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The paper also reported that Fowler was a business partner of a man who was involved in a college basketball point-shaving scam, and has borrowed heavily against several of his commercial properties in the Phoenix area.

Most of the lawsuits against Fowler and/or his businesses involve claims of nonpayment. That could raise an eyebrow or two among billionaire NFL owners.

Fowler has refused to discuss or reveal documentation detailing his net worth. As managing partner, he will need to come up with at least 30 percent of the $625 million purchase price and prove that he can sustain the team beyond that.

Fowler's company, Spiral Inc., reportedly generated $314 million in 2003. But the information that was reported to trade magazines came from Spiral Inc., not an independent source.

Fowler also said he owns $300 million in real estate. But the amount he has borrowed against those properties could be a concern.

During the press conference to announce his purchase agreement, Fowler was confident. He said he wouldn't be sitting there if he didn't have the financial power to buy the team. Of course, Minnesotans who remember novelist Tom Clancy's press conference seven years ago will remain skeptical until Fowler shows the NFL the money.

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