By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
Pat Bowlen shaped the Broncos into one of the most storied franchises in NFL history during his 35 years as an owner. As a Browns fan, believe me when I say that I’ve seen first hand what his impact was on those teams!
With Bowlen at helm, the Broncos have advanced to playoffs 18 times, won 13 division crowns, seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl titles (XXXII, XXXIII and 50).
Sadly, he passed away on June 13th, 2019, but football fans will have the chance to honor him at this years Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival where he is a member of the Class of 2019.
As Chair of NFL Broadcast Committee was responsible for negotiations of $18 billion TV contract, the most lucrative in single-sport history. He was a member of numerous NFL committees over his career including co-chair of NFL Management Council Executive Committee and was a key figure to securing NFL’s labor and TV contracts.
“I believe during his years as chairman of the TV Committee, Pat Bowlen had more to do with how
we watch football in America right now than anybody else in the league. His tough and direct manner
made him someone who you just instantly had to respect.” – Former Chairman of NBC Sports Dick
Ebersol & 2019 recipient of Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award
Bowlen was elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2015 and is a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. His outstanding contributions to the Broncos as well as the National Football League established him as one of the greatest and most influential contributors in league history.
The Broncos have sold out every game since Week 1 of 1970 and under Bowlen’s leadership, the team has more than 400 consecutive sellouts. Bowlen was the first owner in NFL history to achieve 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos had an incredible run of success.
Pat Bowlen’s legacy includes, among many other accolades, a spot in the Hall of Fame and a trio of Vince Lombardi trophies. pic.twitter.com/5ZbQI3UjrC
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) June 14, 2019
After Mr. Bowlen passed away, sentiments poured in from across the league as the news of his death spread. John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, and Terrell Davis are among the hall of fame players to be a Bronco during Bowlen’s ownership of the team.
I just woke up to the the very sad news of my friend & confidant Mr.B passing away.The world has lost a great man/legend.My heart & prayers to the Bowlen family.
Mr.B, I’ll never forget the impact you had on my life.I can’t thank you enough. Rest In Peace, TD#patbowlen #broncos pic.twitter.com/93x25GFOcr
— Terrell Davis (@Terrell_Davis) June 14, 2019
While is always makes me a bit sad when an enshrinee passes away before he can take his place on the stage and proudly don his Gold Jacket, I think Mr. Bowlen would have preferred it this way. He was more than happy to make all of his behind-the-scenes moves and let the players and coaches be in the fore-front.
“I would much rather operate behind the curtain and let the athletes and coaches be the entertainment.
I think that’s the way that it should be.” – Pat Bowlen
And I guess that is as good a place as any to end this story.
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8