By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
The NFL lost a legend last week in the passing of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
This news is even sadder because Bowlen was scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall as a Contributor to the game. This annual ceremony is one of my favorite sporting events. It’s a shame Mr. Bowlen will not be there in person to accept the honor but it will give the league a great platform to recognize an important figure in the game.
The 75-year-old native of Wisconsin purchased the Broncos in 1984 and lead the ship on an epic run. As a Browns fan, I know this first hand!
During his tenure, the Broncos have seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl victories. They have also made the playoffs 18 times since he bought the team, making the Broncos one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past thirty years.
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
Sentiments poured in from across the league as the news of his death spread.
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
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.
Much more than a game.
Much more than a team.
Football & the Denver Broncos are a way of life.
And the man behind it all was Pat Bowlen. pic.twitter.com/976jyiAllK
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 15, 2019
A member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame, Bowlen was forced to step down as CEO back in 2014 due to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
— New York Giants (@Giants) June 14, 2019
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) June 14, 2019
Bowlen was not just involved in Denver football, his love of sports reached out across Colorado. He was the principal owner of the Denver Outlaws, a major league lacrosse team, buying the team in 2006. He was also a minority owner of the arena football team the Colorado Crush from 2003 until 2008.
Today, the Broncos organization will host an open-house tribute for the public at Bronco Stadium. While the Broncos were the bane of my ’80’s football existence, I can still appreciate the amazing job he did at the helm and I will be one of those taking a moment to pause and reflect today while Denver fans remember a great man.
Join us as we celebrate the life and career of our great owner, Pat Bowlen, with an open-house public tribute at @broncosstadium on Tuesday, June 18 from 10am-3pm.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 14, 2019
Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8