Go Back  CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion > Off Topic > Off Topic
Reload this Page >

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at age 75

Off Topic Off Topic | Non-Corvette

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at age 75

Old 06-14-2019, 08:46 AM
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
RAMMAN's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2006
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 8,179
Received 7 Likes on 3 Posts
St. Jude Donor '16-'17-'18-'19
Default Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at age 75

RIP Pat, you were great for Denver and the Denver Broncos.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos owner who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar television deals, died late Thursday night, just under two months before his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 75.

In a statement posted on the Broncos' website, Bowlen's family said he died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones. They did not specify a cause of death. Bowlen had battled Alzheimer's for several years.

Bowlen was the first owner in NFL history to oversee a team that won 300 games — including playoffs — in three decades. He had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons, and Denver is 354-240-1 since he bought the club in 1984.

Under his stewardship, the Broncos won Super Bowls in 1998, '99 and 2016.

Following their 31-24 victory over Green Bay for the franchise's first championship, Bowlen famously hollered, "This one's for John!" Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway called it the greatest moment of his playing career.

Elway the executive returned the favor on Feb. 7, 2016, when he jabbed the silver Lombardi Trophy into the sky after Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 and declared, "This one's for Pat."

That came 18 months after Alzheimer's forced Bowlen to step down from his daily duties running the team.

"I'm just glad I had the opportunity," Elway told The Associated Press in the victorious locker room that night. "I didn't want to think about it too much because I didn't want to jinx anything. But I was waiting for the day that I was able to do that. So, I was glad and really thrilled that I was able to do that and we'll take that trophy over to Pat next week and let him cherish it."

Elway delivered the prize to Bowlen's home back in Denver. And in the Mile High City, more than a million fans packed downtown for a victory parade 17 years after Elway capped his remarkable playing career by leading the Broncos to back-to-back titles.

Super Bowl 50 was the Broncos' eighth trip to the big game, seven under Bowlen's watch, and all of those with Elway's help — first as his QB and then as his GM.

Bowlen's wife, Annabel, who recently announced that she, too, is battling Alzheimer's, and their children were on hand to accept the Lombardi Trophy on his behalf in Santa Clara, California.

"His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans," Bowlen's family said in their statement Thursday night. "Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight."

During his 35 seasons as owner, Bowlen's teams compiled a .596 winning percentage — tied for second-best in the NFL during that span. Among professional franchises in the four major North American sports, only the San Antonio Spurs, New England Patriots and Los Angeles Lakers were better, according to the Broncos.

Bowlen relished working behind the scenes and shied away from the spotlight. In the words of former coach Mike Shanahan, "Pat just wanted to be one of the guys."

"That's why I think he was so beloved by so many people, including myself," Shanahan said. "And you also knew that he would give anything to make your football team better or at least get a chance at the Super Bowl. At that time you would say every ounce that he had — I should say every penny he had — he wanted to go into giving the football team a Super Bowl. That was his No. 1 priority. That was it. It was not trying to buy different companies and trying to make more money. His goal was winning a Super Bowl."

Former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said: "Most guys would tell you that played for him or worked for him that he was not only our owner, but he was your friend."

Bowlen served as a sounding board for NFL Commissioners Pete Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell. He was crucial to the league's growth as a member of 15 NFL committees, including co-chairing the NFL Management Council and working on network TV contracts, including the league's ground-breaking $18 billion deal in 1998.

"Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos. He was also an extraordinary leader at the league level during a key period," Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement. "With the fans, Pat felt in many ways that his team belonged to them and approached things with that in mind. There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen."

Bowlen had a deep appreciation for his players, whether or not they were stars, and it's not unusual to see ex-Broncos watching practice.

"When I retired, Mr. B. told me I was welcome anytime at team headquarters," said Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. "He said I didn't need a pass, either: 'Your face is your credential.'"

Ownership of the franchise is held in a trust Bowlen set up more than a decade ago in hopes one of his seven children will one day run the team. Until then, Ellis, one of three trustees, is doing so in a "What would Pat do?" sort of way.

Although daughter Brittany is hoping to one day take over the team, the succession plan and the trustees' oversight of Bowlen's estate has been challenged in state district court in the last year by some members of the Bowlen family.

Those who worked for Bowlen remember a man who put production ahead of profits; trained tirelessly for triathlons; fostered a winning atmosphere from the lobby to the locker room; and was always quick with a compliment and sure to couch his criticism.

"Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos," Ellis said. "Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner — he was a Hall of Fame person."

Bowlen flashed his competitive streak whether on the road conducting league business, on the sideline watching his team or on the StairMaster drenched in sweat.

It was evident in his dislike for Peyton Manning when the quarterback played for Indianapolis before joining the Broncos in 2012.

"I get it, and I respect that," Manning said, adding that Bowlen flew back to Denver from his offseason home in Hawaii to welcome him when he signed with the Broncos, and they were friends afterward.

"If there was a way for him to compete against what he's going through," former defensive end Alfred Williams said a couple of summers ago, "he'd beat that damn disease every time."

Bowlen is survived by his wife, Annabel, and seven children: Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
RAMMAN is online now  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:16 AM
AE Guy
CF Senior Member
AE Guy's Avatar
Member Since: Jul 2016
Location: The Steel City, Colorful Colorado
Posts: 14,142
Received 694 Likes on 629 Posts

AE Guy is online now  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:38 AM
CF Senior Member
chaase's Avatar
Member Since: May 2003
Location: East Meadow NY
Posts: 23,297
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
St. Jude Donor '12

He sounded like a great owner and guy. I had heard this particular story before and I thought it was great.

"For Mark Schlereth, the story is about a practical joke. One day in the mid-1990s, Schlereth rolled through the weight room and noticed that Barney Chavous, the team's assistant offensive line and strength coach, had closed his office door. Schlereth, a lineman, assumed Chavous was taking a power nap before practice.

So Schlereth stuck seven or eight pennies in the crack between Chavous' door and the frame, locking Chavous in. Then Schlereth called Bowlen.

"I said, 'Hey, this is Mark downstairs,'" Schlereth said. "He said, 'Yeah, what can I do for you?' I said, 'Listen, I've got Barney pennied in his office. Call him and say you've got to see him immediately.' He said, 'I can't wait.'"

Bowlen called Chavous, who leapt up not wanting to keep the owner waiting, and then realized he was locked in. Chavous then started "dog-cussing us," Schlereth said.

"And Mr. Bowlen comes sprinting down just to be a part of the festivities, because he thinks it's the funniest thing ever," Schlereth said. "He couldn't wait to call, couldn't wait to hang up and then he's sprinting down these stairs to be part of the shenanigans. He liked to have fun."
chaase is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 09:42 AM
Support Corvetteforum!
Steve_R's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 2012
Location: On the beach
Posts: 27,956
Received 2,175 Likes on 981 Posts
St. Jude Donor '12-'13-'14-'15-'16-'17

He was a class act. RIP Pat.
Steve_R is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 10:29 AM
CF Senior Member
09Z06pj's Avatar
Member Since: Jan 2011
Location: Fresno CA
Posts: 7,623
Likes: 0
Received 473 Likes on 426 Posts

I've read that the last several years were very difficult for him as related to his health. It's sad but at least he is no longer suffering and in pain. Rest in peace, Mr. Bowlen.
09Z06pj is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 10:44 AM
CF Senior Member
my02cents's Avatar
Member Since: Jan 2002
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 6,435
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts

Sad. RIP Mr. Bowlen, as a native Coloradan and avid Bronco fan I was looking forward to him getting his enshrinement into the HoF. This season will be for him!
my02cents is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 10:48 AM
CF Senior Member
Tormania's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 1999
Location: San Antonio Texas
Posts: 26,797
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 5 Posts
Cruise-In IV Veteran
Cruise-In V Veteran


Makes the Hall of Fame Enshrinement this August an even more heart-felt and well deserved honor. His last few years have been very difficult, he's in a better place now to watch all future Broncos games.
Tormania is online now  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:00 AM
Little Red L98
Goon Squad BS Detector
Support Corvetteforum!
Little Red L98's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 2012
Location: OMAHA!
Posts: 33,466
Received 147 Likes on 76 Posts
2018 C4 of the Year Winner
2017 C4 of the Year Finalist
St. Jude Donor '15, '17

Although he hadn’t been active for a number of years, this is a huge loss for the league.
Little Red L98 is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:17 AM
CF Senior Member
Vette5311's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 2018
Location: Golden Colorado
Posts: 1,380
Received 167 Likes on 157 Posts
Default So sad......

.....more Super bowl appearances than losing seasons during his ownership. Truly a great leader and excellent owner. Most don’t realize his role in bringing big TV money to the NFL. Will be greatly missed by all here in Denver. RIP.
Vette5311 is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:28 AM
CF Senior Member
scottycards's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 2007
Location: Constitutional Peasant Tucson AZ
Posts: 13,214
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
St. Jude Donor '08-'09-'10-'11-'12-'13

He was a great owner.

I hope his kids figure out how to handle what's left. There's been a fair amount of drama around the Broncos ownership. Pat was a class guy, fur coat and all.

It was his time, though. He had very little quality of life.

RIP Mr. Bowlen.
scottycards is offline  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:02 PM
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
RAMMAN's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2006
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 8,179
Received 7 Likes on 3 Posts
St. Jude Donor '16-'17-'18-'19

Originally Posted by scottycards View Post
He was a great owner.

I hope his kids figure out how to handle what's left. There's been a fair amount of drama around the Broncos ownership. Pat was a class guy, fur coat and all.

It was his time, though. He had very little quality of life.

RIP Mr. Bowlen.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Bowlen family ends up selling the Denver Bronco’s after the end of next season.

RAMMAN is online now  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:05 PM
CF Senior Member
markyerger's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 2002
Location: You are here to build strength, not demonstrate it
Posts: 8,832
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
St. Jude Donor '08

Would an oriental happy ending joke be inappropriate?
markyerger is online now  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:24 PM
CF Senior Member
1bdvet's Avatar
Member Since: May 2000
Location: Plantation Florida USAF(Retired) 1966-1990
Posts: 34,676
Received 1,425 Likes on 1,317 Posts
U.S. Air Force
St. Jude Donor '05-'06-'07-'08-'09-'10-'11-'12-'13-'14-'15-'16-'17-'18-'19
NCM Sinkhole Donor


1bdvet is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dies at age 75

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: