The Denver Broncos will miss seeing the presence of owner Pat Bowlen around the organization. His personable approach was admired by many of his players and co-workers. Bowlen perhaps had the biggest impact on Broncos president Joe Ellis and vice president of football operations John Elway. Both men are committed to running the Broncos the same way Bowlen ran the team as the team is now in a Bowlen family trust.
For the typical NFL fan the stats speak for themselves. In 30 years as owner Bowlen took Denver to six Super Bowl appearances, winning two rings. Under the ownership of Bowlen the Broncos were second in winning percentage only behind the San Francisco 49ers. Denver has also only suffered five losing seasons under Bowlen.
The Broncos community will remember Bowlen as an owner who was about winning and sharing his greatest accomplishments with the Denver fanbase. Bowlen will also be known as a man who made difficult decisions while maintaining a winning core during his tenure. At the end of the 2008 season Bowlen parted ways with head coach Mike Shanahan, perhaps Denver’s most popular head coach. Bowlen also made the decision in 2011 to bring in Elway as vice president of football operations, although Elway lacked experience.
For the Broncos’ diehard fanbase, Bowlen will be remembered for many accomplishments. However, Denver fans will always remember one sentence said by Bowlen. After receiving the Lombardi Trophy after beating the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 32, Bowlen immediately handed the trophy to Elway and said the words “this one is for John.”
Other NFL owners and other owners of major professional teams in Denver can take a lesson from Bowlen. Have a vision, stay committed and always be involved and treat people with respect and be straightforward with your thoughts.
Denver must now move forward as they enter the 2014 season without a familiar and legendary face in the organization. The Broncos are just as talented as any team in the NFL and a title run is certainly not out of the question. The goal now is for the Broncos to get to Glendale and win a championship. It could be then when Ellis and Elway payback the compliment and tell the world that this one is for Pat.