The Denver Broncos, at least from an ownership standpoint, have been one of the most stable franchises in the NFL, if not all of sports.
That’s mostly because of owner Pat Bowlen, whose owner the team since 1984. Although initial reports suggest the team will stay in the Bowlen family, at least in the short term, the passing of Pat Bowlen is definitely the team was not expecting.
After announcing his death, the Denver Broncos released a statement from the Bowlen family, saying in part:
“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility … More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”
With Bowlen as owner, the team won the AFC championship seven times, most recently in 2015 when the Broncos went on to defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Prior to that, Denver won two other Super Bowls, a back-t0-back performance in 1997 and 1998 with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who is now the team’s general manager and president of football operations.
— Connor S. Shreve (@ConnorShreve) June 14, 2019
Bowlen was the first NFL owner to oversee a team that won 300 games under his leadership. Shortly before the 2015 Super Bowl, he announced he would step aside from day-t0-day operations with the team because he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a disease that has since also been diagnosed with Bowlen’s wife, Annabel.
Pat Bowlen was elected to go into the NFL Hall of Fame prior to the start of the upcoming season. Although the inducted was announced a few months ago, it’s still sad that Bowlen didn’t live long enough to see his bust officially get placed in the hall.
He is survived by his wife and their seven children.