Two days after one of the most crushing victories our Denver Broncos and us fans have ever endured, owner Pat Bowlen addressed Broncos Country with an open letter on the team’s official website.
To summarize, Mr. Bowlen expressed his disappointment in how the season ended. He identified the expectations of both the organization and the fan base heading into “The Tournament” and the eventual disappointment of a 38-35 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in double overtime. It was a game that Denver should have won, but Baltimore deserved to win. To me, this is a sentiment that seemed to be the undertone of the letter. Mr. Bowlen did not lament the loss, rather identified it as the beginning of taking that next step forward in returning the Broncos back to the top of the NFL Mountain.
The letter was written with the humility of a man who is dedicated to bringing a winner to a nation of fans whom he clearly understands is the foundation of his business. It was written with the empathy of a man who sees himself as much of a fan as he does an owner. Lastly, it was written with the competitive fire of a man who, as much as anybody who has ever donned the orange and blue on the field, desires to be the very best.
To me, the most telling and encouraging part of the letter is the following excerpt:
I said publicly last year that I wanted 2012 to be a great season, not just a good season. We certainly had a very good season and perhaps exceeded a few expectations…But Broncos fans, you and I know what a great season looks like. – Pat Bowlen (DenverBroncos.com)
Mr. Bowlen went on to promise his dedication to improving on a season that was good, but not what we as Broncos Nation have come to expect.
You can read the letter here.
In addition to being a Broncos fan, I am a New York Mets fan. While this might seem a bit out of place in this article, there is a point to be made. So please bear with me.
I often find myself longing for the Mets to have ownership as committed to winning as their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees. This stirs up internal conflict of selling out class and dignity for championships as the latter has often turned its organization into a full-fledged circus just to win a ring.
This is where I tie it in with the Broncos and Pat Bowlen.
Mr. Bowlen gives us Broncos fans the best of both worlds: the commitment to winning without the circus environment. Even during the Josh McDaniels’ error…um, I mean era, he genuinely felt that he was making decisions based on the best interest of the Denver Broncos. When it went awry he quickly pulled the plug in said best interest rather than worrying about his ego taking a hit for those decisions which didn’t pan out. We have seen other owners in the NFL (past and present) who won’t make seemingly necessary changes because it was a sign that they made a mistake; even at the risk of their respective teams’ progression. Pat Bowlen is a class act from the word, “go”.
Time heals all wounds and the wound from the 2012 Divisional Playoffs is still gaping, raw, and painful. However, this letter from the owner is metaphorically, a glob of Neosporin and a super adhesive bandage. Thus my responsorial letter to Mr. Bowlen goes like this:
Mr. Bowlen, thank you for your concern for and commitment to us fans. We are fortunate that you are the owner of our beloved Broncos and trust that you will employ all resources to bring Mr. Lombardi’s Trophy back to the Mile High City. And upon the Commissioner handing to you the NFLs Holy Grail, Broncos Nation can gleefully proclaim at the top of its collective lungs “THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!!!!!!”