January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos executive John Elway and owner Pat Bowlen celebrate the 26-16 victory against the New England Patriots following the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Bowlen was the Denver Broncos owner for thirty years before he had to step down due to his battle with Alzheimer’s. With as much as he has done for the team in his thirty years, the Broncos organization decided to do something about it.
Last Saturday, before the Broncos took on the 49ers, Pat Bowlen was immortalized in the team’s Ring of Honor in ways of a statue and plaques. This was a great move by the Broncos because of all the hard work that he provided for the Denver Broncos and the NFL as well. It was such a shame to see such a great man have to step down, but the Broncos wanted to make sure that he was, in fact, the man responsible for building a team to win games.
Before Pat Bowlen took over the team in 1984, the Broncos had only been to one Super Bowl and were not exactly the team that could challenge the franchises that were the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and the Miami Dolphins to name a few. When Pat Bowlen took the reigns, he knew that he had to build a team that could beat the Dolphins, Steelers, Cowboys, and 49ers back in the day. His early success started to pay off sooner rather than later. Only three years after acquiring the team, the Denver Broncos had made it back to the Super Bowl after almost a ten year absence. This was only the beginning. In fact, the Broncos had advanced to the Super Bowl three out of four years from 1987-1990. Even though they had lost the three Super Bowls they were a part of, it was an amazing feat on how one man could change the franchise around.
Of course, we cannot forget how he put together a well-rounded team that led to back-to-back Super Bowl championships in the late 1990’s. He was able to honor his quarterback in the first Super Bowl victory with four simple words, “This One’s For John!” The quarterback that was the man under center when Pat Bowlen took over finally won his first ring after three unsuccessful attempts. They would go on to repeat in John Elway’s last game in the NFL.
It was difficult adjusting to life without Elway, but Pat Bowlen never gave up hope. Through years of trial and error, he was able to get the team back to the dominate ways. Jake Plummer gave the team hope during his tenure and there was one polarizing quarterback (Tim Tebow, in case none of you knew) that gave Broncos Country hope for one season. With the help of John Elway, Pat Bowlen was able to construct a team that is one of the most strongest in the NFL today.
Pat Bowlen might not make a whole lot of headlines as an owner, but not one person should overlook what he has done for the franchise in the thirty years of hard work, determination, and faith. The Broncos made a great move on the Ring of Fame honor, but there is one last thing they can do for him while he no longer has the abilities to oversee the football team. I think we all know what the Broncos would like to do for him for all of his hard work.