Joe Ellis says Pat Bowlen wouldn’t want stadium named after him

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Team owner of the Denver Broncos Pat Bowlen celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Team owner of the Denver Broncos Pat Bowlen celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis says the Denver Broncos don’t have plans to name the stadium after Pat Bowlen and talks about why.

The Denver Broncos do not have plans to name their stadium, presently named Broncos Stadium at Mile High, after their longtime and legendary Hall of Fame owner Pat Bowlen.

According to team president and CEO Joe Ellis, the reason behind that is because it’s not what Pat — a quiet and humble man — would have wanted.

It’s certainly not ‘wrong’ of the Broncos to name the stadium “Pat Bowlen field at Mile High” or something like that, even if Pat was a humble man who preferred to be out of the spotlight instead of in it, but these people who knew Mr. Bowlen well know better what he would have wanted than most of us, so I’ll defer to that.

When John Elway hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 50, he declared, “This one’s for Pat,” despite also saying that he wouldn’t have wanted him to say it.

It is clear the Broncos plan to honor Bowlen in a number of ways, but immortalizing him by putting his name on the stadium is apparently not something he would have approved of if he had any say in it.

The Broncos do plan to honor Bowlen by wearing a “Mr. B” decal on their helmets this year, and again, that was something that Ellis said would probably go against Bowlen’s wishes.

Bowlen understood the Broncos were bigger than him. That’s part of what made him such an awesome owner. He made the Broncos a legendary organization with the culture he established and the heart he poured into it, but he also didn’t want the credit for it.

He dedicated the team’s first Super Bowl win to quarterback John Elway. He did whatever necessary to make his players happy.

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In a way, it’s a great way to honor Bowlen by not naming the stadium after him. If that’s what he would have wanted, what a better way to recognize the man he was by doing what he would have done?

The Broncos will hopefully find an appropriate compromise.