John Elway and Pat Bowlen were one of the most iconic QB-owner pairings in NFL history.
Bowlen, together with his siblings, bought the Broncos franchise in 1984 — a year after Denver made the league-altering exchange with all the then-Baltimore Colts to acquire Elway. Both then proceeded to combine for five Super Bowl appearances and two championships during Elway’s Hall of Fame career on the area, then added an addition Super Bowl title in 2015 when Elway oversaw the group within an exec.
Bowlen died Thursday at age 75 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, three years after that last name, and three years later Elway dedicated the win to his longtime friend and mentor by declaring”This one’s for Pat!”
Elway paid his respects to Bowlen Friday.
“Pat gave me so much and he was someone I always looked up to,” Elway said in a statement Friday morning. “He gave this team everything we had to be the very best and compete for championships, and the focus was always on football. That is all you can ask for in an owner — yet he did more. He was a huge mentor and a huge friend. Pat was a fantastic listener, always asking what was going on, and I learned so much from watching him. He was a leader. Whether things were going right or things weren’t going right, he’d always allow you to know what we had to acquire much better.
“He did a fantastic job of applying pressure at the right times but always reliable his football people to make the proper decisions. Other than his family, nothing meant more to Pat than making sure that the Denver Broncos were successful. What he did for this team, this town and the entire NFL will not be matched. His shoes will never be filled.
“I shall miss Pat greatly and will always cherish the times we had together. We are going to continue to look after his group as though he were here today. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and the entire Bowlen family”
Bowlen will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame together with the 2019 course this August at Canton, Ohio.
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