John Elway and Pat Bowlen were one of the most iconic QB-owner pairings in NFL history.
Bowlen, together with his sisters, purchased the Broncos franchise in 1984 — a year later Denver forced the league-altering exchange together with the then-Baltimore Colts to acquire Elway. The two then proceeded to combine for five Super Bowl appearances and 2 championships throughout Elway’s Hall of Fame career on the area, and 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 lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease, three years after that previous name, and three years later Elway dedicated the win to his longtime friend and mentor by announcing”This one’s for Pat!”
Elway paid his respects.
“Pat gave me and he was a person that I always looked around,” Elway said in a statement Friday morning. “He gave this group everything we had to be the very best and compete for championships, and the attention was always on football. That’s all you can ask for in an proprietor — yet he did more. He was a tremendous mentor and a huge friend. Pat was a fantastic listener, always asking what was going on, and I heard a lot from observing him. He had been a leader. Whether things were going right or things were not going right, he would always allow you to know what we needed to get better.
“He did a fantastic job of using pressure in the right times but always reliable his soccer people to make the right decisions. Other than his loved ones, nothing meant more to Pat than ensuring that the Denver Broncos were powerful. What he did for this team, this city and the whole NFL will never be matched. His shoes won’t ever be filled.
“I will miss Pat greatly and will always cherish the times we had together. We’ll continue to take care of his group as though he were here now. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and also the total Bowlen family”
Bowlen will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the 2019 class this August at Canton, Ohio.
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