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 forced the league-altering trade together with all the then-Baltimore Colts to obtain Elway. The two then proceeded to combine for five Super Bowl appearances and two championships throughout 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 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 someone that I always looked around,” Elway said in a statement Friday morning. “He gave this group everything we needed to be the best and compete for championships, and also the focus was always on football. That is everything you can ask for in an proprietor — yet he did . He was a huge mentor and a huge friend. Pat was a great listener, always asking what was happening, and I learned so much from watching him. He had been a leader. Whether things were going right or things weren’t going right, he would always let you know what we needed to get better.
“He did a fantastic job of using pressure at the appropriate times but always reliable his football people to make the proper decisions. Aside from his loved ones, nothing meant more to Pat than ensuring that the Denver Broncos were powerful. What he did for this group, this city and the whole NFL will never be matched. His shoes will never be filled.
“I shall miss Pat greatly and will always treasure the times we had together. We are going to continue to look after his team as if he had been here now. My deepest sympathies are with Annabel and 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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