National Football League teams honor Pat Bowlen with a Mile High Salute

Tanya Simon
June 14, 2019

The Denver Broncos and the Bowlen family will host an open-house public tribute celebrating the life and career of Owner Pat Bowlen on Tuesday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High between 10 a.m. -3 p.m.

In 2014, Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a progressive disease that causes brain cells to degenerate and die, slowly wiping away memories and other mental functions, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

"We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family", his family said in a statement that was released through the team. Bowlen would eventually become an attorney with investments of his own, but he came to purchase the Denver Broncos in 1984 together with money from his entire family.

"My family and I are saddened by the loss of Pat Bowlen, and our hearts are with the Bowlen family and the entire Denver Broncos organization during this hard time", Chiefs owner and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement.

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Bowlen, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019, served as owner of the Broncos for 35 years.

"There was no owner or person like Pat Bowlen". "Even during his battle with Alzheimer's, you could still see that same strength and dignity in Pat that he brought to the office every single day for more than 30 years". He was co-chair of the NFL management council executive committee from 2010 to 2011 and, as head of the NFL's broadcast committee, helped secure the league's massively lucrative television contracts and pushed for the creation of the "Sunday Night Football" franchise, which has become a constant ratings victor for NBC.

Although Bowlen wasn't on hand for the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 victory, general manager John Elway said after getting the Lombardi Trophy: "This one's for Pat!".

He also got to see Peyton Manning lead the Broncos to another two Super Bowl appearances, winning another Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 50 - his final National Football League game. "He gave this team everything we needed to be the best and compete for championships, and the focus was always on football", Elway, 58, wrote. The Broncos will likely begin grooming her for ownership but she's not expected to officially take over the team for several more years. He was a terrific leader. His shoes will never be filled.

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