Happy Birthday Mr. Bowlen

This past Christmas, I received a book written by Jim Saccomano, the Denver Broncos’ vice president of public relations, detailing the franchise’s complete history, rife with great stories and their response from adversity through the years, an important thing to remember considering what has most recently happened in regard to Super Bowl XLVIII.

At the helm of the franchise since 1984 has been Mr. Patrick Dennis, "Pat" Bowlen, who took the reins of ownership, has won 289 regular-season games in that span, just a few tenths of a percentage behind 10 wins per campaign and has won 10 or more games 15 times, so better than 50 percent of the time.

Anyway, from Saccomano’s book, as well as old-timers on the Broncos’ SB Nation site, Mile High Report, after Mr. Edgar Kaiser gave up the team to Bowlen, there was great uncertainty concerning the route the franchise would take.

However, Bowlen not only saved the team from bankruptcy, he proceeded to make the Broncos one of the most successful franchises in professional sports over the course of the next three decades, playing for six Super Bowl titles and winning two of them.

Denver sportscaster Vic Lombardi, taking to Twitter Tuesday, said Bowlen is the best owner in the history of Denver sports. Additionally, he has long been an ally to the fans, even sending season ticket holders a letter when current Chicago Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler refused to return his calls and was traded for current Dallas Cowboys backup QB Kyle Orton.

He has long been considered a class act by Broncos fans, perhaps this was most effectively surmised during Super Bowl XXXII’s postgame show, Denver’s first Super Bowl victory, a 31-24 decision over Green Bay, when he hoisted the Lombardi trophy and said "this one’s for John (Elway)," citing his career-long journey to obtain the NFL’s ultimate prize.

Additionally, I have conversed with many Broncos alumni such as tackle Dave Studdard and tight end Shannon Sharpe, who say Bowlen welcomes everyone back with an annual alumni reunion which usually occurs during a home game weekend in any given season.

A hallmark of his leadership, at least from my perspective, has been that his methodology consists of everyone else deserves the credit while he stands in the background. To me, this is a welcome contrast from the likes of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who is the first thing NFL fans think about when "America’s Team" is in the media.

Bowlen has an interesting past as despite being born in Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, he spent much of his life in Edmonton, Alberta, as his father, Paul D. Bowlen, for whom the Broncos’ facility is named, founded Regent Drilling of Calgary, Alberta and is a member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.

Before he became a successful lawyer and the owner of the Broncos, Bowlen was a successful athlete in his own right as he is a former triathlete and was a member of the 1963 national championship Edmonton Huskies football squad of the Prairie Football Conference in the Canadian Junior Football League.

An interesting column that appeared in the Edmonton Sun from columnist Terry Jones states that Bowlen also constructed the Canadaian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos current home, Commonwealth Stadium, with his partner the late Peter Batoni, known as Edmonton’s king of concrete and helped to build Rexall Place, the current home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.

So, in two countries, Bowlen has made an impact and who knows, he may yet net another Lombardi trophy for legions of Broncos fans and in complete character, would likely dedicate it to all of them for being passionate, we shall see.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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