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Pat Bowlen on the verge of becoming a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist?

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By all accounts, Mr. B has a tremendous shot at being one of the two contributors selected today by the nine-person subcommittee.

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Good morning, Broncos Country!

Don't get too excited just yet, but today seems like the day Pat Bowlen gets one step closer to his induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It finally seems like this will actually happen. Really.

Until we get word the Denver Broncos owner has taken that step, officially, it's best to expect the worst. You know, the whole "more Super Bowl appearances than members in the Hall of Fame" nonsense.

But by all accounts, Mr. B has a tremendous shot at being one of the two contributors selected today by the nine-person subcommittee. As we speak, Bowlen is one of 10 contributors who will get narrowed down to two. That subcommittee will then submit it's two contributor choices to the 46-member Hall of Fame committee for election on Super Bowl LI eve, Feb. 4 in Houston.

To be clear, Bowlen won't get in the Hall of Fame if his name is announced today. He'll simply become a finalist. If that happens, it will be the farthest he's ever advanced in the process. The 46-person committee still would have to vote him in. If Bowlen is one of the two, it's all but guaranteed he'll get in. No Broncos were chosen by the senior committee on Monday. Real shocking, right? The lone finalist to move forward is Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley.

As Mike Klis points out, the others believed to be in contention as contributors are former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue; NFL Films czar Steve Sabol; former Dallas Cowboys scouting director Gil Brandt; former general manager Bobby Beathard; and current Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

This needs to happen for Bowlen, and it needs to happen now ... for multiple reasons.

Here's the first reason: His impact on the game. As Klis wrote on Monday, "His work as chairman of the TV committee that helped explode the NFL from one of  the three major sports that -€” incomprehensibly as it may seem  now -€” claimed it was losing money from its TV packages in 1991 to what is now a $13 billion a year monolith.

"It was Bowlen's decision to bring in the Fox network as a partner starting with the 1994 season that changed the world of sports broadcasting rights fees. Bowlen is also considered the father of NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' that, since its inception in 2006, has usually been the highest-rated show on television each week."

Added with his incredible success as an owner, more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than losing seasons (five) and this is a slam dunk. You would think.

The other factor here is time and the state of Bowlen's health. He's in the fight of his life with Alzheimer's. Thankfully, he was aware the Broncos won the Super Bowl in February. But before his illness gets worse, Mr. B needs to get inducted this season.

If his name is announced today, that's one more step. Followed by the full vote on Feb. 4 and then the ceremony next August in Canton. Hopefully his health allows him to make that trip and he can be cognizant of it all.

Who would induct him? John Elway would be a helluva choice. But we're getting ahead ourselves. It's just hard to do with what he's meant to the Broncos organization and this community.

For now, it seems like this will finally happen. Bowlen could get one step closer to pro football immortality.

This needs to happen.

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