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Bowlen sisters meet with media leading up to Pat Bowlen’s Hall of Fame vote

Beth Bowlen Wallace and Brittany Bowlen met with the media on Friday to talk about Pat Bowlen’s Hall of Fame candidacy.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Pro Football Hall of Fame Day Broncos Country!

Today promises to be a good one for us too. It’s looking like Pat Bowlen is a lock (FINALLY!) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Champ Bailey is getting a lot of looks at first-ballot consideration as well.

There is a chance Steve Atwater will make it too, but despite our best efforts, we’re not seeing any buzz at all for his candidacy. The voters, for whatever dumb reasons they have, don’t like to double up on positions in a single year and Ed Reed is clearly the lock this year.

As for Pat, daughters Beth Bowlen Wallace and Brittany Bowlen were on hand Friday to answer questions about their dad and his contributions to the NFL over his storied career as owner of the Denver Broncos franchise. They also talked about the other Broncos legends up for vote on Saturday.

There will be no commentary added by this author.


On what it means to have her father, Owner Pat Bowlen, be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

“Quite honestly, I didn’t know what it was going to be like until I got here. And last night, the party really brought everything into reality. It’s surreal, amazing is a word that I can use. It’s been wonderful so far that he’s gotten this recognition.”

On what her father would think about this moment

“I think he’d be shy. My father was not a person that wanted to be in the forefront. He really wanted to recognize the people that created this team with him and contributed to that. I think he may be a little shy, but of course, he would be humble and overcome with joy. I’m sure.”

On what it will mean to the Bowlen family if her father gets elected tomorrow to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

“It’s going to mean pretty much everything. It will highlight what he has done in his professional life. But I’ve heard people talk about how his personal life will be highlighted as well, and how he lived his personal life with such integrity and character. I do believe that the Hall of Fame considers that in their inductees. It’s going to mean everything to our family that he’s going to get that recognition. Obviously, it’s going to be slightly bittersweet. We wish he was here representing himself.”

On the support her father has received from other Hall of Famers and legends around the NFL

“Heartwarming, important. Validating is the word I really can use. People have always said great things about my father. So, it’s not surprising, but certainly it’s very validating for what his career has been.”

On what it will be like waiting for the knock on the door from Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker

“Gosh, you’ll have to ask me after tomorrow. I can’t even imagine what that’s going to feel like.”

On if moment will bring the family together

“It already has been a moment to bring the family together. The family has always been together, but this will just solidify that. Especially for you all.”

On the hiring of new Head Coach Vic Fangio and if she likes the direction the team is heading

“There are great people that work with this team and work for my father, and I’m always going to support the decisions being made.”

On if she has a reaction to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments that he is limited to what he can say about the Broncos’ ownership and that this has become a public dispute

“I know you have to ask that question, but at this time we’re really going to be focusing on my father and the possible induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I have not comment when it comes to anything to do with ownership or the dispute.”

On cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Steve Atwater also being Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

“That would be beyond icing on the cake. To have those two players standing there, receiving this honor as well, a well-deserved honor by both of them. It would be an incredible moment.”

On if it’s just as important for the Bowlen family for Atwater and Bailey to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with their father

“It would be more important for my dad to see those two players go in. I have no doubt about that.”

On why her father and Atwater has such a great relationship

“Atwater is a man of great integrity as well. He walks the walk, he talks the talk, but he was a phenomenally talented player and he changed that position with his size and how he played it. I think my dad had great admiration for him and how he changed that position.”

On if her father was rare because of the way he treated his players

“The game has changed. Players move around a little bit more, now a days. I don’t know that he was different in that way. But I do believe he was a stand out in that way. I know there has been comments that my father really connected with his players and really cared about his players. I think he was a stand out in that way.”

On what stands out to her about her father’s achievements as owner

“I will say, without a doubt, the first Super Bowl that we won. We went through three losses, before we had a chance to win the Super Bowl. And as hard and difficult as those loses were. It made that winning one that much more special. We weren’t supposed to win that game according to all of the odds. But we did, and the joy that he felt for his players and his organization when we won that. The most fun story I have about that, I remember coming after the party to his room, his suite. The after party was much different that year than it was previous years that we had lost. And there was a big trunk in his foyer, and I looked at him and I said, ‘Is that it dad?’ and he said ‘Well yeah.’ and I said ‘Well, can we open it up?’ and we struggled with the locks on the trunk, to be perfectly honest. But we finally got it open and we hoisted that trophy out. We didn’t have cell phones that took selfies back then, but I did have a disposable camera. I can tell you, I still have those pictures of my dad and I sitting there, taking causal selfies, if you want to call them that, with the Lombardi trophy. I went back to my room to go to sleep and I truly did imagine my dad putting that trophy on his dresser at the end of the bed, so that when he woke up in the morning, he realized it wasn’t a dream. That he had in fact achieved that moment along with his organization.”

On her message to Broncos fans

“Thank you, gratitude, for supporting my father. For supporting this family, for being loyal to our team. Just great gratitude, and I hope that they know that this honor, if he achieves it, is as much theirs as it is our family’s.”


On the Pro Football Hall of Fame events this weekend without her father in attendance

“It’s emotional. You have the really highs and the really lows, but you’re so excited. But we wish he was here. But to be able to represent him, it’s an absolute honor and to hear—yesterday I got to have a lot of great conversations with some former players, including [former CB] Champ Bailey—and hearing the stories that they have and they shared with my dad and the impact that he had on their lives, it’s pretty incredible.”

On what it has meant to see the vast support that has been shown for her father

“It’s really neat. When I think about how my dad would have reacted to this. He would’ve said that this is about everyone. This is a reflection of the fans, it’s a reflection of the players, the employees of the Broncos, the media, they all lifted the Broncos up. This award should be shared with all of them.”

On what Saturday is going to be like waiting for the knock on door from Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker

“Oh gosh, yesterday, they had a Hall of Famer [Jerry Kramer] talk about what it’s like to wait for the knock. He made so many jokes, it was hilarious. But you could tell that it’ a really emotional experience. I’m so excited to share that with my family. I think, once we get the knock, I hope, or the phone call, it will be amazing to call my dad. My mom’s going to be there with him and one of my brothers, and I know that it will be a really amazing moment for our whole family.”

On what Mr. Bowlen would’ve thought of this moment

“Like what I just said, he would’ve definitely said that ‘It’s not about me.’ I think he would’ve shy away from some of it. I think he would’ve really lifted up the players that he could be joining in this class. Champ Bailey, [Ring of Fame S] Steve Atwater. It would’ve been amazing. He would’ve celebrated all of those three players [Ring of Famer S John Lynch], and shy away a little bit from celebrating himself.”

On what it would mean to see Atwater, Bailey or Lynch be selected in the same class as her father

“He would want to go in with a player, 100 percent. It would’ve been so meaningful for him. The first defensive player to go into the Hall of Fame for the Broncos, what an incredible year and accomplishment. It would be really exciting.”

On learning about her father’s relationship with Bailey

“I always knew that my dad and Champ had a very close relationship. You could tell by the way my dad talked about Champ Bailey. He has a really strong character that my dad respected. And so, we just had some laughs. He told me about some of the things that he’s doing here in Atlanta with his family and their business. He was talking having mentors and he made some comments about his mentors that were very Pat Bowlen-esque. It was great, great conversation.”

On if she plans on having a role within the Broncos organization in 2019

“Right now, this week, it’ about my dad. I’m just here for him. I’m here to celebrate him, I’m here to have all of those emotions and those conversations are for in their time.”

On how her current and previous work experience with the Broncos will benefit her moving forward

“Having a lot of fun at work. But this week, I took a step away from work, so that I can be here to celebrate my dad. I’m humbled by this experience and thrilled to be here.”

On this being a moment where the entire family can come together

“This is our father. He’s our mentor, he was the person that pushed us up into the world and gave us all of our dreams. To come together and celebrate his dreams—he used to say that he wanted to have a career in football, and he had an incredible career. It’s amazing to celebrate that.”

On moments from her father’s ownership that she will always remember

“Yeah, I’ve had a lot of interesting and incredible conversations. When I worked at the National Football League, I would have people come up to my cube and tell me these incredible stories about my dad and how he grew the game through labor, television contracts, international expansion, even stadium development. hen I was at the Broncos, I got to talk to so many employees about the spirit he brought to the facility, the culture he built. But what really stand out to me, is when I have conversations with the fans or charitable entities that my dad supported. I love those stories. Those ones are what stand out to me. He cared about the Denver community so much. And he really made that a point when Darrent Williams passed away. My dad woke us all up and he told us about how grief is a really hard thing to process and that you have to turn that energy into something positive. He said that throughout your life you’re going to have hard things happen to you. You’re going to have to find ways to put that into positive energy. To see what he did with the community by building the team center at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, that is a huge accomplishment. That’s what I look to as Hall of Fame moments.”

On how her father is doing

“I answered that question only a few months ago, and he’s about the same. He’s super stoic. He has a fight for life that is unimaginable. It’s amazing. And he still gets to have those moments with us. A couple of months ago, almost a year ago, I came home. I was about to graduate from Duke and one of his caretakers called me, and said you have to hurry, he’s having a lucid moment. In the Alzheimer’s community, people know that sometimes neurons start snapping and you have that lucid moment. So, I rushed to the house and my dad said, ‘What are you doing with your life?’ ‘Well dad, I’m in business school. Working hard.’ And he said, ‘Ok, well start today, because I want you to be important.’ And it was that Pat Bowlen moment, like don’t give up on your dreams. To get to have those moments still makes it really special. He’s a fighter, he really is.”

On how she will feel if her father is selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday

“Excitement, relief. I have a lot respect for the Hall of Fame. People wait for years and years, and to see my dad go in this year would be incredible. But if it doesn’t happen, I know it will happen at some point. The year [Pro Football Hall of Fame TE] Shannon Sharpe went in, I was sitting with my dad. We were having a chat, watching late night sports. And I asked him ‘What is the Hall of Fame? What does it mean?’ And my dad said to me, ‘That’s where legends go.’ He was a legend. He deserves to be here and I know that he’ll get here at some point.”

On her thoughts on new Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio

“I have a lot of confidence in the Broncos organization. I got meet Vic Fangio last week. We had a great conversation, talked about Chicago and his time there. Really excited to have him as part of our organization and know that he’ll continue to carry my father’s spirit and culture throughout the organization.”