The Bowlen family has issued a statement regarding the passing of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
“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 soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.
“Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight.
“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility.
“More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”
Bowlen, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, has passed away at the age of 75. Broncos Country has lost one of the greatest owners in all of sports and he will be greatly missed.
Broncos’ President & CEO, Joe Ellis, issued this statement shortly after the announcement of Bowlen’s death.
“This is a very sad day for our organization, our community and the National Football League. Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner—He was a Hall of Fame person. His competitiveness, kindness and humility are the qualities that I will always remember. 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.
“Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos. He was also an extraordinary leader at the league level during a key period of growth. It wasn’t all about what Pat did as an owner, but it was the way he did it. The relationships he enjoyed with his players were real and sincere. Pat truly cared about the players in a very genuine way and always wanted them to get the credit. He preferred to be in the background and put every resource toward winning Super Bowls. With the fans, Pat felt in many ways that his team belonged to them and approached things with that in mind. There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen. My heart goes out to his wife, Annabel, all of his children and all of our fans.”
When Bowlen took over the Broncos in 1984, he immediately set about creating a different kind of culture in that franchise. His first act was to create the Broncos Ring of Fame that has honored so many legendary players of the teams past and built a strong alumni community around that.
His work in the NFL helped create the multibillion-dollar behemoth it has become today. There is little doubt Colorado and the entire NFL community has lost an important figure in this sport. His official induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be more a somber affair now, but it is an honor he absolutely deserves for his life’s work in this league.
The Mile High Report family extends its deepest condolences to the Bowlen family and all Broncos fans everywhere.