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A city mourns tonight as legendary Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has died at the age of 75, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Bowlen, who bought the team back in 1984, will be forever credited with fostering the championship culture that has presided over the team for the better part of those last 35 years.
The Broncos won an average of more than 10 games per season over the course of his ownership. He is the first owner in NFL history with 300 wins in his first 30 years as an owner. The team had as many Super Bowl appearances under him (7) as they did losing seasons. The eye-popping numbers go on forever.
In a world where money rules everything, to Bowlen, it was all about winning, and it showed
“As far as the business of football, winning is everything,” he once said. “It doesn’t matter what it is worth. If you are worried about what it is worth, get into some other business.”
That’s what made Pat Bowlen different.
He also once said, “The players are where it starts. Nobody cares about Pat Bowlen—I don’t even register on the meter,” and on that account, he was very wrong.
If only Mr. B could have seen the outpouring of emotion from the state, city, and fanbase he cared so much about on this night, or if he could have seen the jubilation from his people when he was rightfully elected to the hall of fame, he would see that wasn’t true at all.
Pat Bowlen, a Colorado legend in every sense of the word, gone too soon.
Below is a statement from the Bowlen family, including his wife and seven children:
“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.”