Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, the Biggest Icon in Denver Sports History
Many cities that thrive on their sports teams have several icons. Most of them come from the playing side of the game. There are not many icons that come from the administrative side. However, that cannot be said for the City of Denver. Now don’t get me wrong, they have had their fair share of sports icons. John Elway, Alex English, Dikembe Mutombo, Doug Moe, Ed McCaffrey, John Lynch, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, and Don Baylor are just some of the names to come through this famed city. However, the strongest name in Denver sports lore is none other than Denver Broncos Owner, Pat Bowlen.
Bowlen is the principal owner of the Denver Broncos. What many do not know is that Mr. Bowlen also owns the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse and owned the Colorado Crush along with John Elway. It is these ownerships and winning franchise histories that makes Pat Bowlen the icon he is in the City of Denver and State of Colorado.
Since his purchase of the Denver Broncos in 1984 the team has done nothing but win. In fact, the Broncos have the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the NFL (334 wins, 212 losses, and 1 tie, for a .612 winning percentage). The team passed the San Francisco 49ers for this title after the 2015 season. The turn around was almost immediate on his investment. It took the Broncos just two years (1986) to reach the Super Bowl after Pat Bowlen signed on the dotted line. Since then the franchise has won six more AFC Championships (’87, ’89, ’97, ’98, 2013, ’15). The franchise has also won all three of its Super Bowls with Bowlen as the owner (XXXII, XXXIII, 50). Placing itself as one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.
Pat Bowlen’s second endeavor as an owner came with the Arena Football League. He and former Denver Broncos QB, John Elway, and Stan Kroenke purchased an expansion team in 2002. The team began play in the league in 2003. Their first season they finished a whopping 2-14. Nonetheless, they would end up becoming one of the best franchises in the league. Hence making multiple playoff appearances and winning an ArenaBowl Championship in 2005 (XIX).
Although he has had most of his successes as the owner of a football franchise, Bowlen has carried his winning nature to other sports as well. Since they came into existence in 2006, the Outlaws have been in the playoffs all but one year, 2015. They have also played in the championship game in six of those years (2006, ’08, ’09, ’14, ’16, ’17). As the owner of the MLLs, Denver Outlaws, Pat Bowlen has been apart of two Steinfeld Cups (2014, ’16). The Steinfeld Cup is awarded to the champion of Major League Lacrosse.
In 2014, Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. At that time he relinquished his CEO duties of the Denver Broncos to team President Joe Ellis.
Pat Bowlen is a major icon in Denver sports history. No matter the conversation, when you hear Denver you think of Mr. Bowlen. It is not often that an owner has the ability to infect a city the way he has.
What do you think about the influence that Pat Bowlen has had on Denver, CO? Leave a comment below.
Follow Sean on Twitter and Instagram for all your NFL news and notes @NFLWBLZ.