The momentum continues to build to put Broncos owner Pat Bowlen in the Hall of Fame.
As explained by Mike Klis of 9news.com, the Contributors Selection Committee will meet next month to determine its finalist for the next class of inductees. Per Klis, Bowlen is expected to receive his strongest consideration yet.
Some believe Bowlen should have gotten in before Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who in four weeks will formally be enshrined. Bowlen’s impact on the league arguably was matched that of his colleague from Texas.
“Ownership had always tended to follow Art [Modell] and whoever the commissioner was, and they felt they were well-served,’’ former NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol told Klis. “But then along came Pat and Jerry, guys who were then called mavericks. I would say in retrospect they were visionaries. . . .
“Mr. B and Jerry Jones are the two people who really opened the flood gates of television money,’’ Ebersol added. “It had increased every time since the ‘60s. But never like what happened when FOX came [in 1994] and the money changed.”
Twelve years later another major change came, with NBC getting back in to the NFL business by taking over Sunday Night Football, a property that went from cable to broadcast and that became, as a practical matter, what Monday Night Football used to be. Ebersol has called Bowlen “the father’’ and the “single major force” of the Sunday night franchise.
Most believe Bowlen, who relinquished control of the team in 2014 due to Alzheimer’s disease, inevitably will be enshrined. It won’t be a surprise if it happens this year. The first major step will be for Bowlen to secure the lone spot devoted in the 2018 class earmarked for a contributor to the game.