John Elway: It will never be the same here without Pat Bowlen


Broncos General Manager John Elway worked for Pat Bowlen for his entire playing career and he returned to the Broncos fold as an executive several years ago, which made Bowlen’s decision to step down as owner on Wednesday because he has Alzheimer’s Disease an emotional one for the team’s General Manager.

Elway shed a few tears at a Wednesday press conference about the change at the top of the team’s hierarchy, calling it a “sad, sad day” for the organization and saying that he hopes his bust at the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day resides next to one honoring the team’s longtime owner.

“From the inside out, it will never be the same here,” Elway said, via the Denver Post. “He has given me so much. It’s going to be hard to walk through those doors and not see him.”

Team president Joe Ellis, who has taken over much of the day-to-day responsibility for running the team, also spoke at the press conference and promised to keep running the team the way that Bowlen did over the last three decades.

“We are going to do right by his family, the team and the community,” Ellis said. “This is really hard. It doesn’t change what we do. He loved running this team and was really good at it. … We all wish Pat would walk through that door and do what he did so well. But he left us a blueprint that’s easy to follow.”

The Broncos have had just five losing seasons since Bowlen bought the team and have won two Super Bowls while advancing to four others during his time as owner.

17 responses to “John Elway: It will never be the same here without Pat Bowlen

  1. Very sad, alzheimer’s disease is extremely awful. My thoughts and prayers go out to Pat Bowlen and his family.

  2. This disease can tear family’s apart. The person affected AND the caretaker. A tear runs down my eye when I even think about Alzheimer’s. May God be with both Mr. and Mrs. Bowen.

  3. He was as classy an owner as there ever was. Treated all his players and other staff as family, with respect.

    Since 1983 when he bought the team, only San Francisco has a higher winning pct. than Denver, .618 to .604.

    He will be missed!

  4. Bowlen was Elway’s employer for all but 1 year of his playing career, actually. Edgar Kaiser Jr. was the owner for Elway’s first year in the league. He orchestrated the trade in the 1983 NFL Draft that brought Elway to Denver from Baltimore, then he sold the team to Pat Bowlen in 1984.

  5. Well-wishes from a longtime Bronco-hater. He has been one of the better owners in the league. Anybody who has a family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s knows what a toll it takes. Respect to the Bowlen family.

  6. Sad news on many fronts. Like many families, I’m experiencing the same with my dad. Solid owner that is loved and respected by many. From this member of Raider Nation, your organization is strong and will continur to be a great (and hated) rival! btw, many jerky comments here, grow up and have some understanding!

  7. You don’t just suddenly get Alzheimers like a light switch. Clearly this has been going on for awhile and they’ve been preparing for this future. I imagine it got to the point where he could no longer function long enough for it to be acceptable in public.

    Having a grandfather who went through this, it is the most painful emotional experience you will ever have to deal with in your life. I can imagine this has weighed heavily on the Bowlen family and Elways mind for quite awhile.

  8. Wish him & his family well this is just as bad if not worse than cancer. I’ve worked with the elderly & this was without a doubt one of the worst things families had to deal with. In my prayers for sure…
    GOD BLESS. …..

  9. Alzheimers is a terribly degenerative disease and all I can say, is my heart and prayers go out to Pat Bowlen and his family. God bless the family in Jesus name.

  10. Not even a Bronco fan but can’t think of a better ending next Feb 1st then Elway holding aloft the Lombardi trophy saying “this one’s for Pat”.

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