Pat Bowlen’s wife says plan is to keep team in the family


Even though Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is stepping away from the day-to-day operations of his team because of his Alzheimer’s disease, his wife said Wednesday the goal is to keep the team in the family.

“As many in the Denver community and around the National Football League have speculated, my husband, Pat, has very bravely and quietly battled Alzheimer’s disease for the last few years,” said his wife Annabel Bowlen. “He has elected to keep his condition private because he has strongly believed, and often said, ‘It’s not about me.’

“Pat has always wanted the focus to be solely on the Denver Broncos and the great fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years as owner. My family is deeply saddened that Pat’s health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.

“Alzheimer’s has taken so much from Pat, but it will never take away his love for the Denver Broncos and his sincere appreciation for the fans.”

His wife said that a plan was put in place years ago to keep the team in the family, a plan that is being implemented by team president Joe Ellis.

“My family will stand strong with Pat as he continues his courageous fight against a disease that is unfortunately all too common. One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s, and my family is experiencing the same difficult emotions that so many have felt when someone they love and respect is afflicted with this condition.”

Our thoughts are with the Bowlen family as they fight through the terrible disease.

17 responses to “Pat Bowlen’s wife says plan is to keep team in the family

  1. Lifelong Denver fan here. This guy has always been a class act. Not afraid to open the pocket book to spend on talent, doesn’t meddle in roster affairs, and legitimately tries to give his team the best shot to contend each year.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Bowlen and his family.

  2. Sad story for one of the truly great owners in NFL history. Many good thoughts go out to him from this Browns fan while he and his family go through this.

  3. Very sad news. Pat Bowlen has been a very good owner. Although as a Seahawk fan I officially consider the Broncos to be the enemy, I have a ton of respect for how he ran this franchise

  4. This guy is the definition of a great owner.

    He doesn’t talk the talk about doing whatever it takes to win. He does it. Even if that meant stepping away from the job he cherished.

    The goal has always been the same: to win.

    This ones’ for Pat.

  5. My two brothers and I watched our father suffer for many years with this dreadful disease. It takes a toll on the family, especially the spouse. Prayers for Ms. Bowlen, too, as she embarks on this long journey.

  6. No matter the team you represent, we all have one thing in common and that is we are fans of “The Game”, fans of the NFL ,and what is has become. Mr. Bowlen worked tirelesly with the NFL offices for a couple decades, taking time away from his own team to make the NFL the best it could be. Many people couldn’t name the owner of the Denver Broncos if asked, and that is exactly the way Mr. B wanted it. He was an incredibly competitive fan of the game, thus he cheered for all in the game when his team wasn’t playing. Was he disapointed to lose the SB?…sure he was. Was he upset with his fellow owner & friend Paul Allen?..Hell no. Whoever your favorite NFL team is, Mr. Bowlen has cheered with you at some point, because he loved what became of the game. Thank you Mr. B.

  7. I remember back when that whole Cutler thing was going down, Bowlen’s public answers to some of the questions seemed a little off and I was hoping he wasn’t starting to show signs of the disease. It’s on my mom’s side, her mom had it and she does too so I sort of had an inkling. I can’t imagine how awful it must be for a high level businessman like Bowlen to not be able to rely on the very thing that helped him build his empire.

    I am glad he and his family had the foresight to have other arrangements. Too often, denial stands in the way of practicality.

    My best wishes to him and his family. This disease has no hope of recovery as it stands now, and it’s a gut wrenching experience for all involved.

  8. raider fan here. I lost my mother several years ago and she suffered from the same terrible disease. my thoughts and prayers go out to the Bowlen family.

  9. Pat Bowlen is an absolute GIANT in the world of pro football, he took a joke of a franchise and turned it into one of the leagues finest. He not only has done the city of Devner and the NFL proud, he has done the AFL proud. A top 10 owner all time. Thank you….

    A RAIDER fan

  10. No one can comprehend the toll Alzheimer’s takes on a family until they live with a loved one who has it. In fact, while typing this, it has brought tears to my eyes. God bless the both of them.

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