After Pat Bowlen died earlier this year, the question of whether he would receive a gold jacket and ring from the Pro Football Hall of Fame was raised because the Hall has not issued those things to the estates or families of other deceased inductees.
The Hall of Fame has announced a change in that policy for the late Broncos owner. Bowlen was elected to the Hall of Fame in February and had been measured for the jacket and ring before his death in June. Hall of Fame spokesman Pete Feirle referenced that as well as the fact that no other person selected for enshrinement has died during the period before election and induction.
“Pat Bowlen is the first individual to pass away between the time he was elected and formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Fierle said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “The process was underway to create his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence. As previously planned prior to his death, the Gold Jacket and Ring of Excellence will be presented to the Pat Bowlen estate to be displayed in the front lobby of the UC Health Training Center [in Denver].”
“The Gold Jacket and Ring of Excellence will serve as an everlasting reminder of the impact Pat Bowlen made on the Broncos and the National Football League. He epitomized the values and virtues learned from the game of football that serve as inspiration to fans to live a ‘Hall of Fame life’ of character.”
While the statement does not address other posthumous inductees directly, it does not appear that the decision regarding Bowlen will apply to the likes of Ken Stabler, Junior Seau and others who have been elected to the hall after their deaths.