Pat Bowlen has owned the Denver Broncos for 30+ years and his record over that time span is remarkable. In a piece on Mile High Sports, James Merilatt details how special Bowlen has been. Appreciating Broncos owner Pat Bowlen by @jamesmerilatt. http://milehighsports.com/?p=40608
There may not be a lot I can had and I’m sure some of it will be repetitive, but it’s past time that people start appreciating what Bowlen has brought to the Broncos and Colorado.
We’ve spent the better part of the last month complaining about Colorado Rockies owner, Dick Monfort. From his public relations gaffes to the terrible product on the field that he refuses to do anything about, we’ve spent too much time on him.
On the other side of the ownership fence is Bowlen, an owner who cares only about winning and will do whatever it takes. Monfort has employed General Manager, Dan O’Dowd for 15 years despite a miserable record. Meanwhile, Bowlen fired Josh McDaniels less than two years after he hired him because he didn’t like the direction of the franchise.
As Merilatt points out, everything Bowlen does is first class and his only business interest is the Broncos. The public relations department just won the award for being the best in the NFL. It goes all the way through the organization; from the front office to the support staff to the players.
There’s little doubt that free agents are attracted to the Broncos for various reasons including John Elway, Peyton Manning but they also come to Denver because of Bowlen. The Broncos owner has a reputation for treating players better than most other owners.
There is breakfast and lunch at the facility so players aren’t hitting Taco Bell, the medical team is second to none and Dove Valley is a state of the art facility; even more so now with the renovations. Players like money first but after that it’s about comfort and winning, and Bowlen provides both.
Since taking over in 1984, the Broncos have done nothing but win. They are third in wins during that time, have won six AFC Championships and two World Championships. The Broncos, as Merilatt points out, have also won 11 division titles and been to the playoffs 16 times in Bowlen’s tenure. Any way you slice it, the Broncos are one of the premiere franchises in the NFL and it starts with Bowlen.
Bowlen has made his share of mistakes but unlike Monfort, he doesn’t make excuses and he moves quickly to fix those mistakes. We’ve all ready touched on the McDaniels disaster but there was also the failed two years under Wade Phillips. Few would have blamed Bowlen if he had given Phillips one more year, but he had lost confidence and saw no reason to continue down that road.
He also had his own public relations issues in the early years including the wearing of a fur coat on the sideline. Bowlen also struggled being in the public spotlight early on and would say things that would make any public relations guru uncomfortable.
Those issues never spilled on to the field though and the Broncos have remained competitive for nearly all of those 30 years. Sure there have been the occasional down seasons but there has never been a two or three year stretch where the Broncos were bad for all of that time.
As a fan of any team, all you can ask for is for that team to do everything in their power to win. No one is going to win a title every season or even post a winning record every season, but as long as you know that’s what they are striving for; fans can live with that.
Denver Post Columnist, Troy Renck was asked by a fan what the biggest difference between covering the Rockies and the Broncos was? Renck said the Broncos “burn” to win from the top down. That’s all they care about and that culture begins with Bowlen and filters all the way down to the people who take care of the fields, and do the laundry.
So instead of spending so much time crying about Monfort and the Rockies, maybe it’s time we thank Bowlen for 30 years of excellence.
Again, a special thanks to James Merilatt for bringing this topic to everyone’s attention.