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Thread: Pat Bowlen steps down and gives up control of the team as he battles Alzheimer's

  1. #1
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    May 1999

    Pat Bowlen steps down and gives up control of the team as he battles Alzheimer's

    Longtime Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has given up control of the team as he battles Alzheimer's disease.

    Team president Joe Ellis will assume control of the Broncos.

    "In recent years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has taken a reduced role with his team while courageously and privately battling Alzheimer's disease," the team said in a statement.

    "The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of the team's daily operations due to his condition. We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to 'Mr. B,' who has faced Alzheimer's disease with such dignity and strength."

    The Denver Post first reported Bowlen, 70, would step aside.

    Ellis worked as the Broncos' marketing director from 1983 to 1985, then rejoined the team in 1998 as its executive vice president of business operations. In 2008, Ellis was named the team's chief operating officer, and in 2011 he was named team president.

    "It's a really, really sad day," Ellis said in a statement to The Denver Post. "It's sad for his family, his wife and his seven children. It's sad for everyone in the organization. And it's sad for all the Bronco fans who know what Pat Bowlen meant to them as an owner. It's a day nobody wanted to see happen."

    Hall of Fame quarterback and current Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway expressed his support for Bowlen Wednesday on Twitter:

    Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984 from Edgar Kaiser. In Bowlen's 30 years as owner, the Broncos reached six Super Bowls, winning back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998. Denver played in Super Bowl XLVIII in February, losing to Seattle 43-8.

    "This is a sad day for the NFL," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement to The Denver Post. "Pat Bowlen's leadership has been critical to the success of the Broncos and the entire NFL. From building a championship team that is a pillar of the community to his important work for the league on television and labor matters, Pat's love of the game drove him and we have all benefited from his passion and wisdom. But the time has come for Pat to focus on his health and we fully support him. Joe Ellis has been a trusted executive for Pat for many years after working with us at the league office. Joe's deep experience ensures that the Broncos will continue to have strong leadership."

    Bowlen told The Denver Post in May 2009 that he was dealing with short-term memory loss, but on Tuesday the team and Bowlen's family acknowledged for the first time that his condition had developed into Alzheimer's.

    "Going forward, Pat Bowlen's indelible contributions to the Broncos, the NFL and this community will continue to define his three decades of ownership and serve as the standard he has set for his franchise," the NFL said in a statement to The Denver Post.

    "With more than 300 victories, including six AFC championships and back-to-back Super Bowls, Mr. Bowlen has established the culture of winning that is responsible for the Broncos' sustained success. His work on various league committees has helped the NFL achieve unprecedented prosperity, and his philanthropic generosity has had a positive impact on so many throughout the Rocky Mountain Region."

    Bowlen's wife, Annabel, thanked Broncos fans for their support.

    "I am extremely proud of Pat's incredible accomplishments as owner of the Broncos, most notably the winning tradition he has established and the positive impact he has made in our community," Annabel Bowlen said in a statement. "Pat would be the first to say that none of the Broncos' success would be possible without the players, coaches, employees and fans whom he's shared such a strong connection with over the years.

    "On behalf of Pat and the rest of my family, I want to thank all Broncos fans for their overwhelming support and how respectful they continue to be of his privacy. We look forward to sharing many more successful seasons of Denver Broncos football with you."

  2. #2
    Unfortunate that he has Alzheimers but a smart decision to step down.

  3. #3
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hawthorne NJ
    Robert Kraft can't be far behind.

  4. #4
    All League
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Good Luck Pat. Awfully scary disease.

  5. #5
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    LEt it go, LET IT GO: The cold never bothered me anyway
    Quote Originally Posted by HawkeyeJet View Post
    Good Luck Pat. Awfully scary disease.
    This is the point where you spend a great chunk of change having a blast with the family everyday.
    Good luck Pat.


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