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Broncos, Briefly: Thursday, June 20, 2019

Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos Owner Who Changed the NFL (Andrew Beaton, Wall Street Journal)

Thirty-five years ago, an unassuming man in a dark suit and tightly groomed golden hair stepped in front of a microphone with a sprawling Denver Broncos banner draped behind him. Pat Bowlen, the team’s new owner, made two things clear that day: He planned to win. And he didn’t care for the spotlight.

Denver, and the National Football League, would never be the same.

The Broncos went 13-3 in Bowlen’s first season and lost to Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

“We had a bunch of sensational wins and he was off and running as an owner,” Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis said.

And off and listening. Never having worked in professional sports, Bowlen stepped into the NFL with his eyes and ears wide open.

How immense and enduring was Bowlen’s impact on every, last person who worked for him? Well, when he bought the Broncos John Elway had seven NFL touchdown passes and four professional victories to his name, rather than three championship rings and a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“From an owner of a sports team, he did something that was quite amazing,” Monfort said. “To be quite honest, we’re all trying to be viewed in the Rocky Mountain region the same as what that the Broncos are viewed.”

"I'm very thankful [for the Broncos' staff]," Lindsay said as the Broncos' offseason program drew to a close. "They hold the reins back on me a lot. They make sure everything goes well, which they're supposed to. You don't want to go out there and mess up by tripping or falling or by something that's not supposed to happen. I'm itching to be out there, and they know that."

“We’ve met with the (Denver) Sports Commission, we’ve met with the Broncos,” Manolo Zubiria, chief of football officer for CONCACAF, told The Denver Post. “And I must say, there’s been a lot of commitment from their side, a lot of support, and obviously wanting to showcase being a great venue. They have been really good partners, of course. And I mean, you can see by the turnout (Wednesday), it’s quite impressive.”

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