This loss is personal on so many levels, in so many ways.
Statements have been issued by the Bowlen family and by the Broncos, and Pat’s list of accomplishments are recorded elsewhere, very thoroughly.
We have all been at functions where the phrase has been used, “You are on your own for dinner,” or a variation of that. But in pro sports we have long had a saying, “You are not on your own, you are on your owner.”
No team in the NFL has ever been on its owner more than the Denver Broncos.
And no owner has ever been better.
I used to say that Floyd Little has real good speed, considering that he had a time zone on his back.
That was a long time ago.
But for the last four decades, Pat Bowlen did all the heavy lifting for us.
He put the team, the city, the state, and at times the NFL on his back, and he carried it all — always with class, dignity, professionalism and humor.
He never acted like he was above anyone else, or like he should be treated that way.
He was like the most regular of guys, but of course, he was not.
So many moments, so many memories flood through my mind right now.
So many times sitting in his office, Pat always had the solution to whatever I was presenting.
And he had a great gut feeling for the right thing to do, at the right time,and always with the focus on the people involved and how they should be treated.
He believed that you work to make things better, and never pat yourself on the back for it.
We were never on our own, we were on our owner, and we always will be.
Rest in peace, Mr. B.