ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After news broke early Friday morning that Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen had passed away at the age of 75, the tributes to Bowlen's life soon arrived.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was among the first to offer his condolences to the Bowlen family and the Broncos, and many of the NFL's owners soon followed in sharing supportive words.
"Pat Bowlen was driven by the will to succeed and his competitive spirit made him a great leader," Goodell said in a statement. "We all will greatly miss him and his kindness, passion and wisdom. Pat had a deep love for the game of football, the Broncos and the City of Denver. In the 35 years he owned the Broncos, he helped deliver a remarkable 21 winning seasons and seven Super Bowl appearances, including three titles.
"Our league is also better because of Pat's extraordinary contributions. As co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and the chair of the Broadcasting Committee, Pat played an instrumental role in many facets of our League that benefited fans, players and clubs.
"Pat personified all that's right about the NFL and is extremely deserving of this summer's recognition as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"We send our deepest condolences to Annabel, the Bowlen family and Broncos fans in Denver and around the world."
Read on to see how Bowlen's peers reacted to Friday morning's news.