During Pat Bowlen's 35 years as the owner of the Denver Broncos, he has left his mark on the team, the Denver area and the larger NFL community. The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Contributors Committee recognized his remarkable accomplishments — which include a winning legacy and immeasurable contributions to the league's growth — by selecting him as a finalist for the Class of 2019. As the final vote approaches, DenverBroncos.com will speak with a number of people who have seen firsthand Pat Bowlen's impact on the Broncos and the NFL.
We continue with the Broncos' Director of Sports Medicine, Steve "Greek" Antonopulos, who has helped provide care for Broncos players for more than four decades. During his time working for the Broncos, Antonopulos spent time with Pat Bowlen during the owner's daily trip to the training room. "Greek" saw Bowlen's genuine care for the players who wore the Broncos' uniform — and how his dedication to the team led to facility renovations and a devotion to greatness.
Antonopulos describes, in his own words, why Bowlen deserves to take the next step and be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"Mr. B loved his players more than anything. [The training room] was the first place he came every day. … The most important thing to him was, 'How are the players doing?' He wanted to know the status of the injuries, how they're coming along, what he could do to help. He was just a sincere, caring man.
"One of the things that was tremendous about him was he allowed everybody to do their job to the best of their ability, and whatever you needed, as long as you could justify it, there were no issues. If it helped the players, he was all about it. This whole building is all about the players and the product on the field. The whole organization, that's what it's all about. His mindset each and every day [was focused on] those players.
"He's a personal friend, and you miss having him here, because it was so much of the standard. Just the fact that you saw him every day, it was crucial to our organization. To still know that [the team is] owned by him and he's involved in some way, somehow — in the sense of his spirit, if nothing else — is crucial.
"The organization would not be where it is today if it wasn't for Mr. Bowlen. The [AFC] Championships, the Super Bowls — all of [the success]. All that mattered to him was winning and doing the right thing. He was so into what was going on in the NFL. It was so important to him that things get done within the NFL, not necessarily to benefit him but to benefit the ability to get better players and maintain the level of [success] we have.
"[When I heard he was a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist], it brought tears to my eyes, because no one is more deserving than him. He epitomizes what the Hall of Fame is all about. He epitomizes the excellence in what he did for professional football. … It would be very emotional for all of us that are involved in it [if he were elected]."