2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos' best gather to honor owner Pat Bowlen

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-05-22 22:37

DENVER (AP) - For the first time ever, all four Hall of Fame members of the Denver Broncos gathered under one roof - an old hangar at what used to be Lowry Air Force Base - and they were there to honor team owner Pat Bowlen.

With John Elway, Shannon Sharpe, Floyd Little and Gary Zimmerman on hand, the 69-year-old Bowlen received the Mizel Institute's 2013 Community Enrichment Award for his philanthropic leadership in Colorado and his nearly three-decade long stewardship of the Broncos.

"I'm glad there are four now, we've come a long way since '04," said Elway, who was the first Bronco to get a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. "Hopefully, we can get a couple more in there soon."

Like Bowlen.

"Hopefully, one day Pat will be in the Hall of Fame himself because he deserves that," Zimmerman said.

Bowlen is chairman of the board of Denver Broncos Charities, which has donated more than $25 million to charitable organizations over the last 20 years.

"He's a generous guy, he's got a big heart," said Elway, Bowlen's quarterback-turned-front office chief.

And he's a demanding, fiercely competitive and behind-the-scenes owner with a reputation for spending whatever it takes to field a winner.

"It's not easy to win in this league but he knows how to get the right people in the right spots and then he gives them the rope to do their jobs," Elway said. "He has tremendous instincts about people."

At 292-199-1, Bowlen and New York Giants founder Tim Mara are the only three-decade owners in pro football history to win 60 percent of their games.

The Broncos' 177 home wins are the most in the NFL since he bought the team in 1984, when Elway was his quarterback, not his front office chief, and the Broncos' five losing seasons during those 29 years are the fewest in the league over that span.

"I know there are a lot of great owners in the National Football League," Sharpe said. "Some have won more championships than Mr. Bowlen. I would be hard-pressed to believe that there's an owner that cares more about his city, about his state, about his players than Mr. Bowlen does."

When Elway brought Bowlen his first of consecutive championships in the late 1990s, the owner took the Lombardi Trophy in his hand at center stage after an epic win over heavily favored Green Bay and declared, "This one's for John."

Elway longs to return the favor.

"Well, that's my goal," Elway said. "That would be a special moment. But we still have a lot of work ahead of us."

"I think there's a good chance for that," Zimmerman said. "I think there's a good chance for more than one. I see a team right now that if things go right ... they're queued up to be a force for the reckoning."

Elway said Bowlen's competitive nature as a triathlete when he was younger translated into his business life "and how he ran the Broncos."

"Winning starts at the top," Elway said. "... He's there every day still. We all know what he wants."

Another Lombardi Trophy.

Zimmerman said he first realized Bowlen was a different type of owner when he signed up for a turkey his first Thanksgiving in Denver, thinking it was all a joke.

"In Minnesota we always had the turkey scam and they had the sign-up sheet and I came in and thought it was all a scam and then I come into the locker room and there's Pat sticking turkeys into our lockers," Zimmerman recounted. "That was the first time I really understood what Pat really was about."

When Peyton Manning kicked off his whirlwind free agency tour in Denver last year, Zimmerman said he knew right then and there that any other teams pursuing the four-time MVP were just wasting their time.

"I knew he'd be a Bronco before he did because once he visited here and met with Mr. Bowlen I knew there was no way he could go anywhere else," Zimmerman said.

Sharpe said Manning's signing shows that Bowlen is as driven for a championship today as he ever was.

"I wish T.D.'s knee and my knee could hold up, we could help the cause," Sharpe said of former teammate Terrell Davis. "He wants it really bad. I think he deserves it."

Little played long before Bowlen bought the team but he has just as deep a respect for the man who retired his jersey and put his name of the team's Ring of Fame.

"Pat's been one of the greatest owners in the NFL," Little said.

The Super Bowl trophies the Broncos won in the late 1990s were transported from the team's headquarters about 20 miles away and were on display at the Mizel Institute's gala at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum where Bowlen was feted.

"This is a great night for Pat Bowlen, and it's a well-deserved honor," team president Joe Ellis said. "He's always trying to put a great team on the field each and every year and then giving back to the community."

The Denver-based Mizel Institute consists of a Jewish art, culture and history museum and the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The Cell), dedicated to combating the threat of terrorism.

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group