Statement from Arthur Blank on death of longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen

Broncos owner Bowlen dies at age 75

Pat Bowlen owner of the Denver Broncos arrives to negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA in WashingtonMore

Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos owner who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar TV deals, has died.

"Our family wishes to express its honest gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years".

Bowlen, while battling Alzheimer's disease, turned over control of the Broncos to a family trust in 2014, the Washington Post noted.

The family also shared that not only did he have "a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor", but he was kind and humble. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. He was a leader both in his success and in his kindness and humility.

"More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being". Bowlen had battled Alzheimer's for several years.

"As far as the business of football, winning is everything", Bowlen once said. He had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons, and the Broncos had a 354-240-1 record since he bought the team in 1984.

During his 35 seasons as owner, Bowlen's team compiled a.596 winning percentage - tied for second-best in the National Football League during that span.

Elway, now the team's president of football operations and general manager, remembered Bowlen Friday morning. "That's all you can ask for in an owner - yet he did more", Elway said. He was co-chair of the NFL management council executive committee from 2010 to 2011 and, as head of the NFL's broadcast committee, helped secure the league's massively lucrative television contracts and pushed for the creation of the "Sunday Night Football" franchise, which has become a constant ratings victor for NBC.

One of many moments famously linked to Bowlen came after the 1998 Super Bowl, when Bowlen shouted out "This one's for John", after quarterback John Elway engineered the 31-24 victory over Green Bay for the franchise's first title.

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