The memorial for Pat Bowlen was well conceived and executed. It wasn’t haphazard or thrown together at the last minute. The result was dazzling in its elegance.
Thousands of fans pushed a five-hour event scheduled to end at three well past 5:00. No fans were turned away, however, they were told that the line was at least two hours long. If they wished to stay they were welcome, but at that point, most fans departed and paid tribute at the Pat Bowlen statue outside the stadium.
Team CEO and president Joe Ellis was there at the beginning of line to welcome fans and family members, including Johnny Bowlen, were there to greet fans of all shapes and sizes adorned in Broncos gear like “Star Wars” fans would dress themselves going to ComicCon. There was the infamous fur coat, the Super Bowl Trophies, Mr. B’s desk and family photos along with other personal treasures that represented a legacy of winning.
The fans loved every moment of it. It was a time in this “Game of Thrones” period of Broncos ownership where everybody appeared to be on the same page. There are not enough good words to reflect the positive vibes and impact this event had on a community that loves its football team.
But, this didn’t happen by accident.
Sadly, there was plenty of time to plan this particular event. Time was not wasted. From concept to execution, every detail was thought out to perfection. And when things went a bit sideways, like when the piano player was past his allotted time, there was a quick adjustment, handled flawlessly, to keep him tickling the ivories. There was a plan.
There have been some beyond-obvious bumps in the road through this transition process, specifically on the field in the past three years.
Coaches and QBs have come and gone quicker than training camp lightning. It’s been dizzying.
The naming rights of the stadium remain more of an annoying reminder of corporate ineptitude than a financial disaster. But, it’s that sand in your eye moment that goes from irritating to unlivable.
However, things will change and ultimately change for the better. What the firm takeaway should be is that there are plenty of people connected with the Broncos who understand what the Pat Bowlen legacy means. More importantly, there are many younger folks who understand that legacy.
The passing of time makes us all feel a little less useful, but that’s okay. Not all of the best plans come from the oldest of us. We, on so many occasions, have had our time in the sun. When reflecting on what is best in the future, we should take the time to think about those who have learned from hallowed leaders not just peers.
In order to represent the past as it deserves in the long shadow of Pat Bowlen, it’s time to allow those with the vision of the future to carry on the legacy of the past. Let’s execute the plan that Mr. Bowlen laid out to continue the legacy of being No. 1 in everything.