Rockies owner Dick Monfort lauds Broncos’ Pat Bowlen as Colorado’s No. 1 sports figure

Rockies owner Dick Monfort sat in a suite at Coors Field on Friday afternoon talking about Pat Bowlen, the longtime owner of the Broncos who died late Thursday at age 75 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.

Speaking with respect and genuine affection, Monfort paid Bowlen the ultimate compliment, calling the Broncos’ icon an unparalleled figure in Colorado sports.

“He’s No. 1 without a doubt,” said Monfort, a Colorado native. “I grew up watching the Broncos in the ’60s and they were so horrid for so many years. But he built that franchise into what it is now.

“Of course, it wasn’t only Pat, there were a lot of others involved through the years. But for him to build the franchise into what it is now is just remarkable. It is the premier sports organization in town. You take some places, like New England, and you wonder, ‘Is it the Patriots or is it the Red Sox?’ There is some debate back in Boston, but here, there is absolutely no debate.”

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Monfort added that Bowlen set a bar that has been impossible to reach.

“From an owner of a sports team, he did something that was quite amazing,” Monfort said. “To be quite honest, we’re all trying to be viewed in the Rocky Mountain region the same as what that the Broncos are viewed.”

Nearly every season, Bowlen would invite Monfort to watch a Broncos game with him in a suite at Mile High Stadium. Though Bowlen was warm and cordial, it was not a time to chit-chat.

“He didn’t hoop or holler, but he would watch the game intently,” Monfort said. “He was all business.”

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Monfort and Bowlen exchanged notes on an annual basis, and Monfort fondly remembers the letter Bowlen sent to him, as well at Keli McGregor, the Rockies’ late team president, when Colorado went to its only World Series in 2007.

When the Rockies went through hard times and losing seasons, Bowlen reached out then as well.

“He sent me another note, and this was probably when (the media) was beating me up pretty good,” Monfort recalled. “He said, ‘I went through some hard times, too. This will pass, so just keep doing what you’re doing. Believe in what you are doing and everything will work …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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