(EDITOR'S NOTE: To listen to this podcast, simply connect to the following link:https://vokalnow.com/audio/1960).
In less than two weeks -- on Aug. 23, to be exact -- the Pro Football Hall of Fame will select two contributor candidates for the Class of 2019, with Denver Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen a favorite to be one of them.
And it's easy to see why.
Under the direction of Bowlen, who assumed control of the Broncos in 1984, the Broncos have been to seven Super Bowls, won three of them and averaged 10.2 victories per seasons.
But Bowlen's influence extended far beyond the team he owns. He was a strong and persuasive league voice, playing a key role in collective-bargaining talks and serving on 15 NFL committees -- third most among NFL owners (only Dan Rooney, with 18, and Lamar Hunt, with 16, were on more).
In fact, as chairman of the league's broadcast committee, Bowlen was instrumental in the launch of the NFL Network and in bringing FOX and NBC in as broadcast partners, expanding interest in the game and nearly doubling the size of TV revenues.
All of which is why Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway, now the Broncos' GM, spoke out on this week's Talk of Fame Network podcast, pushing Bowlen for a Hall-of-Fame contributor nomination Elway believes is perfectly tailored for him.
"In my opinion," he said, "there wasn't a better owner for the fact that any resources that he had went into the football team. The football team was number one. So, as a player, that gave you an opportunity to be the best football player … as well as football team … that you could be.
"That was always number one in my mind -- the sacrifices that Pat made for the football team. And it really wasn't all about business to him. Sure, he had to run a business. But anything he could make on the business side went into winning championships.
"And number two, I think when you look at what he did at the league level … and the relationships that he had with the commissioners he worked with … he was involved in everything. And he was involved in all the committees -- whether it be the broadcast committee or dealing with the (players') union or anything that he could be involved with … he was involved with.
"So I think when you talk about a contributor … and the name of this category … there's nobody, in my opinion, that's given more to the game than Pat. Especially ... and I can tell you, looking back at the game back in '83 (Elway's rookie season) and looking at the game in 2018 and how far this game has come ... Pat is a central figure in the growth that the NFL has taken over all those years."
But Elway didn't stop there.
To hear more of why John Elway believes Pat Bowlen should be nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame … and nominated now … please connect to the following link:https://vokalnow.com/audio/1960