Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will have to wait at least another year before he becomes a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On Friday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor Selection Committee decided to choose long-time NFL general manager Bobby Beathard over Bowlen. There was only one spot available for a contributor to the game this year, which means that once again, Bowlen will see someone else enshrined in Canton.
Bowlen’s Broncos have been among the most successful franchises in sports since he bought a majority stake in them in 1984. In 33 years, the Broncos have won 13 AFC West titles, been to seven Super Bowls and won three of them. The Broncos have also sold out 284 straight games in his tenure.
Bethard, who won four Super Bowls and served as GM of the Redskins and Chargers, will be presented to the 48-man selection committee for final approval on Feb. 3. He’ll need 80 percent of the vote in order to be enshrined.
Bowlen, 73, stepped away from his day-to-day responsibilities with the Broncos in 2014 as he dealt with Alzheimer’s. Perhaps the most impressive factoid from Bowlen’s time as owner is that the Broncos have two more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than they do losing season (five).
Many connected to the Broncos organization, including former wideout Ed McCaffrey, posted messages of support for Bowlen following the committee’s announcement.
Bowlen stands a decent chance of getting nominated next year, when the selection committee chooses two contributors to the game — simply anyone who wasn’t a player or coach — to be voted upon by the 48-person panel.
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