Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and executive vice president of football operations John Elway before the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen diagnosed with Alzheimer's

The Denver Broncos are one of the most powerful franchises in sports, but even they aren’t immune to the tragedy of real life.

On Wednesday, the team announced that owner Pat Bowlen, who has been with the team since 1984 when he basically saved the franchise by purchasing them, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and will be stepping away from the day-to-day operations of running things.

The Broncos made the announcement subtly on their official team website:

“The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of the team’s daily operations due to his condition. We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to ‘Mr. B,’ who has faced Alzheimer’s disease with such dignity and strength.

“As Mr. Bowlen focuses on his health, the Broncos have announced changes to their leadership structure that will ensure the long-term stability of the franchise.”

Bowlen is one of the more likable NFL owners in the league today and this news is going to hit more than a few executives rather hard. It also gives something to motivate the Broncos this season from an emotional stand point. Before today they were trying to get back to Super Bowl to avenge their embarrassing loss but now they’re trying to get back so they can win one for Pat Bowlen to ease his struggle as he battles a vicious and cruel disease.

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