Key moments in Pat Bowlen’s 30-year ownership of Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With Pat Bowlen giving up control of the Broncos so he can battle Alzheimer’s disease, here are some key moments in his 30-year tenure running the organization:

March 23, 1984: Bowlen purchases the Broncos from Edgar Kaiser for $78 million

Jan. 11, 1987: The Broncos win the AFC Championship for the second time overall and first time under Bowlen, beating the Cleveland Browns 23-20 in overtime in a game that has been dubbed “The Drive” for quarterback John Elway’s 98-yard drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game and force overtime.

Jan. 25, 1987: Broncos lose to the New York Giants 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI in Pasadena, Calif.

Jan. 17, 1988: Broncos beat the Browns 38-33 at Mile High Stadium to win a second consecutive AFC title.

Jan. 31, 1988: Broncos lose to the Washington Redskins 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII in San Diego.

Jan. 14, 1990: Broncos beat the Browns 37-21 at Mile High Stadium to win a third AFC title in four years.

Jan. 28, 1990: Broncos lose to the San Francisco 49ers 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV in New Orleans.

Dec. 28, 1992: Bowlen fires coach Dan Reeves.

Jan. 31, 1995: Mike Shanahan is hired as coach, replacing Wade Phillips.

Jan. 4, 1997: After finishing with an AFC-best 13-3 record, the Broncos are stunned at Mile High Stadium by the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-27 in a divisional round playoff game.

Jan. 11, 1998: After going 12-4 in the regular season and beating the Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, the Broncos return to the Super Bowl by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21 at Three Rivers Stadium for their fourth AFC title.

Jan. 25, 1998: The Broncos win their first Super Bowl championship, beating the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at San Diego. After receiving the Lombardi Trophy, Bowlen intones “This one’s for John!” and handed the trophy to Elway.

Jan. 17, 1999: The Broncos, who started the season 13-0 before finishing 14-2, beat the New York Jets 23-10 at Mile High Stadium for a second consecutive AFC championship.

Jan. 31, 1999: The Broncos win their second Super Bowl championship, beating the Reeves-coached Atlanta Falcons 34-19 at Miami.

Sept. 10, 2001: Invesco Field at Mile High plays host to its first Broncos’ regular-season game. The taxpayer-funded stadium grew out of the team’s two Super Bowl titles and was built in the parking lot of Mile High Stadium.

Jan. 14, 2006: The Broncos beat the New England Patriots 27-13 at Invesco Field at Mile High for their first playoff win since winning Super Bowl XXXIII. The team lost the next week to the Steelers at home in the AFC Championship Game.

Dec. 30, 2008: After missing the playoffs three straight years, including losing the last three games of the 2008 season and blowing a three-game lead in the division, Bowlen fires Shanahan after 14 seasons as coach.

Jan. 11, 2009: The Broncos hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as coach, signing him to a four-year, $8 million contract.

May 2009: Bowlen tells the Denver Post when asked about his health: “Physically, I’m great. But I have short-term memory loss.”

Jan. 3, 2010: Despite starting the season 6-0, the Broncos finish 2-8 and miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

April 22, 2010: The Broncos draft Tim Tebow with the 25th overall pick.

Oct. 30, 2010:  Broncos director of video operations Steve Scarnecchia records six minutes of the 49ers’ walkthrough practice in London. Scarnecchia tells McDaniels of the recording, and McDaniels says he does not want to see it.

Nov. 27, 2010: After an investigation, the NFL fines McDaniels $50,000 for not reporting the incident and the team an additional $50,000. Scarnecchia is fired “for cause.”

Dec. 6, 2010: A day after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs to drop their record to 3-9, McDaniels is fired.

Jan. 5, 2011: Bowlen hires Elway to run the front office, announces Joe Ellis as president of the organization and that he will step away from day-to-day operations of the organization.

Jan. 13, 2011: John Fox is hired as coach.

Oct. 9, 2011: Tebow is inserted into the game against the San Diego Chargers at halftime and becomes the starter, launching “Tebowmania.”

Jan. 1, 2012: The Broncos lose to the Kansas City Chiefs to finish 8-8 but make the playoffs for the first time since the 2005 season.

Jan. 8, 2012: Tebow throws an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to beat the Steelers 29-23 in an AFC wild-card playoff game, just the Broncos’ second playoff win since winning the Super Bowl in January 1999.

March 20, 2012: The Broncos sign free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the 2011 season because of multiple neck surgeries and was cut by the Indianapolis Colts, to a five-year contract, ending the Tebow Era. Tebow later would be traded to the New York Jets.

Jan. 12, 2013: After going an AFC-best 13-3, the Broncos lose to the Baltimore Ravens 38-35 in double overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in a divisional-round playoff game. The Ravens tied the game with 31 seconds to play on a 70-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones after Jones got behind Rahim Moore.

Nov. 10, 2013: A 28-20 win over the Chargers was the Broncos’ 300th under Bowlen’s ownership.

Jan. 19, 2014: The Broncos beat the Patriots 26-16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 15 years and give Bowlen his sixth AFC title.

Feb. 2, 2014: The Broncos lose Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 at East Rutherford, N.J.

July 23, 2014: The Broncos announce Bowlen has given up control of the Broncos as he battles Alzheimer’s disease.


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