Twenty-five years ago, Pat Bowlen bought the Denver Broncos. It was a $78 million purchase for a team that was near bankruptcy.
Bowlen wanted his team "to be number one in everything." Since he became majority owner, the Broncos have had 14 winning seasons, 12 years in the playoffs, seven division titles, and six conference championships.
They've also made it to the Super Bowl five times, winning two of them back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.
Lately, however, things haven't been going as well as Bronco Nation would like.
Ticket sales are lacking. While they once had a waiting list years long, thousands of tickets for this season have yet to be sold.
Part of it, of course, is due to the poor economy, where 1.8 million people have already lost their jobs. Denver's unemployment alone is 9.8 percent.
However, some critics may say the recent changes are leading to the lack of ticket sales. This past December, Bowlen fired beloved coach Mike Shanahan after he refused to fire defensive coaches.
He's since been replaced by former New England Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels has already stirred controversy by hiring many of his former players and even going as far as allegedly shopping Denver's franchise quarterback Jay Cutler for the experience-lacking Matt Cassel.
While there are several new faces in the Mile High City, this lifelong fan wonders if bringing a familiar face back to the franchise will make things any better.
I'm talking, of course, about John Elway. He became the face of the franchise when he joined the team in 1983 and is still very popular in the Denver community. He's owned the Colorado Crush for seven years, owns the popular restaurant "Elway's," has a line of furniture, and owns several car dealerships.
Don't get me wrong—I'm not saying owning a dining place and having couches with your name on them give you the experience to own an NFL team.
However, I do believe Elway could breathe new life into his former team. Not only that, but I also think fans would be confident in his decision making and excited for the opportunity to cheer for him again—after all, he's been there before.
Elway already owns 10 percent of the team. I just wonder what he could do with the rest.
Thanks to the official site of the Denver Broncos, the Denver Business Journal, and the Denver Daily News for the information and quote used in this story.
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