DENVER (CBS4) – It was on Jan. 25, 1998 that that Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said “This one’s for John!” and handed the Vince Lombardi Trophy to John Elway.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Broncos had just defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII, and Elway and Bowlen finally got their trophy after three previous losing efforts in the big game.

John Elway (credit: CBS)

John Elway (credit: CBS)

Fast forward 18 years. Elway just returned the favor to Bowlen, and even though the Broncos owner couldn’t be at Super Bowl 50 he was there in spirit.

Bowlen is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and is no longer involved in the daily operations of the team.

After the Broncos big win in Super Bowl 50, Elway, the Broncos general manager, was handed the trophy and made his big pronouncement.

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Carolina Panthers during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Carolina Panthers during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

“This one’s for Pat!”

Elway said Bowlen wouldn’t want him to say it (Bowlen is notoriously humble) but afterwards he broke into a huge smile.

Annabel Bowlen, Pat’s wife, spoke before Elway and said “If Pat was here today, he would say he is very proud of his team and the best fans in the NFL.”

“On behalf of the Bowlen family, congratulations to the Denver Broncos! For the third time Broncos Country, you are Super Bowl champions!”

Denver has been to seven Super Bowls while Bowlen has owned the team and the Broncos now have three Super Bowl wins as a franchise.

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