Pat Bowlen's estate will receive HOF jacket, ring

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The family of Pat Bowlen will receive the former Denver Broncos owner's Pro Football Hall of Fame gold jacket and ring.

After Bowlen died following his selection to the Hall this year, questions arose about whether or not his family would be issued a jacket and ring. Hall of Fame Spokesman Pete Fierle told Mike Klis of 9News in Denver the family would be receiving the priceless items.

"Pat Bowlen is the first individual to pass away between the time he was elected and formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,'' Fierle said. "The process was underway to create his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence.

"As previously planned prior to his death, the Gold Jacket and Ring of Excellence will be presented to the Pat Bowlen estate to be displayed in the front lobby of the UC Health Training Center.

"The Gold Jacket and Ring of Excellence will serve as an everlasting reminder of the impact Pat Bowlen made on the Broncos and the National Football League. He epitomized the values and virtues learned from the game of football that serve as inspiration to fans to live a 'Hall of Fame life' of character."

When the Hall of Fame previously inducted deceased players, their families did not receive jackets or rings, per the Hall's policy. Fierle's distinction that Bowlen was elected before his death allows the Hall of Fame to keep that policy in place, though many would like it changed.

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is one who hopes the Bowlen decision leads to an alteration in the policy for all deceased members.

"David Baker and the Hall of Fame made the right decision, and I believe it opens the door to reconsidering awarding rings and jackets to the families of all deceased enshrinees," Davis told ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez on Tuesday night. "It opens the door to making it right for other families, like Junior Seau's and Kenny Stabler's.

"There's no reason I should have my father's ring and Bruce Allen does not have his. As a new member of the NFL owners Hall of Fame Committee, I'll continue to advocate for the families."

Whether the Hall of Fame board -- an independent organization separate from the NFL -- agrees a change should be made remains to be seen.

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