The Broncos miss Mr. B. How about you?

For the past 35 years, the name of Denver’s mayor has changed, from Federico Pena to Wellington Webb to John Hickenlooper to Michael Hancock. But the Bowlen family has been as close to royalty as our city knows, with the constant of Pat Bowlen owning our beloved NFL franchise as reassuring as every orange sunset over the Rocky Mountains.

The Bowlen family, however, is in crisis.

It’s a sad story, with the latest chapter the revelation Wednesday that Annabel Bowlen has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the same neurogenerative disease that forced her husband to step down from day-to-day operation of the football team following the 2013 season.

It has been a tough summer for Denver’s royal football family. With Mr. B fighting an insidious illness, a daughter from his first marriage, Beth Bowlen Wallace, went public with her desire to assume control of the franchise. Chief executive officer Joe Ellis, the caretaker of the football operation, fired back at Bowlen Wallace, insisting a well-educated, middle-aged woman is not capable or qualified at this time to replace her father.

While the Broncos have insisted there’s nothing to see here and it is business as usual, isn’t it obvious? Owning an NFL team valued at $2.6 billion cannot insulate the Bowlen children from the heartbreaking pain of watching parents grow old, or prevent messy bickering about family finances.

If you love the Broncos, this all matters. It matters a lot. It matters more than whether Case Keenum throws 25 touchdown passes in his first season as Denver’s starting quarterback.

The NFL has given its stamp of approval for the Pat Bowlen Trust, led by Ellis, to be in charge of how the Broncos operate, as well as determine the future of team ownership. But

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