KUSA - So much talk about Alzheimer's at Broncos training camp that you wonder if that's the name of a new player on the roster. The 55th season of Denver Broncos football began without wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who one day after Pat Bowlen gave up control of the team in order to battle Alzheimer's disease, was excused to attend his grandma's funeral services.
"His grandmother, in the Atlanta, Georgia area, passed away of Alzheimer's. That with the combined power with the news of Mr. Bowlen pretty devastating stuff. This woman basically raised DT," head coach John Fox said. "He left last night and he is where he needs to be right now. We expect him back when services are over. We'll give him that time to mourn his grandmother."
Former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan did the right thing. Shanahan was hired three times by Pat Bowlen and fired once. They won a pair of Super Bowl Championships together and as soon as Mike learned of Pat's resignation he raced over to the Bowlen's home to visit with Pat's wife and children.
"After I was watching TV and saw what happened, I went right over to his house. I didn't get a chance to talk to Pat because he wasn't home but I did talk to Annabel and a number of his children and had a chance to get back with them and told them when Pat gets back I want to spend some time to talk to him when he's got a couple hours. But it was nice talking to Annabel and a number of people in the family," Shanahan said.
To clarify, I am not joking about anybody's illness. In an attempt to convey the information about the prevalence of conversation regarding Alzheimer's disease at Broncos training camp (Pat Bowlen's resignation as CEO and the death of Demaryius Thomas' grandmother), I delivered a line which some viewers found offensive. For that, I sincerely apologize.
Alzheimer's is a horrible, insidious disease which affects the memory, thinking and behavior of more than five million Americans. There is nothing funny about it. I was not striving for humor.
I hope the courage of the Bowlen family triggers a discussion that leads to a greater awareness of a serious issue.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)