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As we anxiously await the kickoff to Super Bowl 50, I wanted to reflect on this crazy year for the Denver Broncos – a year unlike any I can remember – and share a few highlights of the season that was…
Broncos Bits 20 – 11
Hard to know what is going to happen in Super Bowl 50, but I do know this, this football team has provided far, far more excitement and fun than pain over my over 40 year love obsession with the team. Here are some of my favorite memories of the Denver Broncos...
20 – Training Camp Visits – Dove Valley, where Broncos HQ is located, is very close to where we live and some combination of family has gone out to training camp on more than a few late summer days in recent years. I also remember my parents taking me and my sisters to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to watch the team practice in the heyday of the 1980s Elway years.
19 – Thanksgiving and the Broncos – The Cinnamon Girl and I had a great Thanksgiving afternoon watching the Broncos thrash the Cleveland Browns a few years back.
18 – Peyton Manning Come to the Broncos – I was teaching an AP English Literature during the news coverage of Peyton Manning’s landing at Centennial Airport during his free agent tour. As he was being shuttled to Broncos HQ, I was supposed to be talking with the students about literary analysis. That I was in the classroom didn’t mean I wasn’t following events (and keeping my students in the loop). In fact, we suspended the lesson as I let the kids know that Manning was signing with the Broncos. Then we lost our minds.
17 – The 2013 and 2015 AFC Championship Games – I got to attend the last two AFC Championship games (2013 with Stretch and 2015 with Sous Chef) and those being with the kids at these two games will remain treasured memories.
16 – The Drive – We turned off the tv when the Browns scored to take the lead in the 1987 AFC Championship Game. We turned it back on moments later. We turned it off again when the Broncos muffed the kickoff and got the ball on their 2 yard line. We turned it back on moments later. Then we watched Elway become ELWAY. We didn’t turn off the tv again.
15 – Watching Broncos Football in the Snow – I have seen many, many incredible Bronco games in the bitter cold and the blowing snow. I complain about the preparation, say I am getting too old for this… stuff… and then I love talking about what a great experience I had following the games.
14 – Rod Smith’s First Catch – I was living about 10 blocks from Mile High Stadium when the Broncos were going through a “down” year and were about to lose a game to the Washington team. The tv was on in the background and I wasn’t paying too much attention (I think I was painting my living room at the time) as John Elway did something he’d never done before. He connected on a last play touchdown for a win. The guy who caught the ball? A practice squad-er named Rod Smith. His first catch in the league was a John Elway ball. For a touchdown. To win a game. I opened the front door of my house and I could hear the screams of euphoria from the stadium.
13 – Broncos Comeback Wins – Elway or Tebow or Manning (or, this year, Osweiler)… I’ve seen Bronco quarterbacks engineer some exciting come backs in incredible fashion. I’ve seen the defense do amazing things at the end of games. Is there anything more exciting than grabbing victory at the end of a game?
12 – Decorating the House for Big Games – During the season, during playoffs, during Super Bowl runs, we’ve put decorations all over the house, sometimes with more gusto than others, but always in support of the team. How often they stay up after the conclusion of the season is directly proportional to how sad I am after the end-of-the-year loss…
11 – Madden Simulations! – I have purchased the new version of Madden each-and-every year since 1994. I play the Broncos game of the week over-and-over leading up to any given game. I hesitate to think about how many hours I’ve spent playing the game. As of this writing, I’ve played Super Bowl 50 4 times (for the record, I am 3 – 1 in the game). The graphics and the game play get increasingly better every year.