FanPost

I Was There in the Beginning

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I want to say up front that this is just my story. I don't know that it in any way reflects any one else's experience as a Bronco fan.

 

In 1960 I was eight years old. One Sunday afternoon I was by myself and looking for something to pass the time. I turned on the TV and as I changed the dial, working my way through the four Denver stations, I came upon a professional football game. To my surprise, one of the teams was from Denver. (I'll admit right now that I am a homer.) That was the first thing that got my attention and made me watch for a while. It was a black and white television, so I couldn't see that the uniforms were that god awful yellow and brown combination. I don't remember the heinous vertically striped socks. Maybe as an eight year old in 1960 it just didn't register with my lack of fashion sense. (Please, never wear those uniforms ever again. I don't care if it is a throwback game.) I ended up watching the whole game and at the end I said to myself, "That was entertaining." The seed was sown in a young Bronco fan that day and I recommended the Broncos to my friends as an enjoyable and entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 

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In 1962 my family moved sixty miles Southeast of Denver. The significance of this is that our primary television stations switched to Colorado Springs/Pueblo. Newer fans may have heard about the bad old days when the stadium wasn't full and home games were blacked out. What you may not know is that if a station is fifty or more miles away from the home team's city, the blackout rule doesn't apply. So for the first time we could see both home and away games. That was a definite bonus that helped my growing Bronco fanaticism.

 

As I remember it during the sixties, no one in my circle got very excited about the Broncos. We were apathetic and expected them to loose. They weren't very good and they usually fulfilled our expectations. We watched them because they were ours and it was professional football. We rooted for what we could, which was mostly Floyd Little.

 

In, I think 1967, our coach decided that we should see a professional football game in person. So under the auspices of the Letterman's Club, I attended my one and only Broncos game in person. We sat in the third level on the West side of the old Mile High all by ourselves, well above the twenty or thirty thousand hardy fans who had paid more for their tickets. The Broncos were trounced by the Chargers that day as we expected. We didn't yell much, there wasn't much to yell for. What stuck with me was that while we were in line at the stadium gate, we overheard season ticket holders discussing whether they made a mistake coming to see the Chargers or if it would have been better to stay home and watch the Jets on TV. Remember, they still showed something when the Broncos were blacked out.

 

In 1970 I went out of state to college and then into the military, so for the next twelve years I only saw the Broncos on Monday night or some other rare nationally televised game. One of the biggest surprises I ever got was in a phone call with my brother in 1977. (I was stuck with the Chiefs and the Vikings as the locally televised games, yuk and double yuk.) My brother informed me that the Broncos had the best record in football. My jaw dropped. Something strange had happened. I missed a lot as the Broncos built a respectable team and I missed a lot more during the glory of the Orange Crush defense.

 

We came home for good in 1982. So I saw all of the glory of the Elway era. The good days were fun. What a time to be a fan of the Broncos! We all know what has happened since. I feel like I'm back in the sixties. Apathy has returned to those in my circle. The Broncos are still my team, but they're not very good and I expect them to loose. How long will it take us to return to respectability?

 

Our high school coach told us of another experience he had at a Bronco game. Steve Tensi was the starting quarterback at the time. Every time Tensi came on the field, a guy near our couch would continually shout "Tensi is a bum. Tensi is a bum." Well, Steve Tensi was a bum much like our current starting quarterback. The difference between then and now is this. Back then, Steve Tensi was the unquestioned best quarterback on the roster. Today we're playing a bum while an unproven but potentially better backup quarterback, a player that we drafted in the first round (and gave up other picks to get), a player who was arguably one of the best players ever in the college ranks, watches uselessly on the sidelines.

 

I expect the game on Sunday against the Chargers to be pretty ugly. I expect boos and Tebow chants. I wish I could be positive. It was so much fun each time we experienced another Elway come from behind victory. Sunday I expect at best to see another Orton come from ahead loss if we're lucky enough to ever have the lead. I always want the Broncos to win, but I actually fear that a win this Sunday will do more harm than good. I fear it will justify and entrench a decision that mediocrity is good enough and we shouldn't try for more. I'm conflicted, but still pretty apathetic. I really hate to say this, but welcome back to the bad old days.

 

I've been a Bronco fan from the beginning. I've seen the bad, the good, and now the bad again. I'm a Bronco fan now and I plan to be a Bronco fan after the current HC and FO are long gone. If they make what I think are bad decisions I'll criticize them and be mad at them. If they make what I think are good decisions I'll complement them and be happy with them. It's like a family. I may not be happy with everyone all of the time, but we're still family. Go Broncos and please give me some reason to hope!

 

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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