First of all, thanks so much for propitious correspondence engaged in with fellow Broncos enthusiasts, I feel like I've had a productive July hereon and congratulations guys, training camp is only 9 days away.
As we have reached the advent of the Ides of July, let us remember a Bronco who we children of the 80's know and love on his 55th birthday, native Mississippian Sammy Winder!
Winder, a native of Ridgeland, Miss., starred at Southern Mississippi as a walk-on (before the overly-lauded Brett Favre did) from 1978-81, where he amassed 3,184 scrimmage yards, including 3,114 on the ground, for the Golden Eagles. In Winder's tenure at Hattiesburg, Miss., USM amassed a record of 31-13-1. If nothing else, I love a good palindrome, so he had a flair for awesome things before becoming a Bronco.
In 1982, my temporal existence began, correlating with Winder's advent in orange and blue and from the moment I knew who he was as a youngster (which took until 1986), I always loved watching him play. His flair for the dramatic also included the Mississippi Mud Walk Touchdown Dance. I recall it but I have no film archives to speak of hardly (someone else at home always deletes my football clips to make room for Hallmark Channel Christmas movies :(, but may it suffice that it was epic.
Assuredly, some of you remember when he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated on October 8, 1984, putting him in the elite category of Rubin Carter, John Elway and Peyton Manning and the new 3 Amigos on the front of this prestigious magazine.
Overall, in a career lasting through 1990, Winder amassed 5,427 rushing yards, 39 rushing touchdowns and 6,729 net yards from scrimmage, to go with 48 overall touchdowns.
I still remember the last Winder game, a 1990 NFL on CBS broadcast when the Broncos bested the Green Bay Packers, 22-13 (one of the rare times that the Packers aired in Salt Lake City in those days, they were not a good team back then) and how the announcers, I believe they were Dick Stockton and Merlin Olsen that day, lauded Winder and Broncos fans had "Superman" paraphernalia honoring him in the stands.
Presently, Winder owns his own construction company and I'm sure he'd give anyone a good deal on a basement if they esteem his playing days highly. It's worth a try, here's his professional contact info: http://www.manta.com/c/mm8cdt4/winder-construction-co.
In short, a throwback Mile High Salute to the great Sammy Winder, Happy Birthday to my favorite #23, no disrespect Michael Jordan!