Hey folks! Here is another edition of History of the Broncos. I will be posting a new one each Wednesday, covering all sorts of historical events throughout Bronco history. It will not be chronological, so expect me to bounce around history quite often.
This week we review the monumental turnaround the Bronco organization made in mid 1970's. From laughing stock to elite.
If there was a singular turning point in the Denver Bronco franchise, it was the 1977 season. Before that year the Broncos had never won their own division, nor had they ever seen a playoff game from field level. Sixteen years as an AFL/NFL whipping boy culminated into a dominating regular season performance.
This history lesson shows that the modern free agency era does not necessarily help teams win championships faster or easier. In fact, I might even say that free agency hinders teams from developing into dominant dynasties.
A quick look at the starting roster for the 1977 Denver Broncos and you see nine out of eleven starters on defense were drafted by the Broncos, while eight out of eleven starters on offense were picked up by the Broncos through the draft.
For those of you who would disagree, how many dynasties have there been since free agency was created? I would argue that New England should no longer be considered a dynasty, since no previous dynasty lost a Super Bowl during their years of dominance.
The overall point I wish to convey in correlation between our 1977 team and today is that we must secure our best draft picks for the future and the championships will come. Free Agency needs to be used sparingly, while our draftees should be developed into key role players.
Below you will find the roster from 1977, as seen on this website.
As you can see, this team was built nearly entirely around the draft. The men they drafted were to become the embodiment of what it meant to be a Bronco.
In a way, these men were the founding fathers of our long standing traditions as an organization. They created our "constitution" or ethos of Broncomania and they helped solidify the organizations permanent tenure in the great city of Denver.
Those of us who were Bronco fan during this time period or those of us who grew up in or around Denver, Colorado in the early to mid 1980's all remember and loved drinking one kind of soda. Orange Crush, baby!
I hope you've all enjoyed this little history lesson. And next time you feel proud to be a Bronco fan, remember the names listed above and remember how they changed the face of this franchise forever.
Next week I will cover the actual 1977 season that launched the Broncos into the elite echelon of Pro Football. Think of this current edition as the gravy and next week's edition is the meat and potatoes.
NOTE: My very first Broncos History Lesson can be found in the diary section here.