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A Mile High Salute to the moms

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If there is ever a No. 1 cheerleader for young athletes, it is their mothers. Because no one else on the planet can both cheer and criticize an athlete - and get away with it - like his or her mom.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It's only fitting that Mother's Day follows the NFL Draft every year.

How many times did you see the future NFL stars hug their mothers?

About 256.

After all, if there is ever a No. 1 cheerleader for a young athlete, it is their mothers.

No one else on the planet can both cheer and criticize an athlete - and get away with it - like his mom.

Watch any Pee Wee football game - or think back to when you were playing sports - and you'll remember your mother probably running up and down the sideline, yelling at you, the coach, the other team and probably a few other mothers.

And secretly, it probably made you proud (if not slightly embarrassed!)

When I was competing, I always looked to the stands after a routine to see my mom's reaction. When I did well, I knew I would see her screaming and waving her arms in the stands! And even when I didn't do great, her smile and support were not just appreciated but necessary.

No one cares about a player quite like his mom. Dads often tend to be more quiet supporters. They'll critique and cheer in a much less public way, saving their coaching for the ride in the car before and after.

Moms, on the other hand, wear their bias on their sleeves, constantly coaching, cheering, nagging, loving.

But that public support is what makes moms so endearing to their kids - and especially to their sons.

In a grueling and competitive sport like football, where some days you're the hero and some days the goat, it's nice to know you will never lose your No. 1 fan - your mom.

So while we salute all the new Broncos this time of year, lets also thank their moms.

It's because of the moms as much as anyone that they are the players they are today.

And while we're at it, lets thank the moms of all our beloved Broncos because we know they will be.

And then go thank your mom too!