With all due respect to the game that bears Kevin Bacon's name, this isn't about him. This is about football, the Denver Broncos, and 55 years of storied history. The rules are simple: Start with a player on the current roster and work through the careers of our longest tenured greats until you get back to 1960. Easy? I was able to do it in eight players, but all the careers overlap. Let's see if you can do better than I did. Then let's see if you can do it without repeating a overlapping at all. That's gotta be tough.
Demaryius Thomas (Present to 2010) - Good ol' #88 doesn't need much introduction. Our recently franchised tagged stud at wide receiver was drafted by Denver in the first round of the 2010 draft. He's already got a fat reel of great football highlights, but this one, I'll never forget.
Champ Bailey (2013 to 2004) - This future hall-of-famer came to Denver in one of the most talked about trades in the history of the Broncos. Make no mistake who, in 2004, won the trade with Washington that sent RB Clinton Portis packing for this all time great.
Jason Elam (2007-1993) - With all due respect to Broncos Ring of Fame member Jim Turner, Elam is without a doubt the greatest kicker in Broncos history. Who can forget this record tying 63-yard kick?
John Elway (1998 to 1983) - Can't call the game Six Degrees of John Elway without John Elway, can you? Which clip to show? How about this one?
Randy Gradishar (1983 to 1974) - Denver's all-time great linebacker's career overlapped with Elway's for just one year and that's plenty to get us back to the early 1970's in the Broncos timeline. It's a damn shame that Canton can't get its act together and induct one of the best to ever play the game.
Floyd Little (1975 to 1967) - Like John Elway, what can you say about such an important player in Broncos history? Take a look at this article I did for MHR back in 2012 when I was lucky enough to interview him. Ladies and gentlemen, 'The Franchise.'
Nemiah Wilson (1967 to 1965) -This is where it gets sketchy. We've traced from modern day to a time of turmoil in Broncos history. Denver was not very good during this time and so finding long-tenured players is tough. Who was Nemiah Wilson? Please allow MHR legend KaptainKirk to fill you in from this 2011 article.
Nemiah Wilson played 3 seasons as the Broncos starting Right Cornerback from 1965-67. He played 42 games, with 8 interceptions, returning 3 for touchdowns. Wilson caused 5 fumbles and recovered 2. He was also used as a return man, running 14 kickoffs back 415 yards and 1 touchdown, a 29.56 average. Nemiah returned 3 punts 10 yards. Wilson has the distinction of being the oldest AFL All-Star in 1967.
Lionel Taylor (1966 to 1960) - Sadly, the video I linked to in this 2011 article is apparently no longer on the internet. Thankfully, it's still well worth the read, especially if you have no idea how great a wide receiver Taylor was... I quote now what I quoted then from Tim Lynch's 2008 article on Taylor:
In Taylor's brief career, he set franchise records in receptions and yards that wouldn't be broken until the late 1990's. He also set a league record for most receptions in a six year span of 503 that would not be broken until Sterling Sharp caught 540 passes in his six seasons, the big difference between them is that Sharpe had 14 more games with which to break Lionel Taylor's mark. Taylor was also the first player ever to catch more than 100 passes in a single season.
...and that my friends is how I trace the modern era back to the Broncos first year of football. Can you do better than eight players? Can you do it without overlapping careers?
Not going to lie to you folks, Broncos news is slow going this time of year. Without further ado....
LONGER PATs - The Denver Post's Mike Klis isn't a big fan of longer extra point kicks. Here's why.
MANNY RAMIREZ - The Broncos offensive guard answered questions at an elementary school event. Apparently he lives in a tiny town just outside of Amarillo, Texas. Here's the article.
C.J. ANDERSON - In breaking 'water is wet' kind of news, C.J. Anderson is poised to be the starter when the 2015 season opens. Here's the article.