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Horse Tracks: The Cookie that did not crumble

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With the Broncos selecting fullback Andy Janovich in the 6th round of the 2016 draft, the position has never been more popular in Denver. Or has it? Here's a look at the greatest fullback in Broncos history.

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If you're a Broncos fan, you undoubtedly know or know of fullback Howard Griffith. While he was a major contributor to the success of the 1997 and 1998 Broncos Super Bowl teams, he was not the best fullback in Broncos history. Who was?

As former Denver Broncos public relations guru Jim Saccomano posted in this week's 'Sunday Sacco,' it was, easily Cookie Gilchrist.

A few years ago, I got an opportunity to review the book that Cookie Gilchrist wrote regarding his time with the Denver Broncos. I'll say it again as I said it then, this book is a terrific read for anyone who is interested in the early days of the American Football League and the Denver Broncos.

Here, reprinted for your enjoyment, is that review.

I just recently finished the newly released book, "The Cookie That Did Not Crumble", written by former Denver Bronco fullback Cookie Gilchrist (with contributions from Chris Garbarino) and I've got to say that for Denver Broncos and football history buffs this book is certainly something you should check out.

Though his tenure with the Broncos was short, it came during some of the franchise's most pivotal moments. After protesting the discriminatory treatment of African American athletes by boycotting the 1965 AFL All Star game slated to take place in New Orleans, Gilchrist was punished by being traded to the worst team in the AFL - the Denver Broncos.

Depictions of the pre-Lou Saban Broncos are hard to come by. Few people know about former coach Mac Speedie, but the book takes us back to that era and sheds light on what the Broncos were like during that time. Some could argue that it was under Speedie's stewardship that the Broncos became so bad that something needed to be done and thus Lou Saban was hired. Without Saban, many of the organizational reforms that put Denver on the path to becoming a first rate franchise may not have happened.

"The Cookie That Did Not Crumble" is also an essential read for those of us who are interested in player/NFL relations with regard to head injuries. Gilchrist was a major part of the movement to to get the NFL to acknowledge the long term dangers of concussions. [2016 edit: You'll be shocked to learn the NFL fell all over themselves to deny that repeated head injuries contributed to Gilchrist's erratic behavior, especially late in life.]

If you want to find out more about the book and Gilchrist, check out Chris Garbarino's iinterview on 90.9FM NPR Boston or Garbarino's interview on El Paso's ESPN Radio affiliate.


For a look at Jim Saccomano's article that inspired this reprinting of the book review, it's totally worth checking out. Sundays with Sacco: The Broncos' best-ever fullback, Cookie Gilchrist | Denver Broncos

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