clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: The Cookie that did not crumble

New, comments

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.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

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.

HORSE TRACKS

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

Kalil Mack has forgotten which franchise he plays for. What you see is what you get, and what I've seen from the Raiders over the last fourteen years doesn't inspire much confidence. Keep aiming for those stars, Kalil! Khalil Mack: Our defense can be as good as Broncos "if we max out" | ProFootballTalk

It's easy to see why Kalil Mack would be confused. A team without a home (and an owner with a Baby Huey haircut), the Raiders are as big a mess as always. Las Vegas would be the NFL’s fifth-smallest media market | ProFootballTalk

Interested to see what's on other Broncos fans mind? Here's Broncos Senior Digital Reporter Andrew Mason's mailbag. Mason's Mailbag: Running backs, Paxton Lynch, and taking predictions in their proper context | Denver Broncos

Training camp and final cuts are still months away. That won't stop folks from predicting who will make the Broncos and who won't. 5 Denver Broncos Veterans Who Won't Survive Training Camp | NFL Spin Zone

In case you missed it, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick isn't joining the Denver Broncos. When you're all out of options, it's best to come together and make peace, I guess. Chip Kelly: Fantastic interactions with Colin Kaepernick - NFL.com

Why? What do you mean? Why? Because he's really old and injury-prone. Why isn’t Dwight Freeney getting work? | ProFootballTalk

Jay Cutler is on to his, (geez, how many is it now?) next offensive coordinator in Chicago. The departure of Adam Gase shouldn't be an issue as Cutler will play under the same offense as last year. This is great news for opposing defenses hungry for Jay Cutler-brand interceptions. Eat greedy, my friends! Dowell Loggains of Chicago Bears says Jay Cutler will play under same offense as last season | ESPN

Sean Payton is taking a different approach to acclimating his rookies to the NFL. Personally, I like the polar-opposite approach that the Broncos are employing this year. I'm not going to say Payton is wrong to do it this way... Yes, I am. He's wrong. Sean Payton not interested in easing rookies into minicamps | ProFootballTalk

Tom Coughlin is getting all creepy stalker-like on the NFL. After he was fired, he was still working out at the Giants facility. Let it go Tom. It's over. Done. You're embarrassing yourself. Tom Coughlin wants back in, knows it may be unlikely | ProFootballTalk