I was so sure we were going to wear orange. When other Mile High Report writers talked about it in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl 50, I thought the debate was preposterous! Every year AFC and NFC alternate as home teams in the Super Bowl and the home team gets to choose what jersey they want to wear. As the home team, why on Earth wouldn't the Denver Broncos wear orange?
"We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms"
John Elway was not wrong when the decision was announced. After going 0-4 in the orange uniforms, can you blame the Broncos for not being so jazzed about them? White-uniformed teams have won 32 of 50 Super Bowls and before the Broncos victory, 10 of the 11 previous winners wore white. Yes, the orange uniforms are awesome, but there was statistical credence to the Broncos superstitious choice to wear white in Super Bowl 50.
So what about this Thursday? I asked the question.
As is the case for most home games, orange. https://t.co/Ah1n4g0wVF— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) September 4, 2016
The Broncos will be wearing their usual orange jerseys at home to open the 2016 season. I can't ever remember them wearing white at home, can you?
@Jezru @MaseDenver Broncos last wore white in Denver in 03 (NFL order). Understand curiosity given SB50. Eager 2c color rush wk 6@UniWatch— Dennis I. Clary (@DIC_ICT) September 4, 2016
NFL order? What does that mean? To the google-box!
It turns out that the 2003 instance of the Denver Broncos wearing white at home is affectionately known in uniform geek circles (I use that term affectionately as a uniform geek myself) as "Shanahan Uniformgate."
I found this explanation on The Gridiron Uniform Database:
From Wikipedia..."On November 16, 2003, the Broncos wore their white jerseys at home for the first time since 1983, in a game vs. the San Diego Chargers. This was compensation for a uniform mix-up, after the teams' first meeting at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium in Week 2 earlier that season, when the Chargers were the team that was supposed to declare their uniform color. The Chargers were planning to wear their white jerseys, but the visiting Broncos came to the stadium in white, and were fined $25,000 by the NFL as a result. When the two teams met at INVESCO Field at Mile High later that season (Week 11), the NFL allowed the visiting Chargers to choose their uniform color in advance, and they chose navy blue, forcing the Broncos to wear their white jerseys at home."
It seems that the term "Shanahan-Uniform-gate" gets attributed to Denver wearing white at home in November. It was actually the result of Denver bringing the wrong uniforms (whites) to San Diego back in September in Week 2.
So there you have it. The last time the Broncos wore white at home, it was done as a psuedo-punishment. How did the Broncos fare at home in white in that game? From a later comment in the 'Shanahan Uniformgate' thread...
Actually, I wasn't aware of the "make-up" ruling by the NFL. Not that it helped the Chargers in the latter game. As Peter King put it the next day, "Empty uniforms would have played better than the Chargers did Sunday."
The Chargers were crushed 37-8. I guess, that's what you get for not wearing white at Mile High.
So have the Denver Broncos worn white at home on other occasions?
According to Uni Watch, the Broncos wore white at home for the entire 1971 season, in 1980 against the Cowboys and the Chargers, and in 1983 against the Eagles, Raiders, and Bengals. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. None of these instances were blessed with an as easily google-able nickname as 'Shanahan Uniformgate.'
So, there you go! A sort-of-comprehensive history of Broncos wearing white at home... and for those that scrolled through looking for the answer to the headline, the Denver Broncos will be wearing orange on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Do you crave more uniform talk? Make sure to check out Andrew Mason's mailbag. Mason's Mailbag: Offensive line, Trevor Siemian, throwback uniforms and more | Denver Broncos
Lots of stuff went down on Sunday. Andrew Mason identifies five things you should know. Five things you should know from the Broncos' Sunday | Denver Broncos
Look who is back! No word on if he'll play Thursday. Broncos Injury Report: Ty Sambrailo returns to practice | Denver Broncos
The Broncos fleshed out their practice squad on Sunday. Broncos add eight to practice squad | Denver Broncos
...and then they added one more. Broncos add LB Kyle Kragen practice squad | Denver Broncos
Which leaves one last spot on the practice squad...
#Broncos signed 9 to practice squad w/ Kalif Raymond 10th expected tmrw, injury notes, captains, # changes, more: https://t.co/JOKEAeaoTg— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 4, 2016
The Broncos team captains were also announced on Sunday. Broncos announce 2016 season captains | Denver Broncos
So, Austin Davis and not Mark Sanchez, why? Gary Kubiak explains why Broncos let go of Mark Sanchez in favor of Austin Davis | FOX Sports
The #Bears are signing OL Josh Sitton to a 3-year deal, source said. That was fast— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2016
...which quashes any and all hope for the guard to sign with the Broncos. Broncos depth chart: Michael Schofield to start at right guard – The Denver Post
Need a refresher on the 53 before Thursday? A closer look at the Broncos roster | 9news.com
The Mile High Report Staff and I would like to offer any and all assistance to the Denver Broncos in getting Emmanuel Sanders' contract extended. Emmanuel Sanders still 'hopeful' for new deal - 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
Panthers coach Ron Rivera would rather play someone else to open the season. Ron Rivera of Carolina Panthers not high on rematch vs. Denver Broncos to start season | ESPN
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Philly Brown is looking forward to getting Talib'd this Thursday. Philly Brown ready for rematch with Aqib Talib | ProFootballTalk
Gotta love T.J. Ward. Frito-hey? Ward not worried about Panthers' chip - 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
Patriots wide receiver clearly hasn't spent enough time visiting Aaron Hernandez in prison if he's confusing Tom Brady's suspension with jail. Julian Edelman: Brady's suspension 'like one of your buddies going to jail' - CBSSports.com
That tower looks a little too erect to be a true tribute to the man who deflated all those balls. https://t.co/134IRADy5k— Jess Place (@Jezru) September 4, 2016
Is there anything more boring than Tom Brady and the Patriots' not-so-silent acts of defiance against the NFL? Patriots light up north tower at Gillette in Brady's honor | CSNNE
Steelers suffer a significant loss. Steelers suffer pretty big blow on defense, place Bud Dupree on injured reserve | FOX Sports
Bears coach John Fox made a surprising move that could affect your fantasy team. Bears cut Robbie Gould | ProFootballTalk
Former kick return stud Devin Hester is headed to Baltimore. Pro Bowl returner Devin Hester reportedly agrees to deal with Ravens | FOX Sports
What do you think about the Eagles-Vikings trade? Sanchez to the Cowboys? NFL: Dallas Cowboys winners, Minnesota Vikings losers in QB Carousel | FOX Sports