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Horse Tracks: April Fools Day in recent Broncos history

April 1st has always been an interesting date in Broncos history

Denver Broncos Media Availability Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I will never forget after the Broncos Super Bowl XXXII victory over the Green Bay Packers, one of my good friends called me early in the morning in a full blown panic.

“The Broncos just traded Terrell Davis to the Oakland Raiders.”

Kudos to my friend for playing it the right way. His call woke me up and I didn’t have all my faculties about me. Further, the intensity of his voice led me to believe that what he was saying was not only true, but indisputable fact.

Obviously, it was not. If the call hadn’t woken me up, I would have immediately known that something was up because of the trade partner he’d picked for his April Fools ruse. I should have known better.

Of course these days, I could have easily looked on my phone in real time and verified that it was all a big lie. While modernity could have proven this joke to be a fraud, it’s interesting that these days that same technology is being used by the athletes themselves to prank their fans.

Case in point, Von Miller and Emmanuel Sanders’ April Fools tweets about being traded on Sunday. What I didn’t realize is that Miller played the same joke on Broncos Country last year to great success. Be on the lookout for the trifecta of this prank next year, I guess.

Of course, Mile High Report isn’t immune to the good-natured ribbing. After Peyton Manning’s retirement, Ian St. Clair staked a claim that Tebow was the future to the tune of 322 comments. For better or worse, it was pretty successful.

In 2015, there were no notable pranks, but the Broncos did trade for center Gino Gradkowski from the Baltimore Ravens. He would be waived in early September.

In 2014, Troy Renck switched beats the Rockies to the Broncos at the Denver Post. Troy now works for Denver 7. Considering the recent news of pretty much the Denver Post’s entire sports department departing for the (obscurity?) greener pastures of a paywall protected blog, it’s safe to say that Renck was no April Fool.

Also in 2014, Champ Bailey visited the Saints in an effort to keep his Broncos career afloat. After eventually signing with the Saints and competing during training camp, Bailey was waived in the final cuts leading up to the 2014 regular season.

Rounding out April Fools Day in 2014, the Broncos signed free agent center Will Montogmery. The former Redskin would play in 8 games before moving on to Chicago the following year.

In 2013, the April Fool was quarterback Matt Flynn. Flynn was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 5th round pick from the Seattle Seahawks and lasted nearly 6 months before getting cut. The Raiders commitment to excellence that year netted them a 4-12 record.

In 2012, Tim Lynch, then a blogger at Bronco Talk, put together a tongue-in-cheek list of top landing spots for the Oakland Raiders. Spoiler: Las Vegas was not one of them.

2011 was the offseason lockout during the NFL’s labor dispute, so nobody was in a joking mood. Although, I’m sure that Elvis Dumervil was stoked his assault charges were dropped.

Skipping over 2010, we’ll focus on 2009 when April Fools day was nothing to laugh at. The state of the Broncos was all a little too real. This was the middle of the Jay Cutler vs. Josh McDaniels saga. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen entered the fray ending stating that Jay Cutler would indeed be traded, ending weeks of speculation. As if that wasn’t enough, wide receiver Brandon Marshall went under the knife to fix his injured hip.

For better or worse, April Fools Day has been an interesting day for the Broncos in recent history (2010 aside). The trend seemed to either be jokes by the players (or my buddy in the time before twitter), signings of cusp players, and absolute turmoil. Here’s hoping that future April Fools Days are filled with more Von Miller trade joke shenanigans and less upheaval of the entire organization.


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