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Happy 60th Birthday Denver Broncos!

Sunday marked 60 years of Broncos football in Denver.

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Did you open champagne? Eat cake? Kick up your heels to celebrate?

Wednesday officially marked the 60th birthday of the Denver Broncos. It was August 14, 1959 when the American Football League announced that Denver, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Buffalo, and Minneapolis would be charter members of a league to directly challenge the NFL’s football grip on America.

Much has changed since then. The Boston Patriots now play for the region of New England instead of the city of Boston. The Dallas Texans, unable to fend off the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys (an effort to undermine the new league) moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. The Chargers, after playing just one year in Los Angeles moved to play the bulk of their history in San Diego before only recently returning Los Angeles. The Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee and became the Titans. The New York Titans rebranded and became the Jets after just a few years of operation. Minneapolis’ franchise never materialized because it was poached by the NFL prior to any games played. That hole in the original eight teams of the AFL? It was filled by a franchise granted to the city of Oakland, the Raiders.

Through it all, only the Bills and Broncos remain unchanged from their original city and nickname. Sure, there were attempts by the NFL to quash the Broncos franchise during merger talks with the AFL. Yes, there was a very real chance the Broncos could have been moved to Birmingham, Alabama in the late 60’s. Despite being borderline putrid in their early years, the Denver Broncos marched forward through time and became a crown jewel franchise in the NFL that we know today. From a sellout streak that dates back to the early 1970’s to Peyton Manning’s record-shattering run of 2013, the Denver Broncos have made a mark on the NFL of which Broncos Country should be proud.

When Broncos halfback Al Carmichael housed a Frank Tripucka pass for 59-yards on September 9, 1960 to score the first touchdown in AFL history, who then could have imagined what would become of the Denver Broncos today? With more ups that downs in franchise history, Broncos Country has been blessed to have the boys in orange and blue represent the city of Denver for the last 60 years. Happy Birthday, Broncos!


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