If you ask me what the greatest thing about writing for Mile High Report is, I would easily say that it’s getting to write about my favorite team from my own biased pro-Broncos point of view. Often times, articles I write are centered around the facts of how a game happened, who scored, who didn’t, or demands that certain players need to improve their performance. Such is life for the sports blogger.
When it comes to the greatest games of 2015 Super Bowl season, outside of Super Bowl 50 itself, none was greater than the New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football in the snow. How do I know? I was there.
Born and raised in Colorado, life eventually took me to live in New Hampshire, just an hour outside of Boston. My wife’s uncle lived not far away and was the only relative for either of us who lived within a thousand miles. As is required by New England law, he is one of the world’s biggest Boston sports fan - especially the Patriots.
To welcome me to the area, he took me and my father-in-law to a Red Sox game at Fenway and got us seats field level on the railing, right behind the ball girl on the first base side. These seats were amazing. I’m not a huge fan of American League brand baseball, being essentially on the field at Fenway is something you’ll never forget and he made it possible.
To pay him back for such a memorable experience, I invited him to join me in Denver on November 29th, 2015 when his (10-0) Patriots would be there to play my (8-2) Broncos.
To say that my uncle-in-law is a huge Patriots fan is an understatement. He exuded all the confidence that any fan of an undefeated 10-0 team that featured Tom Brady would. Of course, my parents and I enjoyed the banter back and forth with him, but it was obvious that we were all on edge about what was to take place that Sunday night. To calm, nerves we went out to lunch at a restaurant we knew he would enjoy.
What truly made this surprise visit to Elway’s so great was that Elway himself was eating just a few tables over from us. My wife’s uncle was super-impressed.
At The Stadium
When we got to the stadium, I was proud to show off our fans, artwork, and facility. The tailgates were in full swing and excitement was in the air.
As we took our seats, the smattering of snowflakes turned into a legitimate snow storm. Nothing like a snow game at Mile High. We were bundled up and plenty warm. It was going to be a good game.
I won’t lie to you, when the Broncos didn’t score during the first quarter and went down 14-0 in the 2nd, I started to get nervous. With just over 2:00 to go in the half, Denver finally got on the board with a Ronnie Hillman touchdown. There was hope... and mustaches.
Much to our surprise, the Broncos had decided to participate in a Guinness Book of World Records challenge. Everyone in the stadium had been given an orange mustache to wear during halftime and we would take home the record for most false mustaches being worn at once. Super Bowl 50 wasn’t the only title that the Broncos brought home in 2015.
After halftime, the snow was really coming down.
Although the Broncos were down, there was hope in the air. My uncle-in-law was confident in his Patriots and I was confident in Mile High Magic. There was just a feeling in the air that something special was soon to happen.
It just took until the 4th quarter for it to begin.
Tom Brady and C.J. Anderson traded touchdowns in successive drives. Tack on a Brandon McManus field goal and an Andre Caldwell touchdown reception from Brock Osweiler and suddenly the Broncos had a slim 3-point lead.
Then, of course, Tom Brady did what Tom Brady is known for and maneuvered the Patriots into position for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to tie it back up with no time left in regulation.
This crazy game in the snow was going to overtime.
Then this happened:
We all saw it happening almost in slow motion. The hole was there, C.J. was there, it was going to happen. When his arm went up, that was it. The undefeated Patriots were no more. Homefield advantage in the playoffs suddenly had a chance to come through Denver.
Although he would never admit it, even my uncle-in-law knew that what we had just witnessed was one of the most special games in Broncos history... and we were there!
The Ride Home
So, the jubilation of the victory had turned into collect your crap and let’s go home. For years now, we have used the RTD Broncos busses to get to and from the games and this night was no different. The snow had been piling up and it was getting late. My uncle-in-law and I, along with around 50 other half drunk, tired, and cold football fans, piled into the bus and proceeded to watch as our driver got on I-25 going the wrong way. We were headed to Arapahoe High School in Centennial where our stop was, but we were headed nowhere near that direction.
Under protests from the passengers that the driver was going the wrong way, he then got on I-70 East headed toward the airport — still the wrong way. What should have been a 30-minute ride straight south turned into an hour and a half tour around the major freeways of Denver. At the airport we got on I-225 finally headed the right way — in a snowstorm!
Honestly, it didn’t matter. The Broncos had won. They were 9-2 and visions of a Super Bowl championship were manifesting. What a game for the ages.