The Denver Broncos have had the most exciting offseason since the pursuit of Peyton Manning in 2012.
From signing Nathaniel Hackett to be the head coach, to landing Russell Wilson in a trade with the Seahawks, to the change in ownership, Broncos Country has seen some of the biggest changes in franchise history in just a few short months.
Add to that the latest addition to the ownership group that is set to takeover when the league issues its final approval. Lewis Hamilton.
Some might call him the greatest race car driver in history, with his 7 Formula 1 world championships. Others might call him an advocate for human rights and positive change around the world. Others may call him overrated, and hypocritical. And across the pond, in the United Kingdom, he is known as Sir Lewis.
After a successful junior career in Karting races in England. His success eventually led him to opportunities that took him all the way to the pinnacle of motor sport, F1 racing. His first drive was with McLaren in 2007. Success followed him to F1, and in just his second season he won the world championship.
He jumped to Mercedes in 2013. He has secured six more world titles, including four consecutive titles from 2017 to 2020.
It was in recent years that he became a global icon. Many Americans fail to realize the amount of fame athletes around the world have, and therefore, they have great influence. Hamilton became a huge supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the only black driver in F1, he has been subject to issues involving race (no pun intended) his whole career.
This has turned him into a divisive figure in the sports world. He has many supporters, and the F1 community has rallied behind him. However, some fans see him as an entitled athlete who trades off his fame, pointing to the hypocrisy of speaking out on global issues while benefitting from sponsorships like Petronas, that seem to be right in the middle of human rights issues and violations. Feel free to fire up the Netflix series Drive to Survive
I do love Formula 1 racing, but I rest comfortably (if not constantly frustrated) with the Scuderia Ferrari camp. I root heartily against Lewis every week. Still, his status world wide will be a part of increasing the status of the NFL around the world. I’ll leave it to you to judge how you feel about him. However, this addition to the ownership group signals something that NFL has been working on for years. World wide dominance.
You may remember that Russell Wilson spent time in Europe, especially London, promoting the game. He was seen in Monaco sitting in the Mercedes area with his wife Ciara. There is a clear connection between the Broncos new QB, and one of the greatest race car drivers in history.
It has been fun to watch Wilson pull the Broncos back to league relevancy since George Paton traded for him. His hype videos, and the summer tour of Europe was excellent fodder for a starved Broncos Country, looking for a return to glory. I can’t say if Wilson spent time recruiting Hamilton to become a part of the franchise, but it probably didn’t hurt that he spent some time with the F1 driver this summer.
Hamilton joining the Broncos could indicate an increased presence for Denver in England. Many of his fans will be drawn to Broncos Country because of his influence. The Broncos will also be playing a game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 30th.
The NFL is going to be a global sport. The Broncos could be at the forefront of growing the game around the world. Lewis Hamilton could help Denver race to the top of fans’ lists world wide.