Thankfulness in Broncos Country


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

By Matty Petrero

Things for which This Denver Broncos Fan is Thankful Disclaimer:

Perspective about what really is important in life is not lost on me. However, since this is a Denver Broncos blog, the below piece is for fun and totally related to life’s toy department; sports and entertainment. That said, enjoy, my fellow Bronconians!

I have been a Broncos fan since I was a wee lad. Over the years, there have been peaks and valleys, as is the case with any sports franchise. Let’s face it though, in the NFL since Mr. Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984, only the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers have enjoyed more peaks. So it is with that in mind that I author this poem of thanks to Mr. Bowlen (Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Phipps as well) for giving us one of the premier franchises on the American sports landscape; a reason to be thankful that we’re Broncos fans.

What Am I thankful for as a fan of the Denver Broncos?

For Tripuka and Tombstone and Lionel for sure. Bow-legged Floyd’s stroll through Canton’s door.

For Morton and Moses and those stable of rushers. Randy, Lyle, and those feared “Orange Crushers” “It’s all over, Fat-man!” T.J. proclaimed. As Oakland’s balance of power circled the drain.

For the first Super Bowl, delivered by Red, with visions of Lombardi dancing in my head.

The next era ushered belonged to Coach Reeves with a run of success previously not conceived. Mecklenberg, Dennis, “Big 50”, and Rulon. To all opponents that they put a big hurt on.

Most thankful for the man blown down by maple leaf winds who’s made it his priority to bring Denver wins.

Throughout the 80’s and threw the AFC, four years of Super Bowls, which we were in three. Though there were no rings but plenty of doubt, I’m thankful that you can never count Denver out.

Times got lean but we still loved Wade.

Under Beake and Fergie, a foundation was laid.

Atwater, Sharpie, Nalen, and Zim…and Ol’#7 were starting to dig in.

In ’95, returned an old friend, the era of Shanny was about to begin. Armed with a plan, he brought from “The Stick” soley intended to make opponents sick. He added T.D., Eddie, and Rod. This gave #7 a gift from the Gods. The o-line got beefy, but not too much. With Habib and Stink, Elway rarely got touched. With Romo and Alfred and Lodish and Ma’a, Robby’s blitz schemes… <

Move along, nothing to see here.>>

First year improvement, second year 1st seed. Then a crippling loss demoralized us indeed. Sharpie said it would set us back ten years. But the opposite happened as they quelled all of our fears. A jagged pill to swallow, you never like to lose. But with what was to follow, the initial loss we’d choose.

’97 was a good year, but not what we first thought. Then the most magical run, a Lombardi trophy it had brought. Thirty seven years and four Super Bowl defeats had been made all better with a parade down 17th Street.

But we were not done. No, not at all. The ’98 season saw records almost fall. T.D. attacked 2K with precision and speed. And the ’73 Fins were shakin in the knees. Davis ran for 2008, and Denver’s 14-2 record was a sure sign of fate. Breezed through the playoffs and back in the bowl. They crushed the Dirty Birds and again, the title we did hold.

The next dozen years were kinda up and down. We brought in Jake “The Snake” to hold the QB position down. Eddie and Rod were still among the best. We plugged runners in, the running game was still better than the rest.

Although the Mc D era left a lot to be desired, he did bring in pieces we all have to admire.

Although polarizing, I’m thankful for Timmy T. As a 2011 playoff run once again made us believe.

The stage now seems set, though it’s an uphill climb. With Peyton, Knowshon, & and receivers sublime. D.T., Decker, Dreessen, and Welker. And Orange Julius… <

Move along>> Another hearbreaking loss, but to ’97 we see parallels, we’re hoping it all turns out just as well. I am also thankful for all our guys in the hall. Elway, Sharpie, Floyd Little, and Zim. And for the other 5 who deserve to be in.

The most celebrated Bronco, I would be remiss, to not mention this fan’s greatest thankfulness. He is Denver’s Duke, our greatest player; The “Comeback King” and AFC slayer. You see Elway is more than just our QB, he is predominantly orange and now our VP. The organization he put on his back. Made those around him better with a relentless attack. Our first hall-of-famer and quite probably the best. Certainly the greatest gamer, better than the rest. Now in the front office to once again lead, the orange and blue to football’s greatest deed.

There are great expectations for 2013. A trip to the swamps of Jersey and at the end, a confetti stream. But if we fall short, disappointed we’ll be. It still won’t change my thankfullness of the Broncos from “The D”. So to you and yours, a blessed Thanksgiving I plan. Because not all of us are lucky enough to be a Broncos fan.

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