Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
When you debate the greatest teams in NFL history, it will get heated.
When you mention the great accomplishments by a player or team, you open yourself up for ridicule.
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There are the seven teams to win back-to-back Super Bowls that are automatically included in that. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s did it twice.
Then it always turns to the Buffalo Bills.
Led by coach Marv Levy and quarterback Jim Kelly, the Bills went to four straight Super Bowls. It’s an incredible feat. It doesn’t matter that Buffalo lost all four games – that will never happen again.
Whenever the Bills are mentioned, that accomplishment is brought up. You heard this week if you listened to talk radio in Denver.
So if that feat is so great and worthy of mention whenever Buffalo is a topic of discussion, why aren’t the Denver Broncos and what they accomplished in the 1980s?
Those in Broncos Country know what that feat is: The Broncos went to three Super Bowls in four years. The big difference is, those Denver teams had no business being in the Super Bowl. The only reason they did is because of a Hall of Fame quarterback and a little bit of luck. As the adage goes, “It’s better to be lucky than good.” That was definitely the mantra for those Broncos teams.
Aug 20, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the historical monument pillars of former Denver Broncos players at the Ring of Fame plaza at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. From left: Tom Nalen (66), Rod Smith (80), Shannon Sharpe (84), Terrell Davis (30), Steve Atwater (27), Gary Zimmerman (65), Dennis Smith (49), Karl Mecklenberg (77), John Elway (7), Louis Wright (20), Tom Jackson (57) and Randy Gradishar (53). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Those Bills teams should have won at least one of those four Super Bowls. With that collection of talent and Hall of Famers – five by my count – they should have beaten the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Those Buffalo teams should have been there and should have won at least one Lombardi Trophy.
The Broncos have one Hall of Famer from those teams who played in those Super Bowls. It took The Drive, The Fumble and playing Marty Schottenheimer in the three AFC Championship games. Denver used all of its magic in those games against the Cleveland Browns and got humbled in the Super Bowls.
Why isn’t that accomplishment worth mentioning and listing on the greatest of all time? They should be included together. If you mention the Bills, you have to include the Broncos.
But that never happens.
I’ve touched on why that is and won’t do so again. It’s moot and doesn’t accomplish anything other than get me fired up. It’s Broncos Sunday so I want to remain calm.
That brings up another question: If Levy is a Hall of Fame coach, isn’t Dan Reeves?
OK, last time. Deep breath.
Whenever the greatest players and teams are debated, there always is a tinge of bias.
Same with the greatest accomplishments in NFL history.
It’s beyond time the NFL’s stepchild start getting that same credit and respect.