Denver Broncos

Template:NFL team The Denver Broncos are a National Football League team based in Denver, Colorado. A charter member of the American Football League, they were a backwater small-market team that met with little success in their early years but have since become one of the elite franchises of the league after having advanced to the Super Bowl six times. In their first four appearances, they suffered successively lopsided defeats, achieving near-legendary status as frustrated losers before winning back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 1998 and 1999 under quarterback John Elway and coach Mike Shanahan. For most of their history they played in Mile High Stadium, which became one of the shrines of professional football for its unbroken string of sell-outs and its famous home-field advantage percentage for the Broncos, especially during the post-season. Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have given the Broncos an advantage over opponents. Since 2001, they have played at INVESCO Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of Mile High Stadium.

Founded: 1960, (charter member of the American Football League; joined the NFL in the 1970 merger.)
Home field: INVESCO Field at Mile High (capacity 76,125).
Previous home field: Mile High Stadium (1960-2000)
Uniform colors: "Broncos Navy Blue", Orange, and White
Helmet design: Navy Blue background with a white horse-head profile.
League championships won: NFL 1997 and 1998.
Super Bowl appearances: XII (lost), XXI (lost), XXII (lost), XXIV (lost), XXXII (won), XXXIII (won)

Franchise history

Missing image
Broncos logo (1968-1996)
Although the Denver Broncos' 39-97-4 record was the worst of any of the original eight American Football League teams', the franchise had many proud moments and several AFL superstars, including Lionel Taylor and Floyd Little. The Broncos won the first-ever American Football League game, over the Boston Patriots (13-10) on September 9, 1960. They had the first black place-kicker in professional football, Gene Mingo. They were the first AFL team ever to defeat an NFL team, on August 5, 1967 when they beat the Lions 13-7. They were the first pro football team to wear vertically-striped socks (and the first to burn their socks in a public ceremony!). Despite their relative lack of early success, the Broncos produced some memorable games, like the 38-38 tie against the Buffalo Bills in 1960.

Denver has reached the Super Bowl six times, winning it in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. It is odd to remember a time, then, when Denver was the lowliest of teams, managing its first winning season in 1973 after thirteen years of futility. Denver, in fact, came close to losing its franchise in 1965, but a local ownership group took control that year and began to build the team.

In 1967, under head coach Lou Saban, Denver took the field with almost two dozen rookies on its roster; though Saban's tenure was unsuccessful, it set the stage for later successes. In 1973, John Ralston coached the now-mature Broncos to a 7-5-2 record, including a dramatic tie with Oakland in Denver's first-ever Monday Night Football appearance that is still remembered as a pivotal game in Bronco history. Ralston coached the team until 1976, when well-publicized clashes between Ralston and his players led to Ralston's removal.

Rookie coach Red Miller along with the Orange Crush Defense and aging quarterback Craig Morton, promptly took Denver to its first playoff appearance -- and ultimately first Super Bowl -- in 1977. Prior to 1977 season, Denver had received very little national attention and was rarely featured on nationally-televised games.

Quarterback John Elway arrived in 1983. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the number one pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included Denver. Prior to Elway, Denver had had over two dozen different starting quarterbacks in its twenty-three seasons to that point. Elway would remain the quarterback through five Super Bowls, three under head coach Dan Reeves and two under Mike Shanahan, and would end his career as the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, his last NFL game.

Players of note

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Current players

Retired numbers

Not to be forgotten

External links

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