A history of the Denver Broncos.


I. Introduction to the Denver Broncos

I. Introduction to the Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are a professional football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are a member of the National Football League (NFL) and play in the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team was established on August 14, 1959, and has since become one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.

Owned by Pat Bowlen Trust, with Joe Ellis serving as the team’s President & CEO, the Broncos have consistently been a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. They have won numerous division championships and have made multiple appearances in the Super Bowl.

A Storied History

The history of the Denver Broncos is filled with memorable moments and legendary players. From their early years as an AFL expansion team to their current status as perennial contenders in today’s NFL, they have left an indelible mark on football history.

Under legendary quarterback John Elway’s leadership both on and off the field, including his current role as President of Football Operations/GM since 2011, the Broncos experienced unparalleled success during his tenure as player from 1983 to 1998.

Mile High Magic

The Broncos’ home stadium is Empower Field at Mile High, which is known for its electric atmosphere during games. Located at an elevation of over 5,000 feet above sea level—giving them one of football’s greatest natural advantages—the stadium has witnessed many historic moments throughout its existence.

Fans from all over gather at Mile High Stadium to cheer on their beloved team through thick and thin. The stadium holds over 76 thousand fans who create an unrivaled energy that fuels both players and supporters alike.

Rivalries That Ignite

The Denver Broncos have developed intense rivalries with several teams over the years. One of the most notable is their fierce competition with the Kansas City Chiefs, a rivalry that dates back to their early AFL days and continues to be one of the most anticipated matchups each season.

Another heated rivalry exists between the Broncos and their AFC West division rivals, the Las Vegas Raiders. These games are always highly competitive and often determine divisional standings.

A Passionate Fanbase

The Denver Broncos boast an incredibly loyal fan base known as “Broncos Country.” These passionate supporters show up week after week, proudly donning orange and blue attire, ready to cheer on their team through victory or defeat.

Whether it’s during home games at Mile High Stadium or on road trips across the country, Broncos fans make their presence felt. Their unwavering dedication has earned them a reputation as some of football’s most devoted followers.

II. The Founding of the Denver Broncos

II. The Founding of the Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos, one of the most iconic teams in the National Football League (NFL), were founded on August 14, 1959. The team’s creation was a result of a successful bid by Bob Howsam and his group of local businessmen for an AFL (American Football League) franchise. The name “Broncos” was chosen to pay homage to the wild horses that roamed the Rocky Mountains, symbolizing strength, agility, and determination.

Early Years and Struggles

In their early years, the Denver Broncos faced numerous challenges. They struggled to establish themselves as a competitive team in both their performance on the field and attendance at games. The team had a tough time attracting top-tier players due to various factors such as being located in a small market and competing against more established NFL teams.

Ownership changes also played a role in hindering their progress during this period. Despite these obstacles, loyal fans continued to support their beloved Broncos through thick and thin.

Rise to Prominence: Orange Crush Era

The turning point for the Denver Broncos came when they hired coach Red Miller in 1977. Under Miller’s leadership, along with standout players like quarterback Craig Morton and linebacker Randy Gradishar, the team experienced its first taste of success.

This era is famously known as the “Orange Crush” era due to their dominant defense led by legendary linebackers such as Tom Jackson and Randy Gradishar. The defense earned its nickname from its ability to crush opposing offenses with relentless pressure.

Super Bowl Appearances

The Denver Broncos have made several appearances in football’s biggest stage – Super Bowl – throughout their history. Their first Super Bowl appearance came in 1977 when they faced the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII. Although they fell short in this matchup, it marked a significant milestone for the franchise.

However, the Broncos’ fortunes changed dramatically in the late 1990s when quarterback John Elway and coach Mike Shanahan led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998. These victories solidified their place among football’s elite and brought immense joy to their loyal fan base.

Continued Success

In recent years, under the leadership of current general manager John Elway and head coach Vic Fangio, the Denver Broncos have continued their tradition of success. Despite some ups and downs, they have remained competitive with a strong roster and a passionate fan base that fills Empower Field at Mile High for every home game.

The Denver Broncos’ rich history is filled with memorable moments, legendary players, and passionate fans who have supported them through thick and thin. As they continue to evolve on both sides of the ball, there is no doubt that future successes are on the horizon for this storied franchise.

III. Milestones in the Broncos’ History

III. Milestones in the Broncos' History

The Denver Broncos have had a rich and storied history since their inception in 1960. Over the years, they have achieved numerous milestones that have solidified their position as one of the most successful teams in the National Football League (NFL).

The Birth of an Iconic Franchise

Founded by Bob Howsam, a former minor league baseball team owner, the Denver Broncos joined the American Football League (AFL) as a charter member in 1960. The team’s first milestone came just four years later when they made their inaugural playoff appearance.

The Arrival of John Elway

Super Bowl Victories

The Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl victories under coach Mike Shanahan marked another significant milestone for the franchise. Led by Elway’s brilliance and an exceptional supporting cast that included Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, and Rod Smith, these wins cemented their status as a dominant force in professional football.

Peyton Manning Era

In 2012, another milestone moment arrived for Broncos fans with quarterback Peyton Manning joining the team after his successful tenure with Indianapolis Colts. Under Manning’s leadership, Denver enjoyed four remarkable seasons filled with record-breaking performances and memorable victories.

A Return to Glory

After enduring some lean years following Manning’s retirement, new head coach Vic Fangio led a resurgence in 2019. The Broncos’ milestone during this period was their return to the playoffs, showcasing a promising young core and renewed hope for the future.

Throughout their history, the Denver Broncos have consistently pushed boundaries and achieved remarkable milestones. From their early playoff appearances to iconic Super Bowl victories and the arrival of legendary quarterbacks, each milestone has played a crucial role in shaping the team’s legacy as one of football’s most respected franchises.

IV. Broncos Legends and Iconic Players

IV. Broncos Legends and Iconic Players

The Denver Broncos have had their fair share of legendary players who have left an indelible mark on the team’s history. From high-flying wide receivers to hard-hitting defenders, these iconic players embody the spirit and success of the Broncos franchise.

1. John Elway: The Sheriff

No discussion about Broncos legends can begin without mentioning John Elway, known as “The Sheriff.” Elway was the heart and soul of the team for over 16 seasons, leading them to five Super Bowl appearances and back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. His strong arm, athleticism, and leadership skills made him one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

2. Terrell Davis: A Force to Be Reckoned With

Terrell Davis was a force to be reckoned with during his time as a Bronco. Known for his incredible speed, power, and determination, Davis helped lead the team to two Super Bowl victories while earning MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXII. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each season from 1995 to 1998 and remains one of only seven players in NFL history with back-to-back rushing titles.

3. Champ Bailey: Shutdown Cornerback Extraordinaire

4. Shannon Sharpe: The Dynamic Tight End

In an era when tight ends were primarily used as blockers, Shannon Sharpe revolutionized the position with his receiving skills and playmaking ability. Sharpe was a key part of the Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl victories, earning Pro Bowl selections in each of those seasons. His combination of size, speed, and agility made him a nightmare for opposing defenses.

5. Von Miller: The Sack Master

Von Miller has consistently terrorized quarterbacks since joining the Broncos in 2011. His unparalleled pass-rushing skills have earned him numerous accolades, including Super Bowl MVP honors in Denver’s victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. With his relentless pursuit and knack for creating turnovers, Miller has solidified his place as one of the most dominant defensive players in recent memory.

These are just a few examples of the legendary players who have donned the orange and blue throughout Broncos history. Each player brought their unique talents and contributions to elevate the team’s success on both sides of the ball.

V. Denver Broncos’ Rivalries

The Denver Broncos have had several intense rivalries throughout their history in the National Football League (NFL). These rivalries have been characterized by fierce competition, memorable games, and passionate fan bases. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Broncos’ historic rivals:

1. Kansas City Chiefs

The rivalry between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs is one of the most heated in NFL history. With both teams being members of the AFC West division, they face each other twice every regular season. The games between these two teams are often physical battles that showcase top-tier football talent.

2. Oakland Raiders

Another long-standing rivalry for the Denver Broncos is with their AFC West divisional rivals, the Oakland Raiders. Known for their passionate fan bases and storied histories, these two teams have faced off against each other in many high-stakes matchups over the years.

3. New England Patriots

In recent years, a new rivalry has emerged between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots due to multiple meetings in playoff games, particularly during Peyton Manning’s tenure as quarterback for the Broncos. These matchups have featured some epic battles on both sides of the ball.

4. Seattle Seahawks

The Super Bowl XLVIII matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks intensified this rivalry significantly. The resounding victory by Seattle left a bitter taste for Bronco fans and fueled future clashes between these two talented teams.

5. San Diego Chargers

A divisional rivalry exists between Colorado’s own Denver Broncos and California’s San Diego Chargers within AFC West division competition since 1960 when both franchises began play as original members of American Football League (AFL). The games between these teams have often been closely contested and have a strong regional following.

The Denver Broncos’ rivalries are a testament to the team’s competitive spirit and their ability to consistently field talented rosters. These intense matchups have provided fans with unforgettable moments throughout the years, making them an integral part of the Broncos’ storied history.

VI. Broncos’ Super Bowl Appearances and Championships

The Denver Broncos have a storied history when it comes to the Super Bowl, having made multiple appearances and clinching championships along the way. Let’s take a closer look at their journey on football’s biggest stage.

A. First Super Bowl Appearance: Super Bowl XII

In 1978, the Denver Broncos made their first-ever appearance in the Super Bowl, facing off against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII. It was a tough battle for the Broncos as they struggled to find their footing against a strong Cowboys team. Unfortunately, they fell short and lost with a final score of 27-10.

B. The Elway Era: Back-to-Back Appearances

The 1980s marked an era of great success for the Denver Broncos under legendary quarterback John Elway. In 1986, they returned to the Super Bowl for another shot at glory, this time against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI. Despite putting up a valiant effort, they were unable to secure victory and ended up losing with a score of 39-20.

However, Elway and his team didn’t let that setback deter them from pursuing greatness. Just two years later in 1988, they once again reached football’s grandest stage by making it to Super Bowl XXII where they faced off against Doug Williams and his Washington Redskins teammates. Regrettably for Denver fans, this game resulted in another defeat with a final score of 42-10.

C. The Redemption: Back-to-Back Championships

Finally breaking through after years of disappointment came during John Elway’s final seasons as he led his team to back-to-back victories in consecutive appearances at Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.

In 1998, the Broncos faced off against the heavily favored Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. It was a hard-fought battle, but thanks to Elway’s leadership and a strong performance from running back Terrell Davis, Denver emerged victorious with a final score of 31-24. This victory marked their first-ever Super Bowl win and brought immense joy to Broncos fans worldwide.

The following year, in 1999, the Denver Broncos made history again by securing their second consecutive championship title. Facing the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, they put on an impressive display of skill and determination en route to a convincing victory with a final score of 34-19.

D. Recent Appearances

Since their back-to-back championships, the Denver Broncos have made two more appearances in the Super Bowl. In 2014, they faced off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII but were unable to overcome their opponents’ dominant performance and suffered defeat with a final score of 43-8.

Their most recent appearance came just two years later in 2016 when they took on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Led by quarterback Peyton Manning and an outstanding defense known as “The No Fly Zone,” the Broncos emerged triumphant once again with a final score of 24-10.

With numerous appearances under their belt and multiple championships won, it is clear that the Denver Broncos have left an indelible mark on NFL history through their performances at football’s biggest event – The Super Bowl!

VII. Broncos’ Impact on the Community

The Denver Broncos have long been an integral part of the community, not just as a football team, but also as a force for positive change and philanthropy. Through various initiatives and partnerships, the Broncos have made significant contributions to the local community.

1. Supporting Education

The Broncos understand the importance of education and have taken steps to support students in their academic journey. The team has established scholarship programs and regularly hosts events that promote literacy and encourage young people to pursue higher education.

2. Engaging Youth through Sports

Recognizing the power of sports in shaping young minds, the Broncos actively engage with youth through various sports programs. They organize football clinics, mentorship programs, and camps that aim to develop both athletic skills and character traits such as teamwork and perseverance.

3. Giving Back to Veterans

In honor of those who have served their country, the Broncos have implemented initiatives that support veterans’ causes. From hosting military appreciation events during games to partnering with organizations dedicated to helping veterans transition back into civilian life, they strive to make a positive impact on those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

4. Community Outreach Programs

The team recognizes its responsibility towards improving local communities by addressing social issues such as poverty, homelessness, and hunger. The Broncos collaborate with nonprofit organizations that provide essential services like food banks or housing assistance programs.

5. Environmental Conservation Efforts

Aware of their environmental footprint, the Broncos are committed to sustainability practices within their facilities while also promoting eco-conscious behaviors among fans through campaigns focused on recycling or reducing waste during game days.

By actively participating in these endeavors off-the-field alongside their on-the-field success, the Denver Broncos have solidified their position as a beloved and respected organization within the community. Through their continued efforts, they inspire others to make a positive impact and contribute to the betterment of society.

VIII. Frequently Asked Questions about the Denver Broncos

In this section, we will address some commonly asked questions about the Denver Broncos, shedding light on various aspects of this iconic football team.

1. How many Super Bowls have the Denver Broncos won?

The Denver Broncos have won three Super Bowls in their history. They emerged victorious in Super Bowls XXXII, XXXIII, and 50.

2. Who is the most successful coach in Broncos history?

The most successful coach in Denver Broncos history is undoubtedly Mike Shanahan. He led the team to two Super Bowl victories and remains highly regarded for his strategic prowess.

3. What is the home stadium of the Denver Broncos?

The home stadium of the Denver Broncos is Empower Field at Mile High, located in Denver, Colorado. It has been their home since 2001 and offers a fantastic game-day experience for fans.

4. Who are some notable players that have represented the Denver Broncos?

The list of notable players who have donned a Denver Broncos jersey throughout their careers includes legendary quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis, linebacker Von Miller, and wide receiver Rod Smith.

5. When was the team founded?

The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14th, 1959 as part of the American Football League (AFL). They later became part of the National Football League (NFL) during its merger with AFL in 1970.

6. What are some famous rivalries involving the Denver Broncos?

The most intense rivalry involving the Denver Bronco’s is with their AFC West division rivals—the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders—known as the “AFC West Triplets.” These matchups often bring out the best in both teams and create thrilling moments for fans.

7. Has a Denver Broncos player ever won the NFL MVP award?

Yes, a Denver Broncos player has won the NFL MVP award. The most recent recipient was Peyton Manning in 2013 when he set numerous passing records and led the team to Super Bowl XLVIII.

8. How many Hall of Famers have played for the Denver Broncos?

The Denver Broncos have had several players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including John Elway, Gary Zimmerman, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, and Terrell Davis.

9. What is the team’s current head coach?

Vic Fangio is currently serving as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. He took over this role in 2019 and brings a wealth of coaching experience to guide the team towards success.

10. How many playoff appearances have the Denver Broncos made?

The Denver Broncos have made a total of 22 playoff appearances throughout their history, making them one of the most successful franchises in terms of postseason participation.

We hope these frequently asked questions provided you with valuable insights into various aspects surrounding one of football’s most iconic teams—the Denver Broncos!

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