The Broncos inducted wide receiver Rod Smith into the Ring of Fame at halftime of this afternoon’s contest against the Houston Texans. Smith becomes the 23rd member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.
Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen presented Smith his ring at midfield, and the crowd watched a video tribute on the scoreboard. Smith thanked Denver fans and everyone who supported him, then led the crowd in a “Go Broncos” chant.
I really can’t start thanking everybody, but definitely (Broncos owner) Mr. (Pat) Bowlen runs a first-class organization,” Smith said. “Everybody that has ever worked for the Denver Broncos, from the guys who cut the grass to the trainers and every single person.”
Smith went on to describe how much the honor means to him.
“It’s special to be the 23rd person (in the Ring of Fame),” Smith said. “It means I did something right along the way, and I just appreciate this organization; I appreciate the community. I’ve always just wanted to do one thing, and that’s earn the respect of the organization and the community, and, I think this is one of those moments that’s awesome for me and my family.”
Smith, who started his 14-year tenure as a Bronco as an undrafted free agent, went on to amass 849 receptions for 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns. He was a key member of the Broncos’ Super Bowl champion teams in 1997 and 1998.
He topped the 1,000-yard receiving mark six consecutive seasons from 1997-2002, and added two more seasons with at least 1,000 yards in 2004 and 2005. For his career, Smith recorded a franchise-best 30 100-yard receiving games, including eight in 2000.
In games he played, Smith’s teams went 126-70, good for a winning percentage of .643. Only one wide receiver currently in the Hall of Fame — Fred Biletnikoff— had a higher career winning percentage.
Smith also holds the team’s postseason records, with 49 catches for 860 yards and six touchdowns in 13 playoff games. He retired as the franchise’s all-time leading wide receiver.
Smith reflected on the honor earlier this week.
“For me, I saw the end of my career when I started,” Smith said. “It was going to end the same way as it did in college. It was going to end the same way it did in high school. I knew I was going to give them everything I had, and it was always going to come out the way I want. You just need the opportunity. And I was given the opportunity, and I didn’t waste it. I didn’t squander a day.”