This Sunday, the Gameday program handed out to fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High doesn’t feature a player on the roster.
Rather, it highlights one of the best Broncos of all time — the team’s newest Ring of Famer, wide receiver Rod Smith.
The cover story — titled “Undrafted, Unmatched” — takes the reader through Smith’s heralded career from an unheralded beginning.
Here’s a snippet from the story:
Despite a standout college career at Missouri Southern State University, Smith went undrafted in the spring of 1994 and signed with the Broncos as a college free agent.
It was Smith’s unyielding work ethic that fueled his unprecedented rise from an undrafted free agent to one of the top receivers in NFL history.
Smith said that because of the way his career began as an undrafted player out of a Division-II school, he always had the mindset that he’d have to work harder than other players for his spot on the roster.
“I knew where I wanted to go and I knew I was going to outwork everyone else,” Smith said. “When they were gone, I was still working. When they were asleep, I was still working. I tell people that all the time — work works. I wanted to be the best teammate I could be. I knew if I was better, it made our team better.
“You have to clock in and sometimes you don’t clock out,” he continued. “In the NFL, I never clocked out. The day I clocked out was the day I retired.”
The program also features an exclusive Q&A with Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway, as well as a coach Q&A with Assistant Special Team Coach Keith Burns. Both were once teammates with Smith.
If you’re headed to the game on Sunday, be sure to grab a program on your way through the gates.
The Gameday cover can be seen below: