The 2007 Denver Broncos Alumni Reunion weekend is this week, and it is going to be bigger than ever.
It is the longest running and largest alumni gathering in the National Football League, and one of the first big initiatives by Pat Bowlen upon his purchase of the team in 1984. That was the first year of the reunion, and also the beginning of the Ring of Fame, induction to which is the greatest honor that the Broncos can bestow on a player.
This year the alumni reunion dinner on Friday night and the pregame introductions on Sunday will feature approximately 150 former Broncos, a cavalcade of superstars, all-stars, and just plain good guys who proudly represented the orange and blue over the period from 1960 until now — although that 1960 team represented the Broncos in mustard and brown, not orange and blue.
On Sunday before the Broncos play the Jaguars those 150 former players will be introduced to one of the great audiences in pro football on what shapes up as a beautiful fall day in the first week of the autumnal equinox, and at halftime the 21st member of the Ring of Fame will see his name on the facade of INVESCO Field at Mile High.
Terrell Davis had an illustrious career with the Broncos and absolutely ranks as one of the greatest players in the history of the team. The measuring stick is a fluid one, to be sure, as each fan and observer has his own memory and opinion of who should rank where in historical heirarchy.
But there can never be an argument about facts.
A Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and regular season MVP as well, the fourth player in history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and the all-time postseason record holder with seven consecutive 100-yard rushing performances in team wins, Terrell Davis not only has a forever-more place in Denver Broncos history but should have the same in pro football history as well.
He will share that moment with fellow players from every era of Broncos history.
The Broncos were born in the aforementioned mustard and brown in 1960 (you had to see those uniforms to believe them), but turned orange in 1962 and had a first decade of struggle and growth, the franchise largely kept afloat by the national television contract.
The 1970′s produced the first winning season, the first championship season, the Orange Crush, and the beginnings of both Broncomania and one of the greatest sellout streaks in sports history.
This is the 38th consecutive year of home sellouts for the Broncos, an incredible feat at the pro sports level.
Pat Bowlen bought the team in 1984, started the alumni reunion, the Ring of Fame, and infused the franchise with a fiery competitive spirit and a gold standard of success that led the Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances in the 1980′s.
In the 1990′s everybody’s dreams came true with back-to-back Super Bowl wins and the best three-year record in history at that time.
Now the team is in its 48th season and history is still being made for the first decade of the new century.
Future alumni reunion weekends will include players from this decade too, as today’s tomorrows slide into yesterdays.
This weekend and the Ring of Fame induction is a fantastic event to be shared at the dinner, which is private, and at the game, which will be seen by a huge regional audience and reported to everyone by virtually every news organization in the state.
It is all one more day to savor for denizens of Broncos Country.