This is going to be a fun weekend for the Broncos and their fans.
The Broncos will host the tremendous New England Patriots (this week going as the Boston Patriots because the two clubs are playing in an American Football League Legacy game), and the game itself is plenty.
But this week, that seems like just the beginning. Both teams are going all out in celebration of the AFL. Some fans might say, “so what” to the AFL, properly noting it was a long time ago.
Well, most of us were born a long time ago also, and if we hadn’t been we would not be reading this.
Same for the AFL. No AFL, no pro football in Denver and no Denver Broncos.
Just a few things that will mark the weekend at INVESCO Field at Mile High.
Besides the players being in the 1960 uniforms, so will the officials—in fact, they will be the only “team” sporting orange this Sunday, as the 1960 officials’ uniforms featured an orange and white striped shirt.
The cheerleaders will be in a 1960 outfit, complete with the big pom pons from that era, and there will be a lot of 1960 music played on the PA system.
The end zones will be marked with the crisscrossed diamond design, and a lot of the scoreboard images will be in black and white (but not the game action itself, that stays in color).
Cokes will sell for 25 cents each until the start of the game, and a lot of the concessions personnel will be wearing the paper hats that some of us will remember from an earlier era.
There is going to be a flyover, like many games have, but in this case the aircraft buzzing over the playing field will be vintage 1960—C130J Super Hercules planes, which definitely will cast a bigger shadow that the sleet jets we are used to seeing.
The CSU marching band, which made the most appearances at Bronco games of any marching band during the decade of the 1960s will make a halftime appearance, and there will also be an encore performance by the Bronco Band, once again performing under Jess Girardi and entertaining fans as they enter gate 9.
The program cover will be a throwback to the 1960 season, with caricatures of both teams featured and a 1960 Coca Cola ad on the back cover.
The team captains will be two of the individuals who played in that first ever AFL game, September 9, 1960 when the Broncos defeated the Patriots at Boston University Field—Gene Mingo will don his gold and brown number 21 while counterpart Gino Cappelletti of the Patriots will be in his throwback number 20 for the visiting Beantowners.
But once the Broncos are introduced, old style, and run through a banner to take the field, it still comes down to football, and it promises to be a great matchup, one to match the pageantry befitting this Legacy Game between two AFL originals.