This is the third time in Denver Broncos history that the team has hosted a Thanksgiving Day game.
It first happened in 1962 when Denver entertained the New York Titans, forerunners of the Jets, in one of the greatest scoring matchups in pro football history, with the Titans eventually taking a 46-45 win over the hosts before a crowd of just over 15,000.
The next year AFL schedule makers had the Broncos hosting the Oakland Raiders, and the Raiders won that won by a 26-10 margin.
When you open the pages of history it is always fascinating what you find.
The “official” play by play for both games shows, in each instance, “Denver in red.”
Amazing. I guess we were so far from the Orange Crush at that time that orange was not even accepted as its own color, just another version of red. Nineteen sixty-two was the Broncos’ first year in orange, so I guess it took some getting used to.
That is the only explanation that I can think of.
This week the Broncos will be wearing their standard home blue, by the way, and the Giants will be wearing one of the game’s great uniforms, their road whites with red numerals—this is classic because it is the uniform the franchise wore in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, before they went to the almost exclusively blue that they wore until throwing back.
People out here may not know it, but the Giants have a blue home jersey, a red home jersey (like our blue and orange) and then of course the road whites. They will have their gray pants this week, again a tribute to their ancestral look.
There were 16 scoring plays in that 1962 game, which ended on a disappointing note for Denver when Gene Mingo—who earlier in the game had set a pro football record for field goals in a single season (24) missed a 48-yard attempt that would have won the game for the locals.
But it was one of the most entertaining games in the AFL that year and then everyone ate turkey.
This one’s a night game, so most of the turkey will have been consumed and the tryptophan will be doing its work when fans settle into their seats or easy chairs to watch.
The Broncos played and won at Dallas in 2001 and 2005, losing at Kansas City in 2006, so this time 75,000 fans can savor the experience first hand, with NFL Network providing a nationwide telecast to cap off a full Thursday of NFL football.
Broncos fans are hoping that dessert on this Thanksgiving Day will be a visual one.