The more things are new, the more they repeat themselves.
As everyone knows with the release of the 2011 National Football League schedule, the Broncos open the season with a Monday Night Football contest against the Oakland Raiders.
This will mark Denver’s 20th consecutive season to appear on Monday Night Football, extending the Broncos’ own longest active streak in the NFL. Pretty good for a team from the Rocky Mountain time zone that had to fight its way on the schedule for the first time in 1973, against, of course, the Raiders.
This will be the third time the Broncos will have opened with their very first game being a MNF engagement at home—the first was a victory over the Miami Dolphins in 1999, and the most recent was on the eve of 9/11 when the Broncos opened Invesco Field at Mile High by defeating the Giants.
Regarding the Raiders, this marks the sixth time in Denver Broncos history that our team’s first home game (not necessarily the first game of the season, but the first regular season game in Denver) will have featured the Raiders as opponents.
Denver is 5-0 in the previous five contests (1960, 1978, 1981, 1992, and 2007), and two of them mark the very first home game for a new head coach.
So John Fox will join the list of first head coach Frank Filchock, who coached the Broncos when they played their very first game in franchise history against the Raiders in 1960, and Dan Reeves, whose first home game was against Oakland in 1981.
The Denver-Oakland rivalry has been a bitter one from its inception and it has continued down to this day. It has featured just about everything you can see in an NFL game, including, once upon a time, a touchdown pass from running back Steve Sewell to quarterback John Elway, who now has a totally different role as executive vice president of football operations for the Broncos.
Our fans can look forward to an exciting game when the newest Bronco era begins in 2011.
No matter who the starters and new players are for either team, it’s the Broncos, it’s the Raiders, and it counts.