ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On Tuesday, the Broncos held their 13th annual Employee Service Awards, and one employee in particular took home the biggest honor.
Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Saccomano (pictured above, left) has been with the team for 35 years, and Team President Joe Ellis stood in front of the room to say a few words about the Broncos veteran.
"To survive and work for any one company for 35 years requires perseverance, patience, loyalty and the ability to work as hard or harder than anyone in the building," Ellis said. "Those qualities are obvious in this year's 35-year recognition recipient, Jim Saccomano."
Ellis rattled off a number of impressive statistics from the man affectionately known as Sacco's career.
He has been a part of 712 total games as a Broncos employee -- preseason, regular season and postseason. During that time, he has been part of 328 regular-season and playoff wins, which are the most of anyone working in public relations in the NFL.
He has worked five Super Bowls with the Broncos and 21 more with the NFL, including 14 as co-captain of the league's PR team.
Saccomano, who graduated from Metro State in 1970 and earned his master's degree from the University of Colorado in 1977, has also served on the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors for 32 years.
"Jim Saccomano has served as the voice and the memory of our organization and our team," Ellis said to the crowd. "But what comes to the forefront for all of us here at the Broncos and (Stadium Management Company) are Jim's kindness, great nature and positive spirit. Please join me in congratulating Jim Saccomano for 35 years of outstanding service to the Denver Broncos."
As part of the honor, Saccomano received a pair of round-trip tickets on United Airlines and a large plaque to commemorate the occasion.
When he stepped up to speak, Saccomano said he wrote down a few notes on a notepad he kept from the Broncos' old team headquarters at 5700 Logan Street.
He recalled when Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulos once said he was "living the dream."
"I think that is so, so true," Saccomano said. "In my case, I'm a Denver native. My dad was a farmer. Where I grew up, the fields were dirt, the roads were dirt. The imagination was something else. You thought you might do something, but it seemed absurd to say you could. Just ludicrous to say I want to work in pro sports some day. How do you begin to do that? Well, a lot of things happen, and you make things come to be sometimes."
Denver had always been his favorite team, and he recalled crying while watching the Broncos losing to the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960.
Saccomano said he just hoped to get his foot in the door, and continue to take steps from there. His Broncos career began in 1978, and is still going strong in 2012.
He thanked Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen in particular for being so supportive through his time with the team, and made sure to thank his wife, Jo Ann, for putting up with his strenuous career path.
Jo Ann and Jeffrey, Saccomano's son, were in attendance at the event. His daughter, Jennifer, and two grandchildren, Lucas and Rhea, were waiting to meet up with Saccomano at Disney Land.
"I could not be more honored to work with the people in this room," Saccomano said. "We are at one of the great moments, on the cusp of greatness once again for the Denver Broncos thanks to the people in this room. I'm honored to be a part of it. I thank you very, very much."