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Mason's Mailbag: Dick Enberg and some of the Broncos' greatest moments

Posted Dec 23, 2017

The late Dick Enberg was never an official "voice of the Broncos." But he was at the mic for so many great moments in team history it sometimes seemed that way.

You can tweet questions to me with the hashtag #AskMase or use the submission form to your right (if you're viewing on a standard browser) or at the bottom of the page if you're on the mobile site.

What were your favorite Dick Enberg calls?

-- Bill Barker

I'm not sure mine are relevant to a Broncos-centric mailbag, since the overwhelming majority of Broncos games that he called came before I moved to Denver. From my childhood, I have more sentimental attachment to his calls of college-basketball games -- particularly from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and usually with Al McGuire -- and events like Wimbledon than the NFL, because the team I followed was an NFC team whose games Enberg rarely broadcasted. Enberg's deft handling of a North Carolina-Duke conference-tournament basketball game in 1989, a spirited but infamous confrontation marred by physical play that frequently crossed the line, is one of my favorite broadcasts.

I also enjoyed listening to him call San Diego Padres games from 2010-16, and his still-resonant voice and passionate descriptions would often be the soundtrack to my late-evening hours at my desk during baseball season.

But as for the Broncos, I'd go with three specific calls, presented in chronological order:

Jan. 1, 1978
1977 AFC Championship Game - Raiders at Broncos

The play: Craig Morton's 74-yard touchdown pass to Haven Moses

"Second down, 15. Moses in motion. And Morton again ... has a man open ... knocked out of bounds, Moses ... No! He was not out of bounds! He goes all the way for a touchdown! Moses stays in bounds, Denver leads, and Broncomania reigns!"

Jan. 17, 1988
1987 AFC Championship Game - Browns at Broncos

The play: "The Fumble"

Enberg: "Draw to Byner ... Earnest Byner --"

Merlin Olsen: "Fumble!"

Enberg: "-- fumbled the ball and Denver has recovered! Oh, my! Or have they -- let's wait for the official to unpile them."

Olsen: "There's a war going on under that stack."

Enberg: "There it is! Denver's ball at the 2-yard line! Byner had the first-and-goal and lost the ball."

Jan. 25, 1998
Super Bowl XXXII - Broncos vs. Packers

The play: Broncos take a knee and clinch their first world championship

"With 28 seconds left, Denver takes over on downs at the 32, and the 13-year domination of the NFC apparently has come to an end, and the man, the sentimental favorite -- the fans who didn't care about who won this game cared that John Elway got a Super Bowl ring. They've reserved his spot in the Hall of Fame -- this man [Brett Favre] will probably get there too -- but Elway is a cinch to go to Canton when he is eligible.

"You know, after he lost to Jacksonville last year, he went home, and his sister called him, and he broke down crying. His kids, his four children, had never seen their dad cry before. Many of you remember when your dads cry, how important it is. It was a low moment of his great career.

"This, then, will become the highest moment: the completion of a great career, a Super Bowl championship for John Elway and the Denver Broncos!"

Enberg also called so many other games, including the 1986 AFC Championship Game made famous by "The Drive," but those are the three calls that resonate most with me.

Would you rather arm wrestle Derek Wolfe or Adam Gotsis? Could you do a video of you arm wrestling either one or both?

-- Jordan Brantley

Neither, and no. Some things are best left to the imagination. I'm not even going to propose attempting it for this year's Festivus Feats of Strength.

Maybe Phil Milani would be up for it. As for me, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "I'm getting too old for this sort of thing."

With all the talk about Denver needing a quarterback, was wondering if Chad Kelly has been practicing with the team, and if so, how has he done?

-- Jonathan Jenkins

Kelly has not practiced with the team since he was transferred to injured reserve earlier this season after the window for activating him from the non-football injury list ended. As has been previously mentioned in this space, it is all about 2018 for Kelly.

The analysis, opinion and speculation in this story represents that of the author, gathered through research and reporting, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Denver Broncos organization.

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