Bonfils Blood Center and the Denver Broncos work together on an annual Drive for Life event which is the largest single day blood drive in Colorado.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Click here for more information about the 2014 DFL event.
Learn more from Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway and 9News' Cheryl Preheim about 2014 Drive for Life.
The game between the Chiefs and the Broncos when the Chiefs were ahead by a 19-6 score with only about two minutes left in the game was one moment that stood out in my mind. It showed the magic of Mile High and the brilliance of John Elway. He led them to two touchdowns in that final two minutes and the victory 20-19. I'll never forget the throw from John to Vance Johnson in the corner of the end zone to win the game. Everyone, the fans at the game and me watching thought the game was over and the Broncos fought back and won it. It was truly amazing. Thank you Mile High and John Elway for this and many other great memories. Marty probably never wanted to set foot in Mile High again after that loss.
The year was 1986. I was 15 and was looking for a part-time job. My brother-in-law helped me land one at Mile High Stadium, pitching sodas and peanuts on the bottom level, lower "U" of the stadium as a vendor. On opening day, the fans were thirsty and I was quite busy and into the task at hand when all of a sudden, just after kickoff, I began to feel something strange. It started as a dull vibration in the pit of my stomach, quickly spreading, like a wave, over my entire body. Then, a sound! It started as a distant, low growl that swiftly and steadily became a cacophony of thunderous fury. I stood for a timeless moment enraptured by the sheer force of nearly 76,000 fans making felt their presence by hammering their feet on the concrete stadium floor. The stadium was visibly pulsing and writhing under the strain yet somehow never gave a hint of uneasiness or threat of collapse. I felt secure in its embrace. In fact, all I could do was smile ... and yell, "GOOOOOOO BRONCOOOOOS!". Yes, that was the day I was introduced to the magic that is, and always will be, Mile High Stadium!
Suffice it to say, having parents with Mile High season tickets since 1970, the memories seem countless. My best memory, however, came on the heels of my best day ever -- my wedding day. My wife, Kim, had agreed (by prenuptial agreement) to become a Broncos fan despite growing up in upstate New York. As one of our wedding gifts, my mom and dad gave us the tickets to Denver's home opener in 1991. It was Sunday, September 1, and the opposing team was the Cincinnati Bengals. The day was perfect for football (as so many have been at Mile High) -- sunny and bright, temperature in the '80s, and not a cloud in the Colorado sky. The Broncos also apparently thought the day was perfect for football as they thrashed the Bengals 45-10. Sitting in Section 134, Row 24, Seats 17 and 18, that beautiful September day, I watched the birth of another devout Broncos fan-for-life. I also realized the memory of that day would stay with me forever, for more than a couple of reasons. Our collective honeymoon with the Broncos, which started that day, will never end . . .
By the way, there wasn't really a prenuptial agreement.
My family had five tickets in the North Stands from 1976-1996, right up at the top of the world, with no one sitting behind us. I was 15 the day the Broncos won their first AFC championship -- January 1, 1978. It was freezing cold that day, but sunny, and we were playing the hated Oakland Raiders. I'll never forget as the clock ticked down and the final score was 20-17, and the Broncos had won. There seemed to be a split second of stunned silence in that stadium filled with 75,000 hopeful, long-suffering souls, as the fact that we had not only beaten the Raiders, but had become AFC Champions in the process, sank in. I watched as grown men sobbed, people danced, embraced, yelled until they were hoarse, realizing that the Broncos were no longer the Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL. We'd made it! We were going to the Super Bowl!
My family had season tickets to the Broncos for over 20 years, starting in 1976, so there are many great memories I have. We would spend all day at the stadium.
The best memory would have to be the 1977 AFC Championship Game. Aside from being a terrific game, the electric atmosphere in the stadium is something I don't think I will experience again. After the game, we went down to the field, as so many other fans did, and took home a souvenir. We took a piece of sod (part of the "L" in the NFL shield at the 50 yard line) and kept it for years. People would come to our house and it was part of the tour, "Here's a piece of sod from Mile High Stadium. We took it when we won our first AFC Championship." Needless to say, we had many jealous visitors.
January 1, 1978, versus the hated Oakland Raiders for the AFC Championship. The weather was frigid, and I, as a 13-year-old fan, was ready for the biggest game I had ever attended. I had celebrated my birthday the previous day, and had received a ticket to the game as one of my presents.
After a tense, hard-fought, and fierce struggle, the underdog Broncos prevailed 20-17. This victory set off an incredible postgame celebration at Mile High Stadium. I will always remember the excitement and euphoria that surrounded me in the stands after the game. Men hugged each other and cried, while women shrieked like teen-aged girls. Eventually, fans tore down the south end zone goal post, and passed it into the stands. As the bright yellow goal post made its way up section 101, I grasped it with both of my gloved hands, and held on tightly for a few ecstatic moments. I then relinquished my grip, and allowed the goalpost to seemingly swim up into the stands.
Long after the final gun had sounded, none of us wanted to leave. We basked in the glow of victory and reveled into the night. We stood together as friends and fans -- sharing our joy, and united as champions!
Mile High Stadium will always mean so much to me. Being at Mile High meant feeling a mile high. It meant throwing the football in the parking lot hours before the Bronco games, watching fireworks at the Denver Bears games and getting the opportunity to walk along the Raiders bench and yell "Fat Man!!!" at John Madden. Most of all, it gave me a chance to be with my football family -- my friends and relatives, the fans and the players. The ones you hung with through thick and thin. My fondest memory is one I share with at least 70,000 of those family members. It was the AFC Championship game when we beat the Oakland Raiders to go to the 1977 Super Bowl. After all the losing, we finally "made that miracle happen" and were Super Bowl bound. I would venture to say that there has never been and will never be a more emotional scene at any other sporting event. I will never forget it. Thanks for the memories.
S. Plainfield, NJ
My best memory would be the fumble in '88, when Denver would go to their second straight Super Bowl. My brother had invited my brother-in-law and I to the game. It was the first time I was in Mile High, we had to leave the game early to catch a plane back to Jersey, and Cleveland was driving down the field as we left. As we walked to the car, we heard the roar of the crowd. That's when we knew something had happened. Earnest Byner had fumbled the ball and Denver dove on it. The rest was history Denver was again on their way to the Super Bowl.
Another one of my favorites would be watching Denver and Miami on a Monday Night Game and seeing John Elway's retirement. It brought back a lot of games that Elway had won, and some of his greatest comebacks. This time I was in a box with my son and brother, and for the first time ever I realized how loud Mile High Stadium could be. The whole place shook. It was a feeling I will never forget, one of the greatest quarterbacks to retire. I want to thank John Elway and all the Broncos for the memories at Mile High.
It was January 1987, and I was eight years old. This would be my first experience as a Broncos fan. My family and I went to Mile High and sat in the highest seats in the east stands. The temperature couldn't have been more than twenty degrees. I didn't know much about football or the Boncos at that time, but I did know that they would be playing the Giants in the Super Bowl the following week. This get together was like a pep rally magnified a million times. Many of the Broncos would come and talk to the crowd about the upcoming Super Bowl. Despite the cold, the constant participation in Mile High thunder kept us all warm.
My wife and I were married at Mile High Stadium on Dec 31, 1993, on the 50-yard line.
My father bought season tickets to the Broncos when the club opened up in 1960. When I was seven he began taking me to games at what was then called Bears Stadium. Even though he only took me to one or two games a year, those were the most special times I have spent with him. It hooked me as a Broncos fan for life and paved the way for me to experience football as a player from my days as a little leaguer all the way through college. Even though the Broncos were somewhat "hapless" for most of the Sixties, I remained a fan nonetheless. I recall one game at the stadium in 1966 where the Chiefs beat us 56-10. As could be expected there was a lot of "fan frustration" (especially in the South Stands!), but as an eight-year old I could have cared less. To me it was Bears Stadium (Mile High), Broncos football and a chance to spend a Sunday afternoon with my Dad. We moved away from Denver in 1968 (and sold our season tickets, which was a huge mistake!), but have remained avid fans and have tried to meet for at least one home game a year at the stadium. My own son is now a part of those outings on occasion. For the finale, I am going to meet my Dad in Denver on December 23 and take him to one last game at the stadium.
Mile High molded me as a sports fan. It was a magical place to be, a place where miracles happened. You knew when you walked through the gate that anything could happen -- you believed!
I didn't go to Mile High as much as I wanted, but when I did, it was special. I was a young boy when I saw the Broncos come from way back to beat the hated Raiders. I saw Terrell set a new rushing record and Jason Elam tie the field goal record on the same day against the Jaguars.
The thing was that nobody ever left early. It never mattered what the score was -- you just didn't leave! I remember the first time I saw a game somewhere else. It got near the end and my friends wanted to leave. I was just dumbfounded. I thought they were all crazy. I'm still the same fan today. I always stay until the last second and enjoy the whole game. I believe.
Thanks Mile High, I will always remember you.
Mile High Stadium has been a part of my life since I was old enough to walk! From watching my very first game in the late '70s, to seeing the legendary Chuck Barry rock across the stage at a Father's Day concert in the '80s, to nurturing my love for the Broncos and football in general throughout the '90s. I remember chasing my sister up and down the steps, racing to the top and looking out with wonder at our beautiful city. Whether there for a concert or a game, one thing always remained the same... the feeling of excitement that comes over anyone who walks through the gates. There's always such a strong current of "hometown pride" running through the stands, especially during games. The Broncos have some of the most loyal fans in the NFL. If you need proof, just listen to the roar during a home game and be prepared to leave with significant hearing loss! Few teams can bring on that kind of decibel level. The fans will move into the new facility with their usual enthusiasm, but the memory of Mile High will never die.
Ah, the unique feeling one gets while walking Mile High's ramps to our seats. The electricity begins to fill the air.
A vendor hawking programs enjoining us to own a memory of the day that we can take with us.
Any day spent at Mile High Stadium is a special day. Though this particular day is more so than others. Today might well be the last day John Elway trods on to the turf he knows so well, to pay one last visit to the fans he knows so well and to win another AFC Championship.
The 12th man does its part, our beloved Broncos do their part as the opponents relinquish their hopes to attend Super Bowl XXXIII.
Wait! Here's John Elway running around Mile High Stadium! He's carrying the Lamar Hunt AFC Championship Trophy!
This is my favorite Mile High Stadium memory.
To Mile High regulars, it was just another game of the 1994 season against the Seahawks. To a 21-year-old lifelong Broncos fan, it was the first game I ever attended at the old stadium. Standing fifteen feet away from number seven, watching him rifle that ball with great ease, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. As I watched the Broncos win that day, I kept looking at the horse standing atop the south stands, trying to tell myself that I was finally here. The east stands rumbled when the Seahawks backed up into the closed end of the stadium. How could anyone come to Mile High Stadium and not become a member of the Broncos family? As the sun dropped over the west stands that day, I realized that I would never again question my loyalty to the Denver Broncos. Although it's a creaking, aging old house, there has never been a place that sparks memories like that stadium. So thank you Mile High -- you gave me memories that will last a lifetime.
This letter really isn't about memories of the Mile High Stadium, but rather memories that my boyfriend will never have. He has been a fan of the Broncos ever since I can remeber. He is a single father and unfortunately has never been able to get tickets to a game or even step foot on Denver soil. When I tell you he is the biggest fan I know, I mean every wall and available space is covered with Denver Broncos memorabilia -- that's how it is.
He even has the new Bronco tatooed on his arm. I have a friend who will be attending the last game on the 23rd, and have her picking up the program. I would really like it to say "Sorry you were never able to make it. Maybe some time in the future you can see the new stadium. I hope you remain a true fan! Love you a mile high and beyond!"
St. Louis, MO
I am originally from St. Louis and grew up as a Big Red fan. In the early eighties, Mr. Bidwell threatened us year after year about moving the Cardinals if the city did not build a domed stadium for him. After years of miserable football, combined with the cloud of moving the team over our heads, Cardinals fans sought out new teams to root for on Sundays. I chose to root for the Denver Broncos.
Finally, in Sept. 1997, I had an opportunity to journey to my football Mecca. A friend of mine worked for the radio station in St. Louis which broadcasted Rams football games on radio. When the Rams took to the road, they would solicit the help of locals to provide parabolic microphone services. Knowing of my affections for the Orange Crush, my friend arranged for myself and three of my friends to work the microphones on the field at Mile High.
We drove on Friday night from St. Louis and embarked on our 11-hour trip to Denver. On Sunday, we arrived at the stadium seven hours before game time to take in the entire experience. We tailgated and met the gentleman in the orange barrel, then went into the stadium where our passes allowed us access to the entire stadium with the exception of the locker rooms. Finally it was game time. I stood there at kickoff next to my childhood hero, John Elway, on the Broncos sidelines, on the field at Mile High Stadium. Naturally, they won the game handily and I fulfilled a portion of one of my dreams. The other portion was fulfilled next January when the Denver Broncos became champions of the National Football League.
Middlesex, United Kingdom
My "Mile High Memory" is from September 1999, when I visited from the United Kingdom to make my "pilgrimage" to Mile High Stadium. I chose the opening game of the 1999 season so that I could be amongst those honouring John Elway at the retirement of his number, and to attend a game at this world famous stadium before it was demolished. I have been a Broncos fan since 1986, and followed their progress from "across the pond" ever since.
The atmosphere at Mile High was everything I expected -- electric! Apart from John Elway's retirement ceremony and the moving celebration of his outstanding career, my enduring memory will be sitting (and frequently standing!) in the South Stands amongst the most devoted fans in the NFL, hearing (and contributing to) the amazing volume of noise, and feeling the stand shake under the stomping feet. It can be lonely being a fan of "real" football in the UK, and I felt like I had come home!
I will be coming back to Denver to see the Broncos play one of their first games in the new stadium, which will undoubtedly have it's own "Mile High Magic."
My favorite moment in Mile High Stadium occurred the day I stood on the field with the Denver Broncos and sang the National Anthem to over 75,000 people. I was so proud to open the game for the team I have followed since I was a kid. As our song ended, the loudest and most dedicated fans in the world cheered. I did not choose a play or a Broncos moment because this memory stands above and beyond all others, as I felt a part of it all that day.
In October of 1994 I was visiting friends in Brush, CO. They somehow managed to get tickets to a Broncos-Chiefs game. The memories I will keep for life are: The absolutely fanatical fan who had everything Broncos on, including an orange screw through her head. The cold. The size of the crowd, and the noise associated with it. Standing two feet from Joe Montana and forgetting to take the lens cover off my camera. Not meeting John Elway (that would of made the night memorable). The man who was so sure that the Chiefs would win that he said if they didn't he'd give me his cap. I still have that cap. Feeling the surge of disappointment when KC did win. The little boy who was teaching all of us adults new swear words when the Broncos didn't do what he wanted them to. Dad who was telling him to calm down. Everyone who found out I was Australian giving me on-the-spot lessons and explaining the rules. Knowing that this was the chance of a lifetime to see a game like this. Now it is watching a game on telly knowing where I sat and what I ate and knowing I will never be there again. Most of all it was the size of Mile High Stadium, I've never been in a place that big. To me Mile High will represent my trip to America and the great John Elway. Thanks for the unforgettable memories.
Colorado Springs, CO
As a season ticket holder, I think every moment spent in Mile High Stadium is magical. However, some of the best memories I have are the games in which John Elway played. I will never forget all the great comebacks.
One game in particular that I will remember most is the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets in 1999. It was Elway's last game in Mile High as a Bronco, and what a perfect way to go out with one last comeback win.
I won't forget after the Broncos won when Elway went around the field to celebrate with the fans. Although there were so many fans, it felt as though he looked straight up at me and waved his final good-bye. That was indeed a "Mile High" Magical Moment for me!
There is no other stadium in the world that can compare to Mile High. It is and will always be the best stadium ever! A lot of people take it for granted, and I think we are going to miss it more than we know.
Farewell to the best stadium ever and one that created true Rocky Mountain Thunder!!
I have been a Denver Bronco fan for many years. There have been many players on the team during those years, but not many more loved than John Elway. I remember receiving tickets to the first pre-season game of John's first season. I didn't get more than a couple of chances to sit in a seat at Mile High Stadium, but this game was going to be awesome. It was raining that night, but that didn't dampen the spirit of the crowd waiting for that second half, when our star on the horizon would appear. The crowd chanted for him during the first half and roared when he finally took the field. Everyone knowing that this was the beginning of a new era, when our faith in our team would find it's destiny...the road to back-to-back Super Bowl Championships had begun.
Wichita Falls, TX
I got to go see the Broncos for the first time in 1996 when they played the Seahawks. I drove from Texas, through a snowstorm in the Texas panhandle, and finally got to Colorado Springs that night at 11:30.
I will never forget the feeling I felt when I walked up that ramp to the South Stands, and finally got to see MILE HIGH STADIUM. I felt excited, thrilled, ecstatic, and a whole range of emotions in a matter of just a few seconds. I met people who loved the Broncos as much as I did, and met some truly great fans. I met people who were amazed that I had drove all that way just for a football game. Well, I am doing it again on December 23, just to see the last Broncos game in the palace of Orange and Blue, Mile High Stadium. There just isn't anything better than spending an afternoon there.
To all the people that made me feel so welcome in Denver, to the players I got pictures of, I want to give a heartfelt thanks, for making a Texas boy feel right at home. I had always heard that Colorado was God's country, well, God stocked a lot of his best people there, too. Thanks for the memories, folks. I will never forget you.
My favorite memory of Mile High was during a very close game against the Vikings when the Broncos were attempting a two-point conversion that would tie the game. When the play finished putting two points up, the legendary Mile High Roar was unbelievable! This was the first time I was exposed to the sound of 75,000 wildly cheering fans, and this along with the pounding of the metal stands, vibrated right through me. I will always get a chill of excitement when I think of that.
I can't wait for the special day and have my ticket to the biggest show on earth (for the 23rd of December)!
Chuck & Casey M.
My favorite memory of Mile High Stadium came during the Broncos vs. Cowboys game in Sept. 1998. How many people can remember where they were when they lost their baby front teeth? We were sitting in the end zone, three rows from the top. My seven-year old son had his shirt off and fake Broncos tattoos were plastered on his chest and each cheek. It was his first live Broncos game. My son's front tooth was loose and he couldn't bite down into his hot dog, "Dad, I can't eat this. I'm hungry." I knew we had to get him something else to eat, but we were beating Deion and the Cowboys. I reached over and with one good tug, I yanked his front tooth out and gave him my beer cup to spit his blood in. They signaled the two-minute warning and Casey smiled with a toothless grin. My son will forever remember his time at Mile High Stadium and how he lost his front tooth.
I am 12 years old and I have been to about 16 games, but one really stands out from the rest. I'm talking about the game two years ago against the Seattle Seahawks when Terrell Davis got his 2,008 rushing yards and John Elway got his 300th touchdown! Some people say that the best games were when the Broncos won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII but you really can't find a game better than this one was (especially when these two soon-to-be Hall of Famers are added to the record books AGAIN)!
One of my most vivid Mile High Memories is the Earnest Byner fumble at the goal line during the 1987 AFC Championship Game. By the time of the fumble my voice was so hoarse I could hardly speak, and I had not sat down for quite a while. With great anxiety, my heart racing and my palms sweating I had watched the Browns drive down the field towards the goal line. When I realized that he had indeed fumbled and the Broncos had recovered, it almost brought me to tears.
That game symbolized the never die, never surrender attitude of the Denver Broncos which has led them to becoming one of the greatest football franchises in NFL history, and two-time World Champions!
I have to say that although I have never lived in Denver and never been to a game at Mile High (sad, I know) that I have many Mile High memories almost all through the TV. My personal greatest Mile High memory was two years ago when my wife and I drove through Denver in February on our way moving from Phoenix to Delaware. She thought It was strange that I'd want to stop, see an empty stadium and take photos in front of it. When we got there I was the only car in the lot. I saw the white Bronco rearing back high above and I got an incredible feeling. I then walked up the ramp and was peeking over the fence just to catch a glimpse of the field. I've been a Broncos fan since I was five years old and my grandmother bought me an outfit of the Broncos. I played football all my life -- pee wee to a year of college -- and after The Drive against Cleveland switched from defensive end to quarterback, rolling out in between parked cars in New York, rifling the ball and of course saying "Elway drops back." Well, I'm 29 now and unfortunately have never seen the Broncos play at Mile High, but have had butterflies every Sunday since '76 and want to thank Mile High Stadium and the Denver Broncos for bringing that excitement into my life.
I grew up watching the Broncos on television. Although I lived in nearby Broomfield, at age 12 I had never seen a game at Mile High Stadium. But that changed on January 4, 1992, when my mom took me, my brother and our friend to the Broncos/Oilers divisional playoff game at Mile High Stadium. As the game began our young excitement was at a high, but Warren Moon and the Oilers deflated it quickly, scoring in a few short plays and continuing the momentum until halftime when they had a 21-7 lead. The Broncos worked some magic in the second half and fought their way back, cutting the defecit to 24-23 with two minutes left in the game. With 1:58 left in the game the Broncos had the ball at their own 2-yard line. Keith Bishop wan't their to say it but, "they had 'em right where they wanted 'em." On the first play the Broncos moved it out to the 24-yard line, but the next three plays netted only four yards. So, with 4th and 6 to go, Elway dropped back to pass. Receiving a deep pass rush from his blind side Elway ducked underneath, scrambled out to the left and took off for the first down marker. He needed six and he got seven. Three plays later it was 4th and 10 and Elway dropped back again. Receiving a similar pass rush, Elway ducked underneath again. However, this time a d-back came up to stop him from running and he flipped the ball over his head to a wide open Vance Johnson who streaked down the sideline deep into Oilers territory. A few plays later David Treadwell kicked the game-winning field goal and, in one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, the Broncos were on their way to Buffalo for the AFC Championship.