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Broncos season ticket holder conference call with Gene Mingo, Dan Reeves & Rick Upchurch transcript

Chris Hall: Good afternoon, everyone. We want to thank all of our season ticket holders for joining us on this Friday here leading up to week 2 and the Sunday's Halftime Ring of Fame Ceremony. For the next 45 minutes, we are going to allow you to ask questions to the three honorees who are being inducted this weekend. Gene Mingo, Rick Upchurch and former Head Coach Dan Reeves. If you would like to get a question in the queue and talk to either three of these gentlemen, please hit star 3. You will then be sent to a screener and we will get... we'll try and get to as many of you as we can over the course for the next 45 minutes. And again after this call, you can provide feedback because we will do a handful of this fan forum calls throughout the year for our season ticket holders. Just visit To start, we are joined by Gene Mingo. Gene here looking good, dressed up with his coat and tie in the beginning of what's going to be a very memorable weekend. This opportunity now, this feeling you think you're going to feel, Gene, at halftime when you get to see the curtain come off your name inside that Ring of Fame. Have you thought about what this is going to feel like for you when it happens on Sunday?

Gene Mingo: I am still numb man. I've been... people have been asking me what are you going to say? What do you feel? I am just in awe. You know it's been, all I've heard was that 'It's been a long time coming, you should have been in long ago' and I've really appreciate that, I love that. I just know that I did the best I could when I was here playing and finally get my name up on around the stadium and have the bust outside. It show me that the Broncos haven't gone, you know forgotten me.

Hall: Have you had a chance to see the Ring of Fame Plaza yet?

Mingo: No, I haven't.

Hall: Not yet. Are you waiting until the night when this is unveiled to finally see what it's going to look like out there on the south end?

Mingo: You know I'm like a blind person right now. Just lead me, man, and I'll tell you all I'll be there.

Hall: Right. This is part of a very busy weekend, I think you're busy. All three days you're catching up with people you used to know and you came in here laughing with Rick and Coach Reeves. What it's been like just to spend some time with these guys so far?

Mingo: Well I... I reminded Coach Reeves that I wasn't with the Broncos but I played against them in '67. If in the... what is it, the Cotton Bowl or whatever down in Dallas and also we are played against them when I was with the Redskins. They beat us in Dallas and we beat them in Washington and I asked them what did Coach Landry do? Did he had those... have you seen the commercial with the fans that blow the players and the cheerleaders and everybody over so they can go into overtime?

Hall: Yeah, sure.

Mingo: Well I asked them, was it you know what when I was in the Cotton Bowl, I was kicking. Why did the ball always float to the right? Actually I was teasing about Landry and the fans on.

Hall: That's an old building. Actually I have been there back in 2001. That's great. We get to... you get to spend time with them and tell these stories. This Ring of Fame for, designed for people who have, had such positive contributions and a positive impact in this organization — as an original Bronco and then to see us all come to full circle, to be a part of that, the brands now and that positive impact... that goes along with it, right?

Mingo: Yes, it does. I've had people ask me 'Why aren't you in the Ring of Fame?' Well now that I'm going in, they asked me, "Hey Gene, why haven't the Broncos tried to put you in the Hall of Fame in Canton?" I said, "I don't know." I said that, "Hey, I'll be 76 years old on September 22nd." A lot of people don't realize what I did. So that's where I'm at right now. You know I still wonder because there's not too many ball players did what I did, right?

Hall: Well, it's going to be fun. I know you're going to get a huge roar from the crowd and we have a lot of callers on so far and let's get to one of them. We're going to start with Chris. Chris is calling in from Omaha. He's been a season ticket holder since 2004. Chris, go ahead with your question for Gene Mingo.

Caller Chris: Hi Gene, how you doing?

Mingo: I'm doing great. Thank you.

Caller Chris: I just have a question as far as what are the major differences like yet you see in the game today versus when you were playing?

Mingo: I've seen that these guys, they don't scrimmage as much as we did back in the day. I was talking to Dan Reeves, we did two-a-day in pads like quite a bit of the week and stuff like that and they don't put their pads on. I was talking to Upchurch about the bump and run. Right now if you touch a wide receiver with the after five yards, you get a 15 yard or a 10 yard penalty, I don't know what it is. But there are a lot of changes.

Hall: Chris, thank you so much. We appreciate it. For those of you who want to get involved, just hit star 3. Right now, we'd like to go to Wilma, Gene who's been a season ticket holder since 1960.

Mingo: Hi Wilma, how are you?

Hall: Go ahead with your question for Gene.

Caller Wilma: Well, I wanted to know what you remembered of those first years, the most outstanding game that we had in the first year?

Mingo: Well in that first year, being the first black field goal kicker in the AFL and winning that first game for the Broncos, people tell me that I put the Broncos on the map because in the NFL, there were no black field goal kickers and there still aren't and just being able to put on that uniform that people laugh at us when we went to play, that just made us play harder. The game that I remembered most, it wasn't the first year, the second year was the year that we beat the Houston all this year and I really enjoyed that because I also broke Lou Groza's field goal record.

Hall: Wilma thank you so much. We appreciate you calling in. Now we'd like to go to Ken. Ken, thanks for joining us. Ken, Gene he's been a season ticket holder since 1961. Go ahead Ken.

Caller Ken: Well hey, this... this question is for Rick Upchurch. Hey Rick.

Hall: Oh, oh Ken I'm sorry. Rick is not in the room. We didn't have him on the screen, my apologies. Would you like to go back on hold or get up something for Gene too?

Caller Ken: Well I'm going to say Gene congratulations but I'd love to ask Rick a question if you want to put me on hold.

Hall: We'll put you on hold. Thank you so much Ken. A game you cherish so long ago. You think back that first season, an inaugural season, to be a part of that though.

Mingo: Well just to be... you know back then, there weren't... I mentioned this earlier, back then there weren't many blacks accepted in the AFL or in NFL Pro Football and to become the first field goal... black field goal kicker playing as many positions as I did, you had to, to keep a job and then that I love the job, I love the playing and everything and it provided for my family. It was just wonderful putting that uniform on and having that PRO at you know when people... 'oh, he's a pro.' But it also meant that you had to live up to that. You had to show respect for yourself and respect for others and that's what I try to do.

Hall: That seem it's not the end of a journey to get there but the start of one 'cause now you're there. It's time to do what you know you could do that's great. Pete, thanks for calling in. Pete has been a season ticket holder since 1986. Pete go ahead with your question for Gene.

Caller Pete: Gene, we know each other. I worked with your son Scottie for a long time.

Mingo: Okay Pete.

Caller Pete: I met you and your wife down in... I think Sherwood or... on a trip when you're coming up from Florida but what are you doing now?

Mingo: I'm an Alcohol and Drug Counselor but I really try to do interventions. Help being alcoholic and drug addicts get into treatment so they can deal with their issues.

Hall: Pete, thank you so much for the call. We got a few more minutes left to spend time with Gene Mingo. We're going to go to Al who's been a season ticket holder since 1966. Go ahead Al.

Caller Al: Just want to say, didn't have a question to ask. I just want to wish you well and tell you that I was at the first game at the Broncos played in Denver here and we were sitting on boards out in left field and I saw you kick your first field goal against the Oakland Raiders for a... when you were playing here in Denver.

Mingo: Well I'm glad you remember that and I enjoyed playing in front of the Denver fans.

Hall: You remembered all these moments. Do people bring up things that you might not remember?

Mingo: ...they... people that telling me stuff that I did, that I have forgot and actually Michael Bonner has shared with me about the time that Frank Tripucka threw a touchdown pass on the Buffalo game and guy intercepted the ball and I came over and laid a good hit on the guy. He fumbled the ball and I recovered it. I remembered so many things that I did here but like I said, I enjoyed doing something to bring joy to the fans where they really appreciated it and what made me realize they appreciate it was when they would stand and wait for us to take our showers and walk out and sign autographs.

Hall: That's great. Let's go to Lani. Lani, thanks for joining us. Again if you want to ask a question, just hit star 3. Lani has been a season ticket holder since 1970. Go ahead Lani. Lani are you there? Okay, Lani is not going to join us but Lani let's see if we can get you back on the call here shortly. To think about kind of what someone's touched on before, where the game is coming now and now there's all these specialized players. You know there's guys who just are kickoff returner, guys who are just punt returner, or guys who just play really in the flat. These different positions but you had to play more than just one. You had to do so, adapt to it. It's changed so much.

Mingo: I did everything asked of me. I played just about every position. Do you know I played the... I played offensive tackle and guard when some of our guys got hurt and we didn't have enough guys on the bench to go out and take their place. I remembered playing against the San Diego Chargers and Frank Tripucka was the quarterback and the guard got hooked... or hurt and we had... I had to rush out there otherwise he's going to get a penalty and Ernie Ladd was with the Chargers and Ernie weighed over 300 pounds and...

Hall: And you weighed what at that time?

Mingo: ... I weighed 205.

Hall: Okay.

Mingo: And Frank Tripucka was the quarterback and he called the play and I'm rushing as it's going up to the line and he looked down to me and say, "What you're doing here?" And we laughed when he called the play and Ernie Ladd was just over there cracking up laughing. And Trip snaps the ball. What can I do at 205 against these 300 pounders? So I did what... if you like to catch a baby. I just jumped in his arms and he laughed. He had to catch me. It was funny, man, it was funny.

Hall: Have you ever taken a snap anywhere along the line?

Mingo: Since you brought that up, I would have been the first black quarterback in the AFL or in which would have been now at the NFL but Frank Filchock shot Tripucka up with Cortizone or whatever but I trained that whole week to be their quarterback for that game and it never happened but I get throw the ball. I... like I said I played quite a few positions.

Hall: That's incredible.

Hall: We got... we have one more here for Gene before we move on with Rick and former Head Coach Dan Reeves. This next call comes from Lou. Lou has been a season ticket holder since 1963 calling from Littleton. Lou, thanks so much. Go ahead.

Caller Lou: Gene, you were a talented player and very good to watch and it was a different era. I realized all that. Were you there when Denver beat Detroit at the DU Stadium and Alex Karras was supposed to walk home to Detroit?

Mingo: No I wasn't there. I was in Miami but I was praying for the best. As I shared earlier, even though I wasn't a Bronco, every team that I played for after I left the Broncos, I would check the morning paper or late Sunday night just to see if the Broncos have won and I've always rooted for the Broncos, I've always been a Bronco no matter that I played for other teams. This is my team, this is my family and this is my home.

Hall: Lou, thank you so much and with that, we want to thank Gene. Gene, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you got some other places to be. Gene, part of a trio going into the Ring of Fame this weekend with Head Coach Dan Reeves and also Rick Upchurch who now joins us and is in the room. Rick, while we get some callers lined up and get them ready, what are you most proud of up until this point that you've done as a player?

Rick Upchurch: The thing I'm most proud of is that being able to reach out to the fans. During my playing years and after, you had to build up the fan base here in Denver because we were known as a Cowtown. That's what Howard Cosell was saying, that's what they were saying on Monday Night Football at a particular time. And so we took offense for that because we knew the type of fan base that we had. And so what we did at that particular time, we really reached out to our fan base. We would go out, sit in their homes, eat dinner with them, play with their children, sit in the RV's after the game, you know, have a cocktail with them. We were really personal back in the 70s and 80s. We were really personable with our fan based and so myself, Haven Moses, all of us guys—remember we weren't making a lot of money back then—so what we would do is we go around the region all up to Utah, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, western Kansas, western Nebraska and we would go out and sit in these homes with the fans. And I am so proud that we were able to help build that fan base that we have today because we realized that here in Denver that our fans were the number one objective of playing the game and making them proud of who we were. And then, now look at what we have, we have a big fan base all over the country but we built that fan base right here in Rocky Mountains and we're proud of it.

Hall: I've heard some of these stories: literally knocking on doors, walking around, drumming up that connection with the fans that you touched on. That's incredible 'cause you know that kind of thing, I don't think it happens as much now but that as you said, it was a necessity.

Upchurch: Right.

Hall: Here with Rick Upchurch if you have a question, please hit star 3. We are little north of 3000 callers on the phone right now. We're going to start Ken who called in earlier, had a question for you. We're around with Gene where in like, Ken go ahead. Ken has been a season ticket holder since 1961. Ken.

Caller Ken: Hey Rick Upchurch, how are you?

Upchurch: Yeah, I am doing fine. Thank you very much.

Caller Ken: Sir, it's going to be great to see your name up there on Sunday and as I look back at the famous number 80's in Bronco history you're my favorite number 80, but I think of three other guys I think of Mark Jackson, I think of Rod Smith and obviously now Julius Thomas. If you were get a hold of a fantasy football draft today, which one of those three number 80's would you want to in your team? And I'd have you on my special teams, no doubt.

Upchurch: Well let me tell you something Rod Smith you know he's got all the records, he's got reception yards, touchdowns and he's one of top ballplayers to ever do that that was undrafted. Then when you look at Mark Jackson he had just a great wonderful quarterback just like Julius Thomas has right now that was able to deliver the ball and get the ball into his hands, which was John Elway, and at right now you got Julius Thomas man, he's a nightmare mismatch. I mean he's six-foot-six, six-foot-seven and he's 250 pounds to 260 pounds and can run and he's very athletic. So in this day and age, I would take right now, if I could build a fantasy football team, it would be certainly Julius Thomas because he's a mismatch nightmare and he's going to do some positive things, he's probably going to put up some Hall of Fame numbers.

Hall: Yeah, you saw that at week one, mismatch nightmare, three touchdowns, we talked with Tight Ends Coach Clancy Barone about that, you can see that piece on later on today. Wanted to sneak that in. Shameless plug, pardon me. Hit star 3 if you want to ask a question on Rick Upchurch right now. We want to go to Bill who's calling from Colorado Springs. He's been a season ticket holder since 1980s. Bill I know your question was originally for Gene but Gene is no longer in the room. We do have Rick here if you'd like to ask him that question.

Caller Bill: Yeah... no but is he a... an alcoholic councilor?

Hall: That's what he'd said, correct.

Caller Bill: Well, can we cure a Broncoholic that's what I want to know.

Hall: I don't know, but you got a question for Rick, Bill?

Caller Bill: Yeah I do. Sorry I missed Gene but of course I've got a question for Rick. Anybody you put up I'll have a question. Hey Rick.

Upchurch: Yes.

Caller Bill: We haven't had a Rick Upchurch since Rick Upchurch. My question is, is it a lot easier returning a kickoff return or punt return back when you played or is it tougher now or Rick, we know what you're doing: the Ring of Fame and that's terrific. But was it easier back when you were returning balls or do you think it's easier today or what's your thought on that?

Upchurch: Well it's easier today, especially with punt returns because you had, I mean, punters that were absolutely good in putting the ball in the coffin corner and making that ball do things that these kids don't do today. Today, these guys are kicking the ball for yardage. Back then, they were looking to put the ball and put you in bad field position. And so you had guys that could put the ball out on the 2-yard line, 1-yard line and they could get the ball high in the air, they get that 5, 6 seconds hang time. Today, once again, they punt that bad boy, they out-kick their coverage and now all of a sudden you got guys that are returning the balls 24/7. Here's the other thing, with Devin Hester, back in the day, and let me give you some information: There was one year where I didn't even hardly see a punt or a kickoff because they were squibbing the ball or either kicking out of bounds.  You watch Devin Hester, they kick the ball to him and outkick their coverage and what does he do, he runs it all the way back—he's got 14 of them. So the game, the art of the game back when I was playing, it was truly an art because those punters could do some magnificent things like a golf ball with a golf club, a nine iron or a pitching wedge. Today these guys have these strong legs and they're thundering that ball and outkicking their coverage and then they look at their numbers and they say, "Well, I have an average of 44 yards or 43 yards." But once again you don't see where the negative aspect comes in it when you've lost maybe 20 yards or 30 yards because you've outkicked your coverage and these guys return the ball or you kicked it into the end zone.

Hall: I think it was an America's game after the Colts-Bears Super Bowl when they kickoff to Hester and there's a microphone down there on the bench and Tony Dungy saying, "I thought we weren't going to kick the ball to Hester?"

Upchurch: Yeah, I mean duh!

Hall: Okay, now were going to go ahead. Seven-0, send Peyton out there, wound up working out for the Colts. Now we have Head Coach Dan Reeves coming on momentarily. If you want to ask a question hit star 3. I want to thank all of you for joining us. Right now we want to talk to Star who's been a season ticket holder for 36 years. Star, you're on with Rick Upchurch, go ahead.

Caller Star: Hi I just want to say that I really enjoyed watching you all those years playing football.

Upchurch: Well Star, thank you so very much and let me tell you, fans like yourself that were there cheering us on whether we were winning or whether we weren't winning, you were there and we just appreciate you all so much because you guys made us who we are and we recognize that and we thank you so very much, Star.

Hall: Star thank you so much for calling in, we appreciate. Let's go right to Lorie who's calling from Charleston, South Carolina. Hi Lorie, you're on with Rick.

Caller Lorie: Hi Mr. Upchurch, it's a great to talk to you.

Upchurch: Hello Lorie, how are you?

Caller Lorie: I'm awesome. I had to tell you that you actually were my very first autograph, Broncos autograph, my first autograph ever when I was 7 years old and you guys had training camp at CSU and I lived in Fort Collins and my grandpa took me, it was very exciting. So I'm really happy to talk to you.

Upchurch: Well you know what thank you so very much. You know from 7 years old, you're making me old now. You need to stop that. But well let me tell you we appreciate the young, the old, the in-between, we just don't care, we love our fans and we thank you so very much for being a fan and cheering us on each and every week.

Caller Lorie: I do have a question. I'm curious what, when you have a lot of records especially with your special teams work and you played in big games and you're a very good rookie, on your first game as a rookie was awesome. And then you got to play in Super Bowl but I'm curious with all of that what your favorite thing about playing football was and particularly for the Broncos.

Upchurch: Well the number one thing was my teammates. I mean the camaraderie that you build and the family atmosphere that you build with teammates and then you go on to do positive things, it's something that you really can't explain. It sits in your heart for all your life, you reflect back on those things, you get on the phone and you call your teammates and you tell a bunch of lies and a little bit of the truth and the stories get bigger than what they were really were. And so with your teammates you can always come back to the alumni weekends, you can always call them on the phone if something's going wrong. And so my excitement, my greatest time was being with my teammates.

Hall: Lorie do you still have that autograph? Oh Lorie's gone, you know let's just... I bet that she does. Yes, she's seemed pretty happy about it, doesn't she? Rod Smith often comes down to Dove Valley and talks to the players, usually at the beginning of the season. And he talks to them about what it takes to be a pro. Multiple all-decade teams, what did it take to be a pro and perform at that level for that long?

Upchurch: First thing is being true to yourself and being true to the game. You have to put in work, man. If you don't put in work, man, you don't get any results. It's just like with a glass of water. You put a little water in the glass, you only go to get a little bit out, but if you put a lot of water in the glass, you get a lot of water and you quench that thirst. And it's the same thing with playing football. If you don't put in work and I did, I put in work I... let me tell you, I didn't want anybody to out-work me guys. And I don't think anybody did because I knew that if somebody was working harder than me that means they had the advantage and I never ever want anybody to have the advantage. And I was just a hard worker and I made a commitment to the game. I  was always told by my high school coach, if you make a commitment to the game, it'll make a commitment to you and it certainly did for me.

Hall: Great message for young players, thinking that's exactly why Rod comes down to share that message. So Rick, thank you so much by taking the time, enjoy the weekend.

Upchurch: Thank you so very much.

Hall: Thanks for those of you who called in for your questions for Rick. If you want to get on the line here, hit star 3. And now I'm happy to be joined by former Broncos Head Coach Dan Reeves. Coach, welcome to this conference room. You're walking around the building and you say, whoa. You said the first thing you would have done is sealed up this window, people wouldn't be paying attention.

Reeves: Well if I was meeting with my coaches, they'd be looking outside and they wouldn't be paying attention. But boy, what a beautiful facility, unbelievably, it's great, makes you love orange and blue again.

Hall: You're back for what's going to be a busy weekend. Just how are you feeling, are you excited? Do you know that Sunday is going to feel like? I ask Gene the same thing, have you thought about what it's going to be like to see your name up there?

Reeves: I don't know. I talked to Craig Morton. I called and I was talking to him and he said you're not going to believe it and Steve Atwater said the same thing. When they unveil that bronze statue, you're not going to believe it. He said it's going to be unbelievable, you know feeling and you know I'm just honored. You know from a coach's standpoint, it's a little bit different than players that when you're honored as a coach, you know that it's because of a lot of people. And first of all ownership, you know from Edgar Kaiser to Pat Bowlen, who gave me this opportunity to be here for 12 years which was, you know, a tremendous experience and then you look at all the coaches, you know that I was fortunate enough to have as assistant coaches here that helped make it possible and then the tremendous players. You don't win, you know, without great players. And then the front office people, they're so important. I told my secretary when I was here, you know the first impression that anybody is going to get of me is when they call is how, you handle a call. And so everybody in organization is a big part of any success that you have, so certainly, I accept this honor on behalf of a lot of good people.

Hall: It's funny, you're touching on all the people that helped you get to this weekend and how much you appreciate them. Rick just spent about three or four minutes at the top of our call talking about the fans, so that's great to hear. That's why we're doing this call today with all of our season ticket holders. Again hit star 3 if you'd like to join us. We're going to start with Russ who is calling from Durango and coach, Russ has been a season ticket holder for 18 years. Hi Russ.

Caller Russ: Hi, how is it going? Hey Dan, hey coach.

Reeves: Hey Russ, how are you doing?

Caller Russ: Hey, my question... I'm doing great thanks. Enjoyed you for a lot of years and I was just wondering coach what's your most memorable memory on the sidelines of coaching the Denver Broncos?

Reeves: Well, first of all you know, talking about the fans, I was blowing away in my first head coach and game was here against the Oakland Raiders and they were the defending World Champions and you know I've been a part of Dallas and Washington rivalry and Dallas and Philadelphia, but I have never witnessed anything like Denver-Oakland and the Big Orange, how sweet it is, the crowd, the noise. And you know to win that game, I think it was 9-7 and I think we kicked like three field goals and beat the defending World Champion 9-7. You know that was a huge game for me and a big memory. But without question 'The Drive' against Cleveland and the championship game to go to our first Super Bowl. That'll be something I will never forget.

Hall: Does that ever get old whenever you see that on NFL Network or old tapes? Does it ever get old? And I'm sure you can remember every single play call from that afternoon.

Reeves: Well you know they do a great job of refreshing your memory, that's for sure, because they play it over and over again and I can't tell you how many people come up to me and say 'Oh gosh, I saw you last night' and I didn't even know it was on, but that was a great game. I mean you know, to be on the road in a hostile environment which, really, that was just as hostile as you could get. You know it was Cleveland and the drive 98 yards to tie the thing and then win it in an overtime, a tremendous accomplishment and something that you know, still brings chills to me when I watch it.

Hall: If you want to ask coach a question, just hit star 3. We'd like to hear now from Mike who's calling in from Lakewood. Mike has been a season ticket holder since 1987. Go ahead Mike.

Caller Mike: Dan it's a pleasure to be on the phone with you. I really think that the modern Bronco winning era really began with you. You were seen as such an outstanding player before you became a coach, playing as a quarterback in South Carolina and then you became a halfback when you moved to Dallas. Could you talk about the influence that Tom Landry had on you and then the difficulty in going from being a player to a coach and finally maybe talk about what it was like being an assistant coach on the staff with Mike Ditka?

Reeves: Well first of all you know I spent 16 years with Coach Landry and all of my philosophy and all of the things that I really have as far as football is concerned came to Coach Landry: the preparation, the motivation, the character that he wanted in players. Those things, you know came from being with him for 16 years. So he had a tremendous you know, influence on me. As far as making that transition from player to coach, it was made easier for me in that never thought about coaching. I tore my knee up in '68, got beat in '69 by young man named Calvin Hill and I knew my career was coming to an end and when that season was over Coach Landry asked me if I would be interested in being a player-coach and I had never thought about coaching but I ended up being a player-coach in '70. We went to the Super Bowl got beat by Baltimore. I ended up being a player-coach in '71 and we won the championship against Miami. So my first two years as a player-coach, we go to two Super Bowls you know, it's pretty special. It kind of got in my blood. They don't have a transfusion to get it out so I got the coaching in me. Coach Landry saw something in me that I actually didn't see in myself and so it was an easy transition for me because I did it for three years as a player-coach and ended up you know, then getting in the coaching profession. And being on the staff with Mike Ditka, people don't realize how smart Mike is. He's tremendously high IQ and he was a big part of our coaching staff and when traded for him with the Dallas Cowboys—Mike was with the Philadelphia Eagles at that time—Mike was known as a very physical tight end and now that's what we need. We were kind of a finesse-type of offense; We needed somebody to come in and be a hard-nosed tough guy and Mike Ditka brought that to us and you know he could be a very easily been the Super Bowl MVP in '71. He played really, really well and of course he got into coaching in 1980. I came right behind him in '81 and you know we coached many years together and we're still real close friends and you know, Mike was a tremendous head coach and just a great friend.

Hall: Mike, thank you some great questions there for coach. I want to go right to Terry who's been waiting for a little bit here. Terry has been a season ticket holder pardon me, since 1989. Hi Terry.

Caller Terry: Hey, how are you?

Reeves: Good Terry. How you doing?

Caller Terry: I'm great and I can tell you the only other team I ever used to watched as a kid was Dallas. Even though I've lived in Houston and moved into Texas though then to Denver. They kept teasing us. I said, 'That's OK, we're going to get tickets and we did.' It's about dang time we got you up there on the Ring of Fame.

Reeves: Well thanks Terry, I appreciate it. It's really a great honor and I'm excited about it and you know I can't wait, I'm looking forward to it.

Caller Terry: Well congratulations to all three and what do you do with your time these days?

Reeves: Well I'm doing a lot of "honey-do's" you know, I didn't do any for 39 years and so I'm catching up and my wife, Pam, and I have been married for 50 years, June 27th, and she's making sure I know what "honey-do's" are and now I'm doing a lot of those and doing some speaking engagements. So I do a lot of work with with Fellowship for Christian Athletes and speaking at a lot of their fundraisers. So I'm busy traveling a lot and you know watching a lot of football games. I enjoyed watching you know, the game. It's still one of the greatest sports you can watch, in my opinion, and I love watching it.

Hall: Terry thank you that's got to be some list.

Reeves: And it doesn't get any shorter. It keeps growing.

Hall: Let's go to Mark. He's been a season ticket holder since 1998. Go ahead Mark.

Caller Mark: Hey coach, congratulations on the Ring of Fame, first of all. But I wanted to ask you what your thoughts are on the mentality of head coaches nowadays to when you were head coaching the Broncos.

Reeves: Well, it's a lot more difficult in my opinion now because of all of the salary cap situations that you have. It's very difficult to keep a team together. Now that was toward to end my career you know, that we experienced that too, and then you know the way they have the deal with no pads in the practices, and the preseasons, the way they play it you know it, makes it very difficult for you to really know exactly what kind of team you got, in my opinion, up until you like, probably the third or fourth game of the season because you don't play your players that much in preseason so those are things that are a lot different now, but the biggest change is of course free agency.

Hall: Mark, thank you we going to go right to Dwayne in Denver who's been a season ticket holder since 1985. Again if you want to sneak in a question just hit star 3. Hi Dwayne.

Caller Dwayne: Been a great time to have you back in Denver. I was just wondering, Dan, did you enjoy did you enjoy it more here or in Atlanta?

Reeves: Well I think first of all, it's sort of like anything that you do first—your first in anything is special. And to be my first head coaching job here in Denver was tremendously special. I'll never forget those 12 years you know, has been 16 years in Dallas as a player, player-coach and assistant coach and you know I only moved my kids one time until they got through high school so you stay in the coaching profession and only move your kids once from the time they graduate and get into college is pretty special. And Denver was really special for me. We had a lot of success here and you know it was very difficult to leave. You know to come back I had an opportunity after getting fired in Denver, fired in New York, I get the chance to coach again in Atlanta and of course that was like coming back home for my wife and I, we're both from Georgia, have a lot of relatives, and to be able to go down and coach a team that when I grew up, they just started in '66 when I started in the NFL in '65. You know to be part of that you know, it was a tremendous honor.

Hall: Sometimes people lose side of that, the toll it takes on the families and moving around, but you must have felt incredibly fortunate.

Reeves: Well I didn't know, I really didn't know how fortunate I was. I mean it's a lot more movement, people talk about movement in the players. There's a lot more movement now in coaches too because you know, back when I was an assistant coach, unless you did something you know wrong, you were going to be a part of that staff until you became a head coach and you just didn't have the movement that you have now where coaches can be an offensive coordinator then go somewhere else the next year at the same position. You just couldn't make those lateral moves before then. And so coaches move a lot more and to only move one time was tremendous for our kids. I only had to make that transition one time. That was difficult because my oldest daughter was 16 years old when she moved and it was a rough time for her. Thank goodness we were here in Denver and she made a lot of friends real quickly and that helped because she was, you know, 16 years old. And then all of our kids got through it, through those 12 years probably here in Denver and you know actually went to college and finished college.

Hall: Dwayne thank you. Let's right to Rob, who's calling from Denver. Hi Rob.

Caller Rob: Hi there. Dan, I'd like the echo of the feeling somebody that mentioned you brought the level of football at Denver up a couple of notches when you arrived. The Broncos are really very, very thankful to have you brought the professionalism to the team and to the city. I had one question to ask and that is if you had to do anything differently in Denver during your time what would you have done? What one thing probably I know your greatest play or greatest win sits out but if there's something that might be a nagging in the back of your mind, 'What if I done it differently?'

Reeves: Well I don't know where I'd have done it differently or not, but I wish I could have won one of the three Super Bowls. Those are things that you can't change. You know, to look back on it in hindsight, it's 20-20. There's a lot of things that when a game is over, you look back on and wish you had done differently but I wish we could win one of those games. It would have been a lot of different. You know as a head coach to have lost four Super Bowls when I went to four, you know, that's not a good feeling. But as far as doing something differently, there are probably a lot of things that I could done as far as decisions go. But when you make decisions, you know you take all the information that you have and try to make the best one you can you can't second-guess those, you've got to move on.

Hall: Rob, thank you. Just have time for a couple of more questions again if you want to sneak in here at the end just hit star 3. We'll go to Mike who's been a season ticket holder now for 9 years. Mike, go ahead with coach Reeves.

Caller Mike: Hi guys. Hey coach, welcome back to Denver. Hey I had the great opportunity to work for you during your training camp a couple years up in Greeley. I was a student up there and I'm just wondering now that you get to see this huge campus that Denver's building down here, what were some of the memories you have from Greeley and how do you feel about where the NFL has gone with all the technology they have today?

Reeves: Well you know, first of all, Greeley was an ideal training camp situation for us as an organization. You were far enough away that you were away from home but yet wives and families could still come up you know and watch the players. It was a tremendous facility. They had great dormitories for us. We had perfect field conditions. So it was an ideal situation and I think it starts out with an offseason program but the second big stage is always training camp and we couldn't have a better situation than we had there at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Hall: Mike, thank you. Now we're going to go to Linda calling in from Park City, Utah, who's been as season ticket holder since 1972. Go ahead Linda.

Caller Linda: Hi Dan. I just want to say I've been following you since the University of South Carolina.

Reeves: Good gracious Linda. We're telling how old we are now.

Caller Linda: I know it, but I want to say to you have been a class act and I am so glad to hear what you're doing now presently with your wife Pam and you were a great asset to Denver community. Thank you.

Reeves: Linda thank you very much. You're so sweet. Appreciate that.

Caller Lina: Thank you.

Hall: Linda, Mike, Rob, Dwayne, Terry, Mark, Mike everyone else who called in this afternoon, that's going to do it for the Fan Forum Call. We really do appreciate all of you, not only just being Denver Broncos season ticket holders, but taking the time to join us on this Fan Forum Call here today. If you have any feedback on your experience today just visit We will do a couple more of these throughout the year with different guests. Again, this is an exclusive opportunity for our season ticket holders. For Gene Mingo, Rick Upchurch, Coach Reeves—I'm Chris Hall thank you so much everyone for joining us today enjoy your weekend and again all three will be inducted at the Broncos Ring of Fame on Sunday during halftime's game, halftime of Sundays game against the Chiefs. Have a great Friday everyone.

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