Active duty military members and their guests sat down with former Broncos Karl Mecklenburg and David Treadwell for a military appreciation film session on Tuesday night.
DENVER- ** Peyton Manning's 509th touchdown pass, Aqib Talib's game-sealing interception of Geno Smith and Demaryius Thomas' 86-yard touchdown against the Cardinals were three of the many plays analyzed at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Tuesday night.
But, it wasn't Broncos reviewing the film. Hosted by Coca Cola, approximately 20 active duty military members and their guests sat down with former Broncos Karl Mecklenburg and David Treadwell for a military appreciation film session in the Broncos' Fan Cave.
Lance Wright, Coca Cola's Mile High Division Vice President, said Coke's involvement with the military goes back to World War II, when active members of the military could buy a Coke for five cents.
"(This is) really just an event, us being able to show our appreciation for the men and women that serve in the military and provide the freedom that we have every day of our lives," Wright said. "Most of us take it for granted and this is our time to reflect on that and give back to them and really thank them for all they do."
While Wright's father served in the Korean War, Mecklenburg also grew up in a military family with his dad and uncle both in the Army. He said he always jumps as the opportunity to spend time with military members because "you can't pay back the debt these folks have paid."
He said while many fans consider him and other football players to be "heroes," those who serve their country are the true heroes.
"It's a whole different level, truthfully," Mecklenburg said. "We're out there, we're playing. We're putting our knees on the line maybe. These guys don't play. It's real life. It's protection of our rights and our freedoms and the rights and freedoms of people around the world. To me, that's an awesome thing. The team work, the leadership that is demonstrated in the military is an amazing thing, too.
"That's just a special thing and I'm excited for these folks and what they do every day."
It was a fun experience for Mecklenburg to review tape with fans instead of football players. He and Treadwell fielded questions from fans about their playing days and the state of the Broncos.
"I look at film and I see something completely different than what most people see when they're looking at film," Mecklenburg said. "Truthfully I have a hard time watching a football game because I've spent so much time watching film. As a player you study film and figure out what the other team is doing wrong so you can attack it and what you're doing wrong so you can fix it. I watch football and all I see is what's going wrong so that makes it a little bit different."
Kennedy Herrick, a Colorado native, actually worked in Sports Authority Field as a pastry chef when he was 15. He now a Marine stationed at the Buckley Air Force Base.
"I used to be the on back there in the kitchen and now I'm experiencing the other side of it," he said. "It's funny being back at Sports Authority Field and experiencing a night like this. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch film with the Broncos."