So far, four original Broncos — players on the inaugural 1960 team — are in the team's Ring of Fame. None of them, however, are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Last year, the Talk of Fame Network posited that one of them, receiver Lionel Taylor, is among the 10 best AFL players who are not yet in the Hall of Fame. However, he isn't the only player with a good case.
Former Broncos, Rams and Oilers defensive lineman Bud McFadin should receive consideration for the game's highest honor, the Talk of Fame Network's Ron Borges argued recently.
"Bud McFadin is believed to be one of only two players to have been named to All-Pro teams in both the National Football League and the American Football League," Borges wrote.
With the Rams, McFadin earned second-team All-Pro selections from various outlets in 1953, '55 and '56. He also received first-team All-AFL honors from the league in each of his first three seasons with the Broncos and garnered second-team All-AFL nods from two outlets in his fourth season. He totaled five Pro Bowl or AFL All-Star selections in his career, too.
Even more interesting, though, are the notes about McFadin's life and career. He nearly left the University of Texas because he missed his beloved horse that much; he stayed only after a staff member made the decision to board McFadin's horse close to Austin, Borges wrote. McFadin also went into early retirement from pro football after being shot, opting instead to become a rancher.
"But when the fledgling American Football League opened for business in 1960," Borges wrote, "Denver Broncos' head coach Frank Filchock remembered the kid from Texas who once dominated the line of scrimmage for the Rams and convinced him to launch a comeback at age 32."
After returning to football, McFadin proved he was still a more than capable starter at the pro level.
"Bud McFadin was named to three Pro Bowls and selected second-team All-Pro three times in the NFL and named first-team All-AFL three times and sent to three AFL All-Star games, as well," Borges wrote. "That means that for more than half of his 11-year career in pro football the guy who nearly quit football for the love of his horse was seen as one of the best defensive linemen of his time."
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Add another award to the collection. Peyton Manning has been named the 2021 recipient of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl's Distinguished Citizen Award. He follows in his father's footsteps in winning the award. "Many exceptional American icons in business, sports and entertainment have received this award, including Elvis Presley, Tony Dungy and my father," Manning said in a statement. "I very much appreciate the AutoZone Liberty Bowl including me on this list of incredible individuals."