- So I saw you've been on a bit of a road trip, first visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame and then coming out here to Boulder and Denver. What have you been seeing?**
"We started out — my wife has some family in Ohio — so we went there to the Columbus area to see them. … We took a ride to Canton. With Terrell Davis being inducted, we wanted to go check it out and take pictures … And then at the end after we saw all the busts, we saw Terrell Davis', where they have a glass frame there for Jason Taylor and [LaDainian] Tomlinson and Jerry Jones and everybody, with a hole where the busts would be put on. So I just thought that was really cool, so I took a picture of that, knowing that just in a matter of days he would be inducted and they would put his bust right in that exact spot. So that was really exciting.
"Then we came out here. We went to a Rockies game, where we saw a walk-off from [Nolan] Arenado. That was the game Tuesday against the Mets; they won 5-4. We went to Pearl Street yesterday and walked up and down the shops, from I guess, like, Eighth or Ninth Street to 20th Street. We went around the University of Colorado, got a tour and, today, this is finale before I go back to reality tomorrow back to Connecticut.
But to be here with the family and see the sea of orange and blue there and the big Broncos logo and see [Paxton] Lynch and [Trevor] Siemian and [Emmanuel] Sanders and Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller, I feel like I'm home and I need to move to Denver, Colorado, immediately. And from here, we're going to Mile High Stadium for a tour. We went a few days ago to check it out, but they had the Guns n' Roses concert, so we got a little mini tour but they said it was too dangerous with the pyrotechnics and whatever other stuff that they had to get ready. So we got a little peek of a couple things, but we're going to get a bigger tour this afternoon as soon as camp's over. They've got their footballs, they're ready to get some autographs at the end of camp and I'm just in heaven. This is just the greatest. I've been a Broncos fan since I was 7 or 8 years old."
2. How did you come to be a Broncos fan, growing up in New York?
"I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but right about 1977, I'm watching '[The] NFL Today' with Irv Cross and Phyllis George and Brent Musburger and that gang, and Jimmy "The Greek" [Snyder]. So the Broncos were getting ready to play the Cowboys in Super Bowl XII, which was January 15, 1978, in the Superdome, if I'm not mistaken. When it comes to the Broncos, I have a scary memory. So they were doing a piece on the Broncos where they were interviewing little kids at an elementary school and they kept talking about the Orange Crush against the Doomsday Defense. And I just fell in love with the bright orange uniforms and the D with the horse with the smoke coming out of the nose. I remember as a little kid tracing the logo, because I thought it was the greatest logo in sports. And everyone's rooting for the Jets and Giants around me, because I'm in Brooklyn, but I'm like, 'No, this is going to be my team.' Unfortunately, they ended up losing 27-10 to Dallas, [Roger] Staubach against Craig Morton."
3. What kind of Broncos fan are you? Emotive or stoic?
"I don't sit still. I have to be covered in orange and blue. I am very superstitious. If something went well the week before, I probably wear the same shirt. Broncos Zubaz, pajama pants. Once it's playoff time, which is hopefully as many years as possible, I'll take out a lot, if not all, of my Broncos stuff — jerseys, hats, banners, anything with a horse on it — I'll just set that up all over the room that I'm watching the game in. You'd think it was a souvenir shop — from Shannon Sharpe to [John] Elway, Terrell Davis, Von Miller — it's covered in orange and blue, everywhere. …
"And the whole family's dressed in the orange and blue and we're just screaming and going crazy. My son gets really intense. We created a monster with him, because there will be like 11:30 left in the first quarter and he's screaming about a holding penalty. I'm like, 'We better pace ourselves a little bit. It's a long game. If you're going crazy over a 4-yard gain you wanted to be a 7-yard gain three minutes into the first quarter, it's not going to be good. So we've got to take a deep breath. So we settled for a field goal and we wanted a touchdown there, but there's still 10:44 left in the first quarter. Let's calm down a little bit.' So we go crazy when it comes to the Broncos, like nothing else matters."
4. Do you remember the first Bronco you booked for the show?
"I know Elway was one of the first ones, years back. But it may have been Terrell Davis. And he was very personable, and everyone we've dealt with with the Broncos has always been great. But for me, I always go back to — and this was before I was in the sports broadcasting business — I wish I could have met, like, Louis Wright and Randy Gradishar, and Bernard Jackson and Tom Jackson. Tom, I've met because he obviously became a broadcaster with ESPN, but I look back to those early days and then once I got older, I fell in love with guys like Rulon Jones and Karl Mecklenburg and Steve Atwater, putting that hit on Christian Okoye … Dennis Smith, and you just think of all these guys."
5. Dan Patrick and the other Danettes of course know you're a huge fan. Do you get a lot of taunting over it?
"They tease me a little bit. They know after a big win I'll be unbearable to deal with the next day — not that I'm taunting or teasing anybody, but I'll be covered in Broncos stuff coming to work the next day and all I'll want to talk about is the Broncos. And obviously it's a national sports talk show. We've got to cover other things, but like for at least a day after a big win by Denver, I'm really just totally in the Broncos zone, and sometimes Dan's had to reel me in. We do have to cover other sports and other teams. I want to talk about the Broncos for three hours. We raise our hands so we don't talk on top of each other; it's almost like a classroom. He knows, especially on a Monday or a Tuesday after a big Monday-night game, he's worried that everything that comes out of my mouth is going to be something that somehow I'll tie it into the Broncos. But that's just the way it is."
6. Has there been a time when Dan has surprised you with something he's done?
"I'll tell you this: He's got an incredible personality, which doesn't always come out as much on TV when he's doing 'Football Night in America' and when he's doing the Olympics and other things he's done on TV … because with TV, I guess it's a little tighter and you're sticking to a tight format and you're doing the highlights, or he's kind of got to be in control of what's going on with Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison and Peter King and Mike Florio and all that.
"With radio — and I've been working with him for 15 years — he's a lot more loose, a lot more playful, because we can kind of go in different directions. We can talk about pop culture, music, all kinds of things going on in the world besides sports. Not that TV broadcasters are uptight, but I see — and if you spent one day with us in the ManCave — he's just very loose. He knows when to be serious if there's a certain interview and it's serious subject matter. That's a whole other story when it's time to interview a guest. But in general, he's very playful, he's very welcoming to the rest of the staff, expecting and demanding ideas from us. It's not a dictatorship at all; he wants the Danettes and the production staff [to have input]. He wants our ideas: 'Who do you think we should have on the show? What topics should we cover?' It's not like he says, 'Fritzy, get this guy on or that guy on. Stay out of the way and I'll take it from here.' It's very much a mix. 'What should we do for the poll question? What should we put on the website or the app? What do we want to get out of this guest? What do you think we should ask him?' All that stuff. And he's singing, he's silly, he's shooting hoops. We've got all that fun stuff in the ManCave: pinball machines and pool tables and the golf simulator. He's bouncing around. And when he's in good spirits, which is most of the time, it's just a pleasure to work with him. And that was a surprise.
"I didn't realize that side of his personality [was there], and radio brings that out in him where he can kind of just be a lot more light-hearted and silly, instead of counting you down and here's the camera, let's go to that highlight,' or, 'OK, now ask Rodney Harrison a question. Throw it out to Costas and Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.' That's a lot more rigid. So that would be the thing that was most surprising to me."