DENVER - If anybody knows the history of sports in Denver, it has got to be Bill Vizas.
"First guy that produced a winner here," Vizas said. "So, he's always gonna be remembered in Bronco land."
Vizas owns Bill's Sports Collectibles in Denver. He remembers when Robert "Red" Miller took over as head coach for the Denver Broncos.
"Seemed like an excitable guy, but a good guy," Vizas said.
If anybody knows about the man, Red Miller, it has got to be his neighbor, Andy Vigil.
"Just a really nice man. He has always been a great neighbor," Vigil said. "Just a great guy."
He was also a great coach who led the Denver Broncos to its first Super Bowl following the 1977 season. He was part of a Colorado cultural phenomenon known as the "Orange Crush".
"That Orange Crush defense was kind of the solidifying thing," Vizas said. "That became the Broncos identity that season and it's just carried on."
Vizas said it was poetic that a man named Red was in charge of the Orange Crush.
"He kinda had the orange, like the hair that just kind of fit in with the color scheme," Vizas said.
Vigil said this is when true Broncomania was born.
"Everybody was wearing Orange Crush T-shirts. They had the Orange Crush pop," Vigil said. "You know the atmosphere of being in the playoffs and winning was huge for the entire city. It brought energy. It brought excitement."
It brought a story of sports success that is now woven into the local history of Denver.
"It's a tough day to hear of his passing, for sure," Vigil said.
The Denver Broncos announced that Miller died of complications from a stroke at the age of 89. In May, the team announced that Miller would be the sole name added to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2017. That ceremony is scheduled for November.
"It's always sad the passing of somebody that's ingrained in the city's history," Vizas said.
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