KUSA – I hear it all the time.
I’ve been a Broncos fan all my life.
I’ve had season tickets since I was …
We’ve had season tickets in our family since my grandfather got them in 196x.
I’m out here in (San Diego, Virginia, El Salvador, San Antonio, Denmark) cheering on the Broncos.
Let’s see how much of a true orange-and-blue fan you really are by taking the Broncos quiz. There are 9 questions. Some are easy, some not so. You only need to get three correct to call yourself a die hard Broncos fan.
1. This former Broncos great lives on a road that has the same moniker as his last name.
2. Which Bronco infamously fumbled at the 2-yard line during Denver’s historic 1977 AFC Championship Game win against the Oakland Raiders?
3. In his second week of his second NFL season, the undrafted running back announced his goal for 2008 was 2,000 yards. He fell 1,697 yards short, then never played again. Who is he?
4. He was the NFL’s first 100-catch receiver.
5. He started baseball’s third major league known as the Continental League so he could bring a major-league baseball team to Denver. In the process he expanded his venue, which would become known as Mile High Stadium, to 34,000 seats. When Major League Baseball countered by agreeing to expand, a move that folded the Continental League before it began, he instead became a charter member of the American Football League and founded the Denver Broncos primarily to help pay his debt on the stadium.
6. Considered a savior when he took over in 1967, his era was doomed when he traded future Hall of Famers Willie Brown to the rival Raiders (1967) and Curley Culp to the Chiefs (1968).
7. What position did Tony DeCamillis, father of former Broncos’ special teams (and head coach) Joe DeCamillis, play?
8. He was the first draft pick in franchise history.
9. This Bronco great’s high school team went 0-11 and 2-9 in his junior and senior years in football but he helped his school win state basketball championships as a sophomore and senior.
1. Barney Chavous. The left side anchor of the Orange Crush defense lives on Chavous Road in Aiken, S.C.
“Our family has owned land in this area going back eight generations,’’ Chavous said in the book, “The 50 Greatest Players in Denver Broncos History.’’
2. It wasn’t Rob Lytle. Even though the ball popped loose the moment Lytle was hit squarely by Raiders’ safety Jack Tatum and Oakland defensive lineman Mike McCoy recovered, referee Chuck Haberling never saw the fumble, never gathered his officials to discuss it. He did flag the Raiders for a half-the-distance-to-goal unsportsmanlike penalty for arguing the non-call.
Jon Keyworth scored from the 1 on the next play for a 14-3 lead and the Broncos went to win, 20-17. Lytle never carried the ball again in that game and he later said he blacked out from the Tatum hit.
3. Selvin Young. As an undrafted rookie out of Texas in 2007, Young surprisingly outgained Travis Henry to lead the Broncos with 729 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. But Young suffered a hamstring injury, then a career-ending disc injury in his neck late in his second season of 2008 season and finished with 303 yards rushing. He was cut in May 2009 and never played again.
4. Lionel Taylor. He had exactly 100 catches in 14 American Football League games for the Broncos in 1961. Stats in the AFL were later recognized under the NFL record book. It took three more years before another receiver – Charley Hennigan of the Houston Oilers – reached triple-figure receptions.
It wasn’t until Art Monk in the 16-game season of 1984 that a non-AFL, NFL receiver had at least 100 catches.
5. Bob Howsam Sr. Not only is he the founder of the Denver Broncos, he was the general manager architect of Cincinnati’s famed Big Red Machine teams in the mid-1970s. The 1975-76 Big Red Machine is generally considered to have baseball’s best lineup after the Yankees’ Murder’s Row of 1927.
6. Lou Saban. His era is best known for accepting a “half a loaf is better than none” tie against the mighty Miami Dolphins in the 1971 season opener. Saban coached eight more games before he was fired after posting a 20-42-3 record in his 4 ½ seasons with the Broncos.
More problematic than Saban’s in-game decisions may have been his stubborn evaluation of players. Counting the postseason, Brown – who had a career-best 9 interceptions for the Broncos in 1964 -- added 46 interceptions with five touchdown returns in 12 more seasons for the Raiders.
Culp was Saban’s first draft pick, No. 31 overall in the second round, in 1968, but he tried to make him an offensive guard. Culp didn’t want to play offensive line so he was shipped to Kansas City, where he became a Hall of Fame nose guard.
7. A trick question because Tony DeCamillis is still active. He’s a vendor who sells Uncle Angelo’s Italian Market sausages behind the South Stands at Broncos stadium. He’s been there since the stadium’s second season of 2002.
8. Roger LeClerc. He was a center-linebacker-kicker from Trinity College in Connecticut who signed with the Chicago Bears of the NFL instead. Although the AFL listed its first draft class of 1960 in alphabetical order, the Broncos’ media guide says LeClerc was its first choice.
After seven seasons with the Bears, LeClerc did play for Saban’s Broncos in 1967. He was 2-for-2 in extra points and 1 of 6 in field goals.
9. Ed McCaffrey. Although Allentown (Pa.) Central Catholic High School struggled on the gridiron in the mid-1980s, McCaffrey made the Parade All American high school football team as a 6-foot-5, 238-pound tight end. He lost weight to play receiver at Stanford.
(This quiz was inspired by Mike Royko, the late, great Chicago newspaper who published a Cubs’ quiz 50 years ago nearly to this day.)