Rifle grandmother is orange and blue through and through | PostIndependent.com

Rifle grandmother is orange and blue through and through

From left, Wanda Day, Donna Weathers and Monique Speakman, all of Rifle, braved freezing temperatures at the Sunday, Dec. 8, Denver Broncos-Tennessee Titans game in Denver.
Contributed Photo |

Not even subfreezing temperatures and treacherous winter driving conditions over two Colorado mountain passes could keep 88-year-old Wanda Day of Rifle from seeing her beloved Denver Broncos.

Day is a regular Sunday bingo player at the Rifle Moose Lodge, where two of her friends, Monique Speakman and Donna Weathers, surprised her with a ticket to the Sunday, Dec. 8, game against the Tennessee Titans. They decided to skip bingo and even left a day early.

It wasn’t Day’s first Broncos game – she’s seen three – but, according to Speakman, it might have been the most memorable.

“Everyone around us just kind of adopted her as a mother figure,” she said. “Wanda was all bundled up from head to foot and just having a great time. So they just said, ‘well, if she doesn’t mind the cold at 88, we can’t complain’.”

Day said the only concern she had was if her feet might have gotten too cold. Luckily, she wore a couple pair of foot – and hand – warmers, along with blankets, hats, a heavy winter coat and other insulation – all Broncos colors, of course.

“I bought a soda when we first got there and within 15 minutes it had frozen solid,” Day recalled.

“Entire beers were freezing,” Speakman added. “They could have made good weapons.”

Still, Day said she didn’t really notice the cold once the game got going.

“You’re sitting so close together, I think just the heat from the other people helped,” she stated.

Speakman said one nearby fan had an English accent and said his 90-year-old mother was a Colorado Avalanche fan, then took a photo with Day.

“She was kind of a celebrity,” Speakman said.

Their tickets were in section 103, row 30 – ground level – and purchased through Stub Hub, but they were on the west side of the stadium and in the shade.

“It was still worth going,” Day said. “I wasn’t going to back out.”

Day said she wasn’t sure what her favorite point was in the Broncos’ 51-28 victory.

“The touchdowns were fun and we got to watch the cheerleaders dance,” she noted. “And the [NFL-record 64-yard field goal by Denver kicker Matt Prater]. Wow.”

Day said her Broncos dream is to meet John Elway, her favorite all-time Bronco.

Day moved to Rifle from Grand Junction when she was a senior in high school and has lived here since.

“I actually ran away from home,” she said with a smile and chuckle.

She met and married her husband, Elmer “Daisy” Day, and they raised two boys and a girl. Elmer passed away some time ago, Day said, and she has three grandchildren. One of them lives with her during the week and is, of course, a Broncos fan.

Day worked for 20 years in Garfield School District Re-2, where she managed the Rifle High School cafeteria, then worked at the Corner Store for several more years before retiring.

Day has the autographs of several Broncos and has always attended Broncos fan caravans when they stop in Rifle during the football off season.

“She’s usually the first in line,” Speakman said. “And she stays until the very end.”

Besides the Broncos, Day said she watches the Colorado Rockies but is all orange and blue at heart. Her home is dominated by Broncos colors: Uniforms, hats, clothing and memorabilia, including a large Broncos helmet in the front window. And an orange and blue bingo carrier. Oh, Day also paints her fingernails orange and blue.

“I’ve got a lot of Broncos stuff packed away, too,” Day said. “I want to make one my rooms a Broncos room and put it all out.”

When she goes to Sunday bingo games, the players get score updates of the Broncos games every so often, Day said.

“I hope they get to the Super Bowl,” she added. “But it will depend on who they play” if they win.

The women plan to get tickets for an earlier-in-the-season game next season, “When it’s warmer,” Speakman said.

“We’ve got seven ladies who said they want to go,” she added. “It will be a real girl’s day out.”

And led by an orange-and-blue bedecked grandmother from Rifle who did not let a little winter cold keep her from her beloved Broncos.

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