Lasting memories stick with Broncos fans |

Lasting memories stick with Broncos fans

Shelby Williams of Carbondale and her daughters, Rebecca, 2, Mackenzie, 1, and Samantha, 5, are all rooting for the Denver Broncos when they play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. Williams' late mother who is shown in the framed photograph, Susan Stanbaugh, spurred Williams' love for football and for the Broncos.
Jon Mitchell / |

Editor’s Note: The following are submitted articles from area residents about their memories from the last time the Denver Broncos were in the Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999. Denver plays Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

Broncos/Falcons game experience was memorable

It all began the day I hit the lottery. Whoohoo! The Super Bowl lottery, that is.

Our family has had Denver Broncos season tickets since the early 1960s. Having our priority number drawn meant that my dad and I would be able to attend Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. We had to solve several logistical problems in order to get there, however.

First of all, modern Super Bowls are expensive. Tickets were over $300 and were selling for more than $3,000 on the black market. We had under two weeks to locate a hotel, and it was even harder to find affordable airline tickets on such short notice. Package deals were available at an exorbitant price. We found the cheapest airline tickets out of Eagle/Vail with only one stop in Dallas. This seemed doable in the winter, so two of the three major hurdles were cleared.

The hard part was finding lodging. Most hotels (as well as airline tickets), were bought up by travel agents that offered Super Bowl packages. We eventually found a nice hotel, a half block from the beach for less than $100 per night. That’s pretty good since most rooms exceeded $350 a night. The only kicker was that we were about an hour an a half from the stadium. This didn’t seem too bad for a couple of guys used to making long drives around the state of Colorado. We rented a convertible Grand Prix for dirt cheap, and we put together one heck of a trip to sunny Florida, very inexpensively.

We left Eagle in cold, snowy conditions. In Miami, it was shorts and T-shirt weather.

The evening before the game, all Broncos season-ticket holders were invited to an exclusive Bronco Party. This was the night before the big game, and things really heated up. The Broncos had rented two hotels next to one another, with two outside bars and restaurants. There was an outside swimming pool where a band played and sat adjacent to the Intercoastal Waterway.

The next day was Super Bowl Sunday. There was an unexplainable buzz in the air. Helicopters and planes circled overhead. The Goodyear blimp floated above. Music played in the streets, and there were people everywhere. Limos raced by with people hanging out of sunroofs and windows.

The neighborhood surrounding the stadium was impoverished, and parking was expensive and hard to find. Some residents had block parties, and others were charging fees to park on their lawn. We found parking at an all-you-can-eat party for $20 just a few blocks from the stadium. The locals were in a festive mood and encouraged overindulgence. We had conch chowder, fried chicken, corn on the cob, grits, corn bread and plenty of good ol’ southern fixins!

The atmosphere inside the stadium was unrivaled by any other sporting event! Celebrities were seen everywhere. Security was extreme. Cher performed the halftime show. And to top it off, John Elway was the game’s MVP as the Broncos won their second Super Bowl. “Back to Back” shirts were sold on the streets immediately following the game, and Broncos fans screamed while Falcons fans hung their heads.

It was a glorious day for the Denver Broncos Football Club and for longtime fans who persevered through the old AFL and the lean years of the franchise.

Sam Taylor


Mother wept when Broncos won their first Super Bowl

I was 13 years old when my mom and I were sitting on the couch watching John Elway win his first Super Bowl. John and my mom were close in age, and he was her hero. I will never forget sitting there as we watched the confetti fall and the fireworks explode. I turned to my mom, tears streaming down her cheeks, “I have waited SO long for this moment!” is what she told me. My mom solidified my love for football, always explaining that “Girls can love sports, too!”

Since losing my mom six years ago, I cherish every Broncos game, put on my jersey, and dress my own three daughters in orange. I know how excited she would be for them to go back and win this year.

This one is not only for John, but for Peyton. Go Broncos!

Shelby Williams


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