Denver Fans Ready to Take on Patriots

January 15, 2012

Maybe you haven’t heard, but the Denver Broncos go up against the New England Patriots tomorrow night in the Divisional Playoffs.  Lots of people in Colorado are getting excited about the Broncos finally having a successful season, and a win tomorrow night would put them one game away from the Superbowl.  As Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee talks to fans who are doing everything they can think of to get the team there.

Here's a transcript of Megan's report:

REPORTER MEGAN VERLEE:  Here’s how officially excited Denver is to be in the playoffs: when you put money in a parking meter, it flashes back "Go Broncos."  And many of the people feeding those meters in downtown Denver Friday were more than ready to holler "Go Broncos!" right back.  Hundreds of fans turned out for a pep rally, emceed by Denver mayor Michael Hancock.  And what Broncos event would be complete without that now famous gesture?


DENVER MAYOR MICHAEL HANCOCK: "Let’s go ahead and break the world record for the number of people who Tebowed at one time. Would you all do that?"


REPORTER: No word if the folks from Guinness were on hand to make things official, but there definitely were an awful lot of people kneeling in the middle of the street.  And they were ready to show plenty of love for their young superstar quarterback.


LIZ KOONZ:”Who’s your favorite player on the Broncos?” ALEXANDER KOONZ: “I don’t know” LIZ: “Is it Tebow?” ALEXANDER: “Yeah, maybe” BENJAMIN KOONZ: “My favorite’s Tebow too!”


REPORTER: 6-year-olds Alexander and Benjamin Koonz got a break from homeschooling to go to the rally.  Their parents, Brian and Liz, say as much as they love their team, they’re trying to keep their expectations low.


BRIAN KOONZ:  "I kind of just assume they’re going to lose so I don’t get too into the game, and then it will all work out in the end." LIZ KOONZ: "We hope for that miracle, right?"


REPORTER:  And those miracles keep coming through.  It’s been a nail-biter season, with Tim Tebow, the eleventh-hour quarterback, snatching wins as the clock clicked down.  The Broncos finished the season 8-and-8, and won their first playoff game with an overtime touchdown pass that left fans reeling.  The Patriots are favored to win this weekend’s game.  But there are a lot of folks in Denver doing all they can to get luck on the Broncos' side.


DWAYNE MARTIN: "Actually I’ve been wearing Darrent Williams’ jersey all year, and haven’t washed it, so that’s kind of my game-day shirt.” 

PHIL MIERA: "I always have to put my Broncos shoes on, Broncos jersey on.  I have a tee shirt I have to put on before the pre-game.” 

DAVID FRANZ: “A special silver dollar that I flip.  And you like to flip the silver dollar until it lands on heads three times in a row, and then it means they’re going to win.”


REPORTER: That was David Franz, Phil Miera, and Dwayne Martin.  While fans at the rally worked on their Broncos frenzy, for Chris Fuselier, this was the calm before the storm.  Fuselier owns the Blake Street Tavern, a massive sports bar not far away.


CHRIS FUSELIER: "It’ll be one of our top five busiest nights ever. It’ll be mayhem.  We are telling people to come at three o'clock, three hours before game time.  We’ve never done that."


REPORTER:  That crowd won’t just be Bronco’s fans, though.  Blake Street is a Boston Bar, and in case you were feeling lonely, O Patriots fans out there, Fuselier has a back room reserved just for you, plus some off duty police officers around to make sure no one carries the rivalry too far.


FUSELIER: "I’m going to be quite honest with you.  Up until this year, Broncos fans never really came to our bar.  But Tebow has changed everything.  Now we really can say that we are a Broncos bar. And it’s awesome."


REPORTER: There’s that name again.  Well, as Broncos fans ready their game shirts and lucky coins in hope of their first Superbowl trip in 14 years, we’ll end with a memory from the team’s first ever Superbowl triumph: "Make Those Miracles Happen" by Jon Keyworth.

[Photo: CPR/Megan Verlee]