Monday, October 12, 2009

Broncos/Patriots: 20-17 41 years later

On this Monday I'm enjoying the Broncos at 5-0 after a thrilling win over the New England Patriots yesterday. More of my thoughts on the Broncos later in the week.

At the game I bought a game program for the first time in years - a "legacy" program pictured to the right above. When I was a kid growing up in Denver I used to save Bronco programs. I went back into my Bronco program collection today and found the program pictured to the left - from September 29, 1968.

41 years ago this 1968 Broncos/Pats game was my first home game as a season ticket holder. I sat in the South Stands as a 12 year old excited for the new season. The program says "Stadium Dedication Day" - that's because the upper deck on the West Side of the old Bears Stadium (later renamed Mile Hi Stadium) had been completed in the offseason, increasing the capacity to an NFL acceptable 50,000. Later expansions would bring the stadium's seating capacity to 75,000.

In that game 41 years ago the score was the same as yesterday's - except the Patriot's won. Yes, 41 years ago the final score was Boston 20, Denver 17. As the box score indicates, the winning margin was on a SEVEN yard field goal by the Patriot's Gino Cappelletti. Cappelletti was at yesterday's game, too, as part of the Patriots broadcast team.

How do you kick a seven yard field goal? And the goal posts back then were on the goal line, not in the back of the end zone. I think I could have made that kick!

Over my 41 years as a season ticket holder I've seen many Broncos/Patriots games after that first disappointment in 1968. Yesterday's game, and the January 2006 Broncos playoff win, were definitely the best!

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