Even here in Denver most people didn’t think a lame 39-year-old quarterback, Peyton Manning, could win a Super Bowl.
He did, 24-10 over the Carolina Panthers and their 25-year-old stud quarterback.
Having lost three of five previous Super Bowls, Mile High City residents were accustomed to losing.
John Elway, who won two before retiring, was the oldest to have ever won in the past.
Elway was different. Most years he was the entire team. Elway, now the manager, took a bet, and signed Manning despite neck surgery that left him questionable.
Manning was annihilated by Seattle in his first trip for Denver two years ago. But this year Elway and defensive coach Wade Phillips, had created the best defense in the National Football Leage.
Time after time, despite a tendency for penalties due to rough play, the Broncos won the game when its offense failed to show up.
Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler won some of those games. And it would not have been a huge surprise if had replaced Manning when the going got tough.
Manning was sacked and forced to fumble but Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton missed on many throws and a few of his runs out of the pocket made no difference.
Fireworks were going off all over the Denver Metro area.
On Monday there probably be just as many people wearing orange jerseys. They used to the Orange Crush, because of their defense in the 1970s. Now they are the Orange Rush, again for their defense.
It might have been more of a surprise if the Broncos hadn’t destroyed New Englands Patriot Tom Brady.
Both Newton and Brady frequently had to throw balls away to avoid being sacked.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.