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titan
03-29-2009, 08:52 PM
Young Bronco fans may think back to the Lou Saban era and think "it must not have been very fun to be a Bronco fan back then." And while Saban never had a winning record in Denver, there were still some exciting games that this old timer remembers. Here in tribute to Lou are my five favorite Bronco wins in the Saban era:

5. Denver 13 Detroit 7 (preseason 1967)

The first ever win by a team from the AFL over the NFL. The town was super excited with their new coach (Saban), and he delivered with this historic win. I wasn't at this game (played at the old DU stadium) but remember listening to it on the radio. Alex Karras is still walking back to Detroit.

4. Denver 21 NY Jets 13 1968 Few fans realize that in the miracle Jets championship season New York only lost 3 times - and one was to the Broncos! Steve Tensi led the Broncos to this early season road win. I remember the announcer on NBC saying "the Broncos now have their quarterback!" Well Tensi struggled and later was outperformed by rookie Marlin Briscoe that year, but for one game at least the Broncos shocked the football World with an upset of the Jets.

3. Denver 26 Kansas City 13 1970 In this early season showdown the Broncos beat the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Denver to go to 3-0. Fans like myself at the time thought the Broncos had finally arrived and would be a contender. Despite the fast start the Broncos faded to a 5-8-1 record that year.

2. Denver 21 NY Jets 19 1969 Another early season upset of a defending Super Bowl Champion by the Broncos, one year earlier than the Chiefs victory. This is still one of my all time favorite Bronco home games. My profile picture is of the famous Dave Costa hit on Namath in that game. Also the game featured one of the best bronco catches of all time (a diving td catch by Mike Hafner), a long punt return by Floyd Little, and the longest punt in NFL history (98 yarder by the Jets Steve O'Neal). This exciting game, televised to the nation by NBC, put Denver on the pro football map for at least a day.

1. Denver 27 Cleveland 0 1971

Lou Saban's last win as Bronco coach was his best. Art Modell had said during the NFL/AFL wars that the Denver Broncos would never play in his stadium. In the Broncos first visit to Cleveland they totally destroyed the Browns 27-0. To this day one of the most dominant Bronco performances I have ever seen and so unexpected. Cleveland was a contender that year (the Browns ended up 9-5) while the Broncos struggled (with a 4-9-1 record in 1971).

The Broncos would become Cleveland's nemesis in the NFL for years, and it all started with this great win.

========

Since the 70's I've been saving newspapers reporting on great Bronco victories - here are sports pages from #3 and #1 on my list:

http://i693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/CIMG4585.jpg


http://i693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/CIMG4584.jpg


=========

Lou Saban never brought Bronco fans a championship or even a winning season, but there were still lots of fun memories from his Bronco teams. Thanks Lou.

SoCalBronco
03-29-2009, 09:04 PM
Thank you very much for that, titan. :)

Killericon
03-29-2009, 09:14 PM
Fantastic. Thanks!

SouthStndJunkie
03-29-2009, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the history lesson, titan.

I have saved a lot of newspapers from moments in Bronco history as well.

Spider
03-29-2009, 09:26 PM
Young Bronco fans may think back to the Lou Saban era and think "it must not have been very fun to be a Bronco fan back then." And while Saban never had a winning record in Denver, there were still some exciting games that this old timer remembers. Here in tribute to Lou are my five favorite Bronco wins in the Saban era:

5. Denver 13 Detroit 7 (preseason 1967)

The first ever win by a team from the AFL over the NFL. The town was super excited with their new coach (Saban), and he delivered with this historic win. I wasn't at this game (played at the old DU stadium) but remember listening to it on the radio. Alex Karras is still walking back to Detroit.

4. Denver 21 NY Jets 13 1968 Few fans realize that in the miracle Jets championship season New York only lost 3 times - and one was to the Broncos! Steve Tensi led the Broncos to this early season road win. I remember the announcer on NBC saying "the Broncos now have their quarterback!" Well Tensi struggled and later was outperformed by rookie Marlin Briscoe that year, but for one game at least the Broncos shocked the football World with an upset of the Jets.

3. Denver 26 Kansas City 13 1970 In this early season showdown the Broncos beat the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Denver to go to 3-0. Fans like myself at the time thought the Broncos had finally arrived and would be a contender. Despite the fast start the Broncos faded to a 5-8-1 record that year.

2. Denver 21 NY Jets 19 1969 Another early season upset of a defending Super Bowl Champion by the Broncos, one year earlier than the Chiefs victory. This is still one of my all time favorite Bronco home games. My profile picture is of the famous Dave Costa hit on Namath in that game. Also the game featured one of the best bronco catches of all time (a diving td catch by Mike Hafner), a long punt return by Floyd Little, and the longest punt in NFL history (98 yarder by the Jets Steve O'Neal). This excited game, televised to the nation by NBC, put Denver on the pro football map for at least a day.

1. Denver 27 Cleveland 0 1971

Lou Saban's last win as Bronco coach was his best. Art Modell had said during the NFL/AFL wars that the Denver Broncos would never play in his stadium. In the Broncos first visit to Cleveland they totally destroyed the Browns 27-0. To this day one of the most dominant Bronco performances I have ever seen and so unexpected. Cleveland was a contender that year (the Browns ended up 9-5) while the Broncos struggled (with a 4-9-1 record in 1971).

The Broncos would become Cleveland's nemesis in the NFL for years, and it all started with this great win.

========

Since the 70's I've been saving newspapers reporting on great Bronco victories - here are sports pages from #3 and #1 on my list:



=========

Lou Saban never brought Bronco fans a championship or even a winning season, but there were still lots of fun memories from his Bronco teams. Thanks Lou.

;D ....I became a fan in 72 , watched a little in 71 .......... all in all though it was fun

spdirty
03-29-2009, 09:29 PM
Thank you. Excellent post.

Los Broncos
03-29-2009, 11:51 PM
Nice photo of Tombstone Jackson, and those were played played before I was born!

Archer81
03-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Wonder what Art Modell had against Denver...I mean, the Platte's never caught on fire but surely that cant be why he hates us so...


:Broncos:

fdf
03-30-2009, 12:16 AM
5. Denver 13 Detroit 7 (preseason 1967)

The first ever win by a team from the AFL over the NFL. The town was super excited with their new coach (Saban), and he delivered with this historic win. I wasn't at this game (played at the old DU stadium) but remember listening to it on the radio. Alex Karras is still walking back to Detroit.



My dad and I went to that game. What a hoot to beat an NFL team--even in preseason. Cookie Gilchrist.

OrangeRising
03-30-2009, 12:17 AM
My father bought season tickets from 1962 until 2002 and was adamantly anti-Lou Saban, but it seems to me the man helped lift the Broncos out of the rinky-dink perception of the AFL at that time.

I was born in the 80's and even in my childhood my Dad would still use naughty words if the subject of Saban ever came up, and it did only in discussions about Floyd Little.

Saban also seemed to be something of a vagabond, taking jobs he never even coached, but there also seems to be a warm place in the hearts of Bronco fans for the guy despite the half-a-loaf legend and losing record that seemed to define him here.

Spider
03-30-2009, 12:35 AM
My father bought season tickets from 1962 until 2002 and was adamantly anti-Lou Saban, he wasnt the only one ;D
I was born in the 80's and even in my childhood my Dad would still use naughty words if the subject of Saban ever came up, and it did only in discussions about Floyd Little. Saban was more hated then Red Miller

BABronco
03-30-2009, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the history lesson man.

I am a young Bronco fan and don't know too much about the real early days. I always enjoy learning more about my favorite obsession.

Anyone else got some favorite Saban games?

vancejohnson82
03-30-2009, 08:38 AM
cool...excellent read...thanks!

bronco militia
03-30-2009, 09:10 AM
"He could not have coached in the National Football League today," Little said. "He told you how long you could wear your pants. You couldn't wear sideburns, you had to wear a shirt and a tie. He was old school. And I loved it. He hollered and screamed at me as much as anyone else. But at the end of the game, he'd put his arm around me and say, 'I love you, man. Just hang in there and we'll get you some help.' "

INbronco
03-30-2009, 10:53 AM
I remember attending a Broncs/jets game in denver
(may have been preseason) they year after they lost the SB to greenbay. Was my first year of season tickets ($75) in the east bleachers and during the warmups, jets were on our side of the field. Namath was warming up right in front of us on the sideline and he was being yelled at unmercifully. One of the guys stood up and yelled "What did greenbay give you Namath?" and Namath yelled back "$10,000" (that was the losers share of the SB). That kind of shut everyone up for awhile. We were kind of in awe of Namath and was such a nice pleasant sunny day to enjoy a home Bronco game. Next year I had season tickets in South Stands so lost out on close to the field viewing. Those were great days in spite of record.