View Full Version : Growing Up In The South Stands (blog)

08-10-2009, 11:19 AM
Does Orton have a strong enough arm to run this offense? Is McDaniels a McGenius or McDummy? I'm taking a timeout from the current Bronco discussions to remember growing up in the South Stands on my sportsindenver blog this week:


Copy of my blog post below - Titan


http://i693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/th_southstands.jpg (http://s693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/?action=view&current=southstands.jpg)

I mentioned in my first blog post I have had Bronco season tickets since 1968. "Good to hear from an old timer!" was a typical reply I received. Well, I'm old (at age 53) but not THAT old. You see, I have had Bronco season tickets since age 12!

Yes, in 1968 I bought Bronco season tickets for the huge amount of $2 a game ($14 for the season!) The Broncos at the time had a reduced endzone price for kids age 12 and under. I only had $25 in my savings account. I begged my Mom to let me buy Bronco tickets with my best friend and next door neighbor Greg. "Are you sure this has lasting enjoyment?" Mom asked. Dad was on a business trip. Mom let him give the final approval. "Well if its your own money and you think you'll like it, go ahead," said Dad. I was ecstatic!

Greg's Mom drove us to the stadium where we picked out our two seats in the South Stands. Section CC Row 39 seats 23 and 24 - right in the middle 2/3rds of the way up. My Bronco season ticket would become my prized possession in my growing up years in the late 60's and 70's. I attended every home game. Floyd Little was my favorite player. There were many losses, but a few memorable wins. A victory over Joe Namath and the defending Super Bowl Champ NY Jets in 1969 was one of the best.

Sitting in the middle of the South Stands was anything but comfortable. We were packed in like sardines, with little leg room (even for a 12 year old). Since we were over 20 seats from an aisle, it was almost impossible to get out during the middle of a game. One Sunday we were able to buy the seat next to ours for Greg's Dad. He was not impressed. "If I have to take a pee," he said, "I'll never get out. I'll have to take a leak in my thermos!" Still there was just enough room to pound our feet on the hard metal floor. The sound of 8,000 stomping South Standers was deafening, and disrupted many a play from Broncos opponents over the years. Rocky Mountain Thunder was born.

Despite the packed conditions, we loved our seats. We had a fantastic view of the field, right behind the goal posts. I remember having a great sightlines to see immediately if a field goal was good or not. I knew Jim Turner's 53 yarder at the gun to beat Cleveland in 1975 was between the uprights soon after the ball left his foot. We could see Rick Upchurch weave his way through the opposition for many thrilling punt return td's. John Elway's arm strength was amazing to witness from my vantage point high in the end zone. The "fumble"at the South 5 yard line that decided the 1988 AFC Championship game was within easy view.

We also developed a close relationship with those sitting around us. We saw the same people EVERY home game. An elderly businessman sat behind us. "I own seats on the 50 yard line," he used to tell us, "but I'd rather sit here. You can really see the plays open up from the end zone." I came to be known as the "radio kid". Every game I would bring my transistor radio to listen to Bob Martin's play by play as I watched the action below. Those sitting around me would ask "what's the score of the Raider game?" "are the Chiefs losing?" No iphones in those days - my little radio was our link to the outside world.

After 33 years and too many memories to count I left the South Stands in 2001. The view from my current seats is pictured at the the top of my blog - I'm now in the Northwest corner of Invesco field, section 319 2nd level. Having bought out my friend Greg in the 80's I own two season tickets. Unlike the South Stands I can easily get out at halftime for a restroom break or refreshments. My view of the field is good, but not quite the same as the old days. It seems I have different people sitting next to me every game.

Early in 2001 I toured Mile High Stadium for the last time, shortly before it was torn down to become a parking lot for the new stadium next door. I took the picture below of my wife and 7 year old twin boys playing on the field with the South Stands in the background. On that cold January day I remembered all the fun times and memorable games I attended in this place. I walked up to the base of those rusty metal stands, put my hand on the wall, and said "Goodbye old friend."

http://i693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/th_southstands2.jpg (http://s693.photobucket.com/albums/vv291/titanphotos/?action=view&current=southstands2.jpg)

08-10-2009, 11:30 AM
I am a South Stander and took up residency for the 1995 season. 3 rows from the top but as we lost too many games that season, I got to move down to the middle. Nothing will ever top what we had in old Mile High stadium. Yes, it was packed on any cold day (how many layers of clothing you need to wear?) and good luck keeping anything from getting wet or ruined if it is under your seat but the noise we could make with that metal seating was by far an advantage for the Broncos on defense. I am just a little disappointed Titan that you would move up to Club level when the seating arrangements have been improved. We lost the exposed metal for the noise factor but I know the Club level doesnt get into the "12th Man" aspect of the game like the South Stands. Save some money and come on back!

08-10-2009, 11:38 AM
I'm not a club level guy - never!!! My seats are next to the club level (end zone price). I picked my current seats mostly for my kids as it is much easier to get out during the game.

08-10-2009, 11:46 AM
BTW: That last game of the season vs the 49ers (and Rice's last game as a 49er) I figured we werent going to host any playoff games so I snagged a few pieces of the benches in the south stands. Saw some people actually getting arrested for doing the same but found my way around those criminals. It has been over 10 years and doing something with them in a plaque form hasnt happened yet. I wonder what people sold them for?

08-10-2009, 12:05 PM
awesome post!!!!

08-10-2009, 12:12 PM
you've done well with your blog titan, thanks for posting stuff.

Is that broncos QB club still going to get visits from the HC this year, even though shanahan is gone?

08-10-2009, 12:17 PM
Is that broncos QB club still going to get visits from the HC this year, even though shanahan is gone?

At the last club meeting PR Director Saccamono said that McDaniels isn't opposed to visiting the qb club (he likes meeting with fans), it's just a question of whether he can fit it into his schedule. Shanahan was really good at visiting the QB Club once a season.

I know the qb club is working on a McDaniels visit (I'm just a member, not on the board). There's another meeting scheduled later this month where they may have an update.

08-10-2009, 01:58 PM
Thanks for sharing your perspective Titan.

Do you have any old pics you could scan and post? For that matter I'd like to see any old pics of Mile High that people had. I'll dig thru my box and post some as well.

08-10-2009, 02:10 PM
Hey titan, do Marilyn and Jim Venard still hold spots on the QB Club board??

08-10-2009, 02:26 PM
Awesome. Thanks Titan.

08-10-2009, 02:27 PM
Hey titan, do Marilyn and Jim Venard still hold spots on the QB Club board??

The names sound familiar but I don't really know the board members too well. I joined the QB Club in the late 90's (been a member about 10 years - since they've been meeting at Red and Jerrys). I wish I had joined earlier. Some long time members tell me how they had Elway, Bowlen and other big names talk to the QB club in the past.

08-10-2009, 02:30 PM
The south stands were like one giant speaker it was awesome to hear from the far end where my old mans seats were i was also very luck to sit in the south stands quite a few times all the regulars were really territorial and if you were not a regular they kept an eye on ya.:~ohyah!:

Atwater His Ass
08-10-2009, 04:22 PM
South stands were awesome. We had 3 season tickets for 10 years in row 27, just off center of the goal posts from '95 - '05. Drove ~900 miles round trip to make each home game during that time.

We had many of the same relationships as yourself with the other season ticket holders in our section. We'd be sure to give reports of the fans they'd give their tickets to when they couldn't make the game, to make sure they kept up the intensity.

Lots of memories there for sure. The atmosphere was electric. It was so fun when opposing teams would be trying to punch it in at the goal line and just how loud it would get on our south end.

Best memories are of course Elway's last game there in the AFCCG, Elam's 63 yarder, Davis getting 2k, Elway breaking 50k, goes on and on. But just watching Elway get announced and seeing him run out of the tunnel was truely an awesome experience.

08-10-2009, 05:27 PM
your seats were AWFULLY close to my dads ... section CC, row 44, seats 11-15 ... i miss the old South Stands. the new stadium isn't anywhere near as exciting.

08-10-2009, 06:30 PM
I remember going to a game at Mile High and we were on the upper section the crowd was going fuggin crazy and stomping and jumping so much the view was blurry as hell but was awesome............Damn that was fun

08-10-2009, 07:25 PM
Yes, in 1968 I bought Bronco season tickets for the huge amount of $2 a game ($14 for the season!)
How times have changed...bottled water in the new Jerry Jones digs costs $5 and parking is about $30.

I saw my first Bronco game in person in '75 and the ticket was $6.60 for 40 yard line seats 30 rows up.

08-10-2009, 07:47 PM
I never sat down there but I will never forget the 1st time I heard the roar from the SS when teams were driving inside the 10 down there.

It sounded like what I imagine the Saturn V sounded like taking off. The sound would hit you then after the play or a timeout it would wash over and fade into the ether.

Great post Titan.