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titan
08-06-2010, 08:17 AM
Taking a time out from all the bronco current bronco drama today to think back to Floyd Little and the years i attended bronco games as a kid. Here's a copy of a blog post I wrote last year about my experience. It'll be great to see Floyd inducted into the Hall tomorrow night - a hero to me and to many of my friends in the late 60's and early 70's. Congratulations Floyd!

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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)

http://sportsindenver.blogspot.com/

Los Broncos
08-06-2010, 08:20 AM
Just a great story, congrats Floyd.

Tombstone RJ
08-06-2010, 08:27 AM
Great read! I've had good times in the old South Stands, the greatest football fans in the world resided in those old South Stands.

Cito Pelon
08-06-2010, 09:23 AM
First off, it's great to see Mr. Little honored.

Second, the South Standers were like the zoo of the stadium. People you don't make eye contact with, 'cause they were freaking psychos. The wild-eyed bunch totally segregated from the other stands, the other side of the tracks. IIRC, they had their own ingress and egress from the stadium, their own ticket-takers, their own parking lot.

NYBronc
08-06-2010, 09:47 AM
NFL Network is showing the 1970 Bronco yearbook right now. I saw my first game in the South Stands too at 7 years old.

titan
08-06-2010, 12:13 PM
NFL Network is showing the 1970 Bronco yearbook right now. I saw my first game in the South Stands too at 7 years old.

I didn't sit in the South Stands until I had season tickets there. My first bronco game was thanksgiving 1963 vs the raiders (I was age 7). We'd go to games every year after that (I remember a game at age 10 where I sat in the west stands vs the jets when Namath was a rookie)

Another bit of Mile High Stadium trivia I remember:

Between the South Stands and the West stands was an open area my friends and I used to call "The Hill". In the 60's you could actually stand outside of the stadium gates on "The Hill" and see 3/4ths of the field. My friends and I used to watch games for free from there (1965-67) and then they'd open the stadium gates with about 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

Eventually the Broncos closed off "the Hill" and grassed it in - they used to seat members of the visiting half time band there.

titan
08-06-2010, 12:20 PM
First off, it's great to see Mr. Little honored.

Second, the South Standers were like the zoo of the stadium. People you don't make eye contact with, 'cause they were freaking psychos. The wild-eyed bunch totally segregated from the other stands, the other side of the tracks. IIRC, they had their own ingress and egress from the stadium, their own ticket-takers, their own parking lot.

A zoo it was! And the snow balls coming from the South Stands intimidated many a visiting team!

The first couple of years I had season tickets in the South Stands when you left the stadium you could actually see into the top of the bronco locker room (under the central stairs of the South Stands). I remember seeing the steam coming off of Dave Costa's head one time.

Cito Pelon
08-06-2010, 12:51 PM
I didn't sit in the South Stands until I had season tickets there. My first bronco game was thanksgiving 1963 vs the raiders (I was age 7). We'd go to games every year after that (I remember a game at age 10 where I sat in the west stands vs the jets when Namath was a rookie)

Another bit of Mile High Stadium trivia I remember:

Between the South Stands and the West stands was an open area my friends and I used to call "The Hill". In the 60's you could actually stand outside of the stadium gates on "The Hill" and see 3/4ths of the field. My friends and I used to watch games for free from there (1965-67) and then they'd open the stadium gates with about 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

Eventually the Broncos closed off "the Hill" and grassed it in - they used to seat members of the visiting half time band there.

The South Stands was where the entrance to the locker rooms were also, right?

Mr. Little was someone special. Amazing stats he put up. It's not all recent hype, the stats are there for anybody to look at. Some of his stats were bridged from the AFL. But Mr. Little played in the same AFC division with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders, the two strongest teams that came out of the old AFL. Heck, the Chiefs and the Raiders kicked some ass when the NFl challenged them.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LittFl00.htm

It's good to see Mr. Little on the stage again, he deserves it.

titan
08-06-2010, 12:55 PM
The South Stands was where the entrance to the locker rooms were also, right?



Right - the locker rooms were under the south stands for many years. In the later years of Mile High the visitors locker room was moved to the northeast corner of the stadium. But the bronco locker room was always under the south stands.

Hogan11
08-06-2010, 01:18 PM
What a great read...kudos Titan :thumbs:

Cito Pelon
08-06-2010, 01:20 PM
Jeez, you're taking me way back to dim memories. I bet there was less than 100,000 people in the Denver metro area when the South Stands were built.

Back in those days there was Lowry AFB, Martin-Marrieta, Rocky Flats, Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Buckley Field as the big deals. The Broncos didn't exist, but the Denver Bears existed, the triple-A team that the stadium was named for. Jesus, think about it, in 1950 Denver was a weapons development and delivery base. Plus the Denver Bears.

BigPlayShay
08-06-2010, 01:21 PM
I grew up in the South Stands as well. Both my Grandpas had seats since the late 60s. I started to go with my maternal grandpa to games in the 80s. My sister now has these "South Stand" seats at invesco, and I am in section 100 on what are my paternal grandpas old seats. Here are some scans of some game tickets. last game at Mile high, first game at invesco, and some AFC Championship games that we paid for tickets, but ended up being road games:

Cito Pelon
08-06-2010, 01:29 PM
I grew up in the South Stands as well. Both my Grandpas had seats since the late 60s. I started to go with my maternal grandpa to games in the 80s. My sister now has these "South Stand" seats at invesco, and I am in section 100 on what are my paternal grandpas old seats. Here are some scans of some game tickets. last game at Mile high, first game at invesco, and some AFC Championship games that we paid for tickets, but ended up being road games:

I remembered the South Stands had their own ticket system, and those stubs proved my memory correct. I'm relieved it wasn't just another of my hallucinations, thanks Shay.