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Old 04-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #1
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Two of my favorite players from the Orange Crush. Happy they are still in the area and doing well.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_5670102

Putting Broncos on the map
By Terry Frei
Denver Post Staff Columnist
Article Last Updated: 04/14/2007 10:47:57 PM MDT


At a recent birthday party for former Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar, two other members of Denver's famed "Orange Crush" defense had something to show their former defensive coordinator, Joe Collier.

Bob Swenson, the unit's strongside outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment, and Steve Foley, the right cornerback, have been partners in FS Land Development for seven years. They now own or control about 1,000 acres of prime real estate, most of it in the Erie and Dacono area to the north of Denver, and as many as 4,000 homes will be built on the land.

"That's pretty amazing for two football players," Swenson, a native Californian, said with a laugh. "That's pretty amazing for two little guys, one from Louisiana and one from Tracy, Calif. I would say this: There's no way I'd be doing what I'm doing today if it weren't for the Broncos. No way would I have the audacity or the confidence to take on what we're doing."

At that party for Gradishar, who is now an executive for the Phil Long automobile dealerships, Swenson and Foley unrolled plans for the Silver Peaks at Dacono project. They pointed to the street that leads into a 160-acre business park project.

It is called Joe Collier Drive.

Collier, who is retired and lives in Littleton, was touched.

It also is just the start of a tribute to Swenson's and Foley's former teammates and coaches, including members of the Red Miller-coached 1977 team that was the Super Bowl runner-up, helping transform Denver both as a metro area and a sports market.

Swenson works out of his own office in downtown Erie and Foley is based out of the firm's official office in Greenwood Village. (Swenson is rarely there.)

Also on the north side, in the Dacono Estates subdivision, one of the most prominent streets is called Rubin Carter Drive, honoring the Orange Crush nose tackle who now is the head football coach at Florida A&M.

"Every subdivision, we're going to try to sneak in one of the Broncos who isn't in the Ring of Fame," Swenson said.

He laughed.

"Aw, maybe we'll put a couple of Ring of Fame guys in there," he added.

Swenson said that in their first project, he and Foley "wanted to honor people from Dacono's past who have had impact in the community. So we asked the historian to look up some names of people. Dacono's not really on the map, but it's going to be."

After getting the list of Dacono-area historical figures from former city councilwoman Mary Gavin, Swenson and Foley decided that they also would honor their former Broncos teammates and their defensive coach. Collier was the coordinator under four Denver head coaches - Lou Saban, John Ralston, Miller and Dan Reeves.

"The Ring of Fame honors the very top guys," Swenson said. "There are other guys who had huge impact, the kind of behind- the-scenes guys. ... Joe Collier is one of those guys. Joe Collier is one of those men who never, ever would brag about himself. He's a humble man and we wanted to name a street after him."

Foley said: "Joe Collier invented a lot of defenses. Bill Belichick (as a Bronco coaching assistant) was walking around behind Joe Collier taking notes when I was a rookie and a second-year player. Joe was the Bill Walsh of defense."

Four starting members of the Orange Crush are on the Ring of Fame: Gradishar, outside linebacker Tom Jackson, strong safety Billy Thompson and cornerback Louis Wright. The other members of the '77 team so honored are defensive lineman Paul Smith, who by then was a backup in the twilight of a terrific career; wide receiver Haven Moses; kicker Jim Turner and quarterback Craig Morton.

Gradishar and Wright should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Gradishar's omission - in similar fashion to Goose Gossage's absence from the baseball Hall - is an indictment of the voting system and the voters themselves.

On the local front, Rick Upchurch should be on the Ring of Fame.

Regardless of the fact that it was more than 18 years after Super Bowl XII when the Avalanche brought Denver its first major-league championship in the spring of 1996, and that the Broncos' first Super Bowl win wouldn't come until January 1998, that '77 Broncos team made history.

More than the signs attest to that.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:15 PM   #2
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Sad this had no replies.

Thanks for posting this!!! Great read.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:19 PM   #3
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Rep for posting this! 2 great past Broncos!!
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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Very sad.. this is a great article.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
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I know that Swenson was a big rumor in the Elway deal. It probably would have been to his benefit if he was trade since he hurt his knee badly in Denver shortly after that.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:42 PM   #6
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Great article! I did not know that about Belichick.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Great article! I did not know that about Belichick.
That's because you're a girl!!!
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:45 AM   #8
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:01 AM   #9
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Good for them!
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:40 AM   #10
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great article. Live on the street of your fav old timer bronco.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Guy View Post
Gradishar and Wright should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Gradishar's omission - in similar fashion to Goose Gossage's absence from the baseball Hall - is an indictment of the voting system and the voters themselves.
QFT
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:45 AM   #12
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Swenson was seriously underrated. Love the way he played the game!
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:07 PM   #13
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Be very cool to get mail at "Joe Collier Place"!
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:51 PM   #14
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Don't forget the other guy: Rizzo. I thought he was a kamikaze kind of guy.....
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
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great article. Live on the street of your fav old timer bronco.
Better than having a former Bronco living on the streets.

Half joking, half sad esp the way the NFL treats the oldtimers that built the league.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #16
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When I was a kid I lived in dacono for a short time (about 1 year)
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:41 PM   #17
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I know this article is almost four years old but I just came across it just now and it was so cool to read this!
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:47 PM   #18
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It is a great article, especially the reference to Gradishar and Wright.

I'd also like an update on how the project went
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:04 PM   #19
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Swenson used to ride his bike in my neighborhood in Lafayette he is a cool guy.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:45 PM   #20
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I used to argue that Swenson was as good as Jack Ham, some hellacious arguements were had. He was as good he just didn't get the press. No championships. Glad he and Foley doing well. think read that Rubin Carter had passed away last summer. A fine man who made that D work. Good post thanks alot.

Last edited by driver; 01-16-2011 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:05 PM   #21
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I believe Rubin Carter is still alive. Rob Lytle passed away recently.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #22
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I got to meet Steve Foley at the Broncos Alumni dinner in September and he was a super guy. He spent the whole time telling me why Louis Wright should be in the Hall of Fame. I told him -- absolutely -- and pointed out that he (Foley) was a great player too, the Broncos all-time leader in interceptions.

Foley didn't flinch. "That doesn't matter. Louie is a Hall of Famer."

Wright was their too . . . smiling and grateful for Foley's words.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:16 PM   #23
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Sweet, my adopt a Bronco gets some press!!!!
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