Major League State

Today, we pause to note the passing of former Broncos coach Red Miller, who died last night at 89. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Miller family.

Miller is credited with helping take the Broncos to the next level, most prominently in the 1977 season, when he guided the team to their first Super Bowl appearance after an AFC Championship Game victory over the Oakland Raiders.

In this mornings front page write up on the Denver Post breaking the news, the Post noted that he and the 1977 team “helped put Denver on the map as a major-league sports city.”

There’s no question Denver is a major league city. And it always will be.

But the line about putting Denver on the map drives home the importance of the geographical identity of the Broncos. Imagine if they had always been the Colorado Broncos. People in 1977 would have been talking about Colorado, not Denver. The championship aura the Broncos have worked so hard to bring to this region would have reverberated across the state. For the past 40 years.

The venerable Joe Ellis, who knows a thing or two about building championship teams, noted that Red “left a great impact on this franchise by laying the foundation for our championship tradition.”

All we’re asking is that the Broncos consider laying a similiar foundation for Colorado.

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