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Things I didn't know: Denver Broncos started the towel waving craze in the NFL


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Denver Broncos to bring back original tradition, hand out own 'Terrible Towels'

January 6th, 2012 by Rich Kurtzman

The ?Terrible Towel? is a symbol of Steelers tradition.

Those yellow and black towels have been swung, waved and twisted above Steelers fans for years, creating a cool and intense display of colors that filled Three Rivers Stadium and now fill the current Heinz Field.

And no matter where the Steelers play, their fans follow, bringing their towels to tout the team's triumphs.

But, did you know that the Denver Broncos started the towel-waving craze in the NFL?

According to Jim Saccomano, Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Broncos, Orange Sunday was born in 1971, a tradition that lives on to today.

Charlie Goldberg, former president of the Denver Broncos Quarterback Club, requested and was granted permission to hand out orange ?handkerchief-sized pieces? to every fan 40 years ago.

Every year since then, the Broncos have celebrated Orange Sunday, and they've brought back the tradition of handing out ?Orange Sunday? towels in recent years during a mid-October game.

But this season is special.

Denver made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons due to winning the AFC West division, and the face the Pittsburgh Steelers at home this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. MT.

And due to an expected 10-25,000 Steelers fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium?by virtue of many Broncos season ticket holders giving up their seats to the biggest football game in Denver in years?the home team will be passing out 80,000 orange towels Sunday.

It's an attempt to drown out all that yellow with beautiful Broncos' orange that symbolizes sunsets over the majestic Rocky Mountains.

It's also an attempt to set the record straight, bring back the original Broncos tradition against the team known for their Terrible Towel twirling, while giving the home-field advantage back to the boys in blue and orange?at least visibly.

This Sunday's AFC Wildcard contest is a special game which should be partly a celebration of the Broncos bouncing back from worst to first in the West and it will likely be an electric environment with the two teams' fans packing the house and waving their competing rally towels.

Want more Broncos ? Steelers pregame coverage?

Check out these pieces from earlier in the week:

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I never knew this about Denver, about they being the first team w/the "towel", nor that the orange in the Broncos' color scheme was chosen to represent sunset. That being said, those Bronco fans will need those hankies to dry their eyes from weeping. That being said, although I'm not usually prone to hoping that an underdog will win, especially a home underdog at that, it would be an even more incredible story should Denver somehow get past the depleted and banged up Pittsburgh Steelers later today. I believe regardless of who emerges from this game, New England will have their way with the winner of this game next weekend.

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I never knew this about Denver, ... that the orange in the Broncos' color scheme was chosen to represent sunset.

I won't believe that until somebody can find a contemporaneous report to back that up.

I'm not sure how much truth there is to that.

In 1962 after burning those awful brown and yellow uniforms, they had an open vote at the stadium so the fans could pick the new colors. From what I've heard the three choices were orange/blue, red/blue and green/(a color I can't remember) and the fans picked the orange and blue, to the surprise of the owners who thought they were going to go to the green.

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I never knew this about Denver, ... that the orange in the Broncos' color scheme was chosen to represent sunset.

I won't believe that until somebody can find a contemporaneous report to back that up.

Sunsets in Colorado can also be pink and purple. I guess the Broncos missed on that one.

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I never knew this about Denver, ... that the orange in the Broncos' color scheme was chosen to represent sunset.

I won't believe that until somebody can find a contemporaneous report to back that up.

I'm not sure how much truth there is to that.

In 1962 after burning those awful brown and yellow uniforms, they had an open vote at the stadium so the fans could pick the new colors. From what I've heard the three choices were orange/blue, red/blue and green/(a color I can't remember) and the fans picked the orange and blue, to the surprise of the owners who thought they were going to go to the green.

That's the first I've heard of that.

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The Dolphins fans used to wave hankerchiefs

Today they are flags of surrender.

:grin:

<_<

Maybe-Not-OT: What did the Dolphins' handkerchief look like?

It was before I was born but, it may have just been plain white. It was back when they went to three straight Super Bowls, and if you ever see the Super Bowl VI highlights the Cowboys were mocking it.

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The Dolphins fans used to wave hankerchiefs

Today they are flags of surrender.

:grin:

<_<

Maybe-Not-OT: What did the Dolphins' handkerchief look like?

It was before I was born but, it may have just been plain white. It was back when they went to three straight Super Bowls, and if you ever see the Super Bowl VI highlights the Cowboys were mocking it.

Did it look like this (found this in my sock drawer).

100_2428.jpg

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