Pat Bowlen used to imagine what it would feel like to own the Super Bowl champion football team.
Now he knows.
“It feels terrific,” Bowlen said. “Better than I had imagined. It’s just a wonderful feeling.”
Bowlen figured he added the last piece to the puzzle to bring Denver a champion when he hired Mike Shanahan as his coach three years ago.
“That was the key,” Bowlen said. “We already had the quarterback and we got lucky to get the running back (Terrell Davis). That left one piece and that piece was Mike. He did a wonderful job.”
In Bowlen’s mind a championship should propel the voters in the six-county Denver metro area to approve a new stadium for the Broncos.
Bowlen has said he can’t be competitive financially at Mile High Stadium and hopes the voters will approve continuation of the sales tax that built Coors Field to construct a football complex.
Bowlen hopes to get the vote in May.
Now, Romanowski can crow
Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski spent a lot of time biting his tongue in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
“I was so sick of telling (the Packers) how good they are, I wanted to puke,” he said. “But we did it. We’re No. 1 in the world.”
Fans revel, and how
They hung from wires above the Denver streets. They hugged and danced with strangers. Then, they set the night on fire.
Two people died in gunfire, revelers overturned cars and looters ransacked a downtown sports-apparel store.
Police responded with tear gas, and medics set up a triage center at Coors Field.
The celebration started innocently enough.
Some 20,000 Broncos fans streamed into the trendy Lower Downtown district doing cartwheels and high-fiving each other, taking over the streets to celebrate their first Super Bowl win.
It didn’t take long for the celebration to get out of hand, or for the smell of tear gas to fill the air at several downtown streets.
Some revelers hung from high wires, danced around a bonfire and climbed buildings, light poles and trees. Several dropped into the crowd. Others landed on the upraised hands of revelers, the scene resembling a block-long mosh pit.
Police made the decision to break up the crowd with tear gas when people began to get hurt, and a few started tipping over cars. Tear gas had already been used a few minutes earlier elsewhere.
The gas dispersed the crowds, but several people criticized its use.
No doubt Joe Gibbs and Doug Williams flashed back 10 years when they participated in the coin toss before the Super Bowl.
On Jan. 31, 1988, in the only other Super Bowl played in San Diego, Gibbs coached the Washington Redskins to a 42-10 triumph over John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
Williams threw four touchdown passes as the Redskins scored a record 35 second-quarter points.
Former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson also participated in the pregame coin toss. Williams will succeed Robinson next fall.
Simms had a vote
NBC commentator Phil Simms, the most valuable player in the Super Bowl 11 years ago when the New York Giants beat the Broncos 39-20 at the Rose Bowl, had an MVP vote in this game.
It’s believed that’s the first time a former MVP had a voice in determining the winner of the award, who turned out to be Denver’s Terrell Davis.
Something both teams changed for the game was their audible terminology. One consequence of so many teams and coaches running the West Coast offense is that sometimes the terminology can be the same.
Gary Kubiak, Denver’s offensive coordinator, said that Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre and Denver quarterback John Elway use the same terms and that the Broncos would change some of their audible calls. The Packers did the same.
One word Kubiak noticed both teams use is “sluggo.” What it means exactly is open to interpretation but when, say, Favre approaches the line of scrimmage and yells the word, it can have several different meanings. It could mean that a receiver is supposed to run deep instead of a short pattern or that Favre is changing the play from a running play to a passing one.
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