77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming of Age

Overview

Asserting that the 1977 AFC champion Denver Broncos were the tipping point for the transformation of Denver, Colorado from an outpost city with an inferiority complex to today's sports and entertainment mecca, award-winning author Terry Frei provides an intimate look at both a professional sports team and the city it brought together at a time of great change. Frei offers profiles of catalyst coach Red Miller and such legendary players as Randy Gradishar, Craig Morton, Louis Wright, Billy Thompson, Tom Jackson, ...
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77: Denver, The Broncos, and a Coming of Age

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Overview

Asserting that the 1977 AFC champion Denver Broncos were the tipping point for the transformation of Denver, Colorado from an outpost city with an inferiority complex to today's sports and entertainment mecca, award-winning author Terry Frei provides an intimate look at both a professional sports team and the city it brought together at a time of great change. Frei offers profiles of catalyst coach Red Miller and such legendary players as Randy Gradishar, Craig Morton, Louis Wright, Billy Thompson, Tom Jackson, and Lyle Alzado, but doesn't stop there, making readers feel as if they intimately know virtually everyone on the roster as the often ground-breaking narrative of that season continues. Frei describes Denver's evolving politics that year—when Richard Lamm was a young and controversial governor and Bill McNichols was one of the last machine-style mayors—plus the metro-area culture in the late 1970s as the Broncos go from victory to victory on their way to their first Super Bowl. As '77 wide receiver Haven Moses, part of the famed M&M Connection, put it, "Denver should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize that year. There was more done that year to bring people together than I've ever seen in my life . . . And this brought attention to what Denver was about to become."
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Knisley
The games, the politics, and the culture that Frei deals with here unfolded thirty years ago, but they're brought to life again in this book with a clarity and a luster that make the story of Denver and the Broncos seem as fresh as the upcoming football season.
Sandy Clough
No one knows more about Denver and its sports than Terry Frei does, and here in '77 he describes nothing less than the transformation of a city with a special focus on Denver's most magical team. To know why and how the Mile High City exists as it does today, this is essential reading.
Mile High Sports Magazine
Terry Frei's book captures it perfectly, the coming of age that occurred for both a city and its football team when the Denver Broncos made it to their first Super Bowl. Few times in sports can match the passion and sheer joy of the original Broncomania.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589792135
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/25/2008
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.45 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Frei writes for the Denver Post and ESPN.com. His previous books include Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming and Third Down and a War to Go: The All-American 1942 Wisconsin Badgers. He lives in Denver, CO.
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Table of Contents


Foreword   Ron Zappolo     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Author's Note     xii
Introduction: The Young Sportswriter, a Different Denver...and a Player Revolt     xiii
New Coach, New Job     1
Getting His Chance: Robert "Red" Miller     1
Defenders of the Realm     13
It All Stops Here: Randy Gradishar     13
Brain Trust: Joe Collier and Company     19
Free Agent: Bob Swenson     22
Commentator: Tom Jackson     27
Abandoned Ship: Joe Rizzo     31
M&M Connection     35
Prelude     35
Off the Scrap Heap: Craig Morton     47
Amazing Grace: Haven Moses     53
Campers     61
Fort Collins: July 15-August 4     61
From the Halls of Montezuma: Mike Montler     72
"Bronco Billy": Billy Thompson     80
At the Corners: Louis Wright and Steve Foley     84
Runners     99
Exhibitions: August 5-20     99
Preacher's Son: Otis Armstrong     110
Clothier: Rob Lytle     117
United Front     123
Yet More Exhibitions: August 21-September 10     123
"Barnyard": Barney Chavous     129
On the Nose: Rubin Carter     134
In the Clearing Stands a Boxer: Lyle Alzado     140
Paving the Way     147
From the Gate: September 11-25     147
Junkyard Dog: Claudie Minor     154
"Napoleon": Tom Glassic     159
"Logger": Andy Maurer     164
Still Unbeaten: September 26-October 9     168
Raiders, Raiders     181
"Ol' Hightops": Jim Turner     181
In Their House: October 10-16     184
Rematch: October 17-30     194
Rebounding and Receiving     209
"Tadpole": Rick Upchurch     209
"Doc": Jack Dolbin     213
Back on Track: October 31-November 13     218
"Judge": Riley Odoms     227
Standing Their Ground     231
First and Goal from the 1: November 14-27     231
Down the Stretch: November 28-December 18     240
Mardi Gras     255
First Round: December 19-24     255
AFC Championship: December 25-January 1     261
Super Bowl XII: January 2-15     273
Aftermath     289
Ownership and Staff     289
Defense      293
Offense     301
Denver, Colorado     314
Appendix     319
Roster and Coaching Staff     319
Season Scores, Statistics, and Honors     322
Notes and Sources     335
Index     342
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