Colorado ranks fourth in the nation for the most rapid population growth. Transitioning to become a Coloradan most often includes a rapid emergence into Broncos culture. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it is everywhere — on the news, in the papers, and on everyone’s topic of conversation.

Whether you’re new to Colorado, are sick of rooting for a team that has not made it to the Super Bowl since 2002 (cough Oakland – cough), or just have never had a true friend who has shoved it down your throat, you are running out of time — Broncos pre-season football begins tomorrow.

Here are 5 easy steps you (or any newbie you know) can take to begin your journey towards bleeding orange:

Step 1: Buy an article of Broncos clothing.

Photo by Rhonda Depalma

Photo by Rhonda Depalma

If you want to stick out like a sore thumb in your office during United in Orange Friday then skip this step. If orange is not your color then go with something in the universally flattering navy blue. No need to drop $100+ on a jersey right away, for a simple t-shirt or hat will do for now.

Places to shop: Sports Authority, JCPenny, Target, King Soopers.

Do it like a pro and shop at: The Denver Broncos Team Store at Sports Authority Field aka the gift shop store at the stadium. They have the biggest selection and you can guarantee authenticity. Plus it will give you a chance to see the stadium before the madness of a home game.

Ladies, need some feminine inspiration? Read our outfit feature from last season and stay tuned for this season’s orange hot guide.

Step 2: Go to a training camp practice.


Don’t want to spend your whole paycheck on a ticket for a game just yet? A great (and FREE) alternative is to head to Dove Valley to watch a training camp practice. It will also give you an opportunity to learn some players from the team…cue step #3.

Tip: Take sunscreen. Fans sit on “the hill” which is directly in the sun and blazing hot.

Click here for the remaining schedule of team practices open to the public.

Step 3: Get to know the players.

Photo from Broncos website.

Photo from the Denver Broncos website.

There are currently 91 players on the Denver Broncos roster. But if you try to learn them all right away, you will probably fail. Below is a basic guide to key players that you should know to pass this step in your journey:


  • #18 Peyton Manning – quarterback
  • #22 C.J. Anderson – running back
  • #28 Montee Ball – running back
  • #88 Demaryius Thomas – wide receiver
  • #10 Emmanuel Sanders – wide receiver


  • #58 Von Miller – outside linebacker
  • #94 Demarcus Ware – outside linebacker
  • #43 T.J. Ward – safety
  • #21 Aquib Talib – cornerback
  • #25 Chris Harris Jr. – cornerback

Rookie to watch for

  • #56 Shane Ray – outside linebacker, Missouri

Tip from a local: These are the superstar players, the ones whose jerseys you will see while walking down the street. To become a true Broncos fan do some research on the “non-spotlight” local favorites like: David Bruton, Ben Garland, Chase Vaughn or Steven Johnson.

Step 4: Learn Broncos lingo.

Photo by Rhonda Depalma

Photo by Rhonda Depalma

WTF does “Broncos Country is going live over #PFM this United In Orange Friday” mean, exactly?

Below is a basic guide to terms you will hear when referring to Broncos football and basic Broncos history. It is in no way complete, but it is enough to get you through water-cooler talk without appearing like an idiot:

Term Meaning
Dove Valley Where the Broncos practice.
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Where the Broncos play games.
John Elway He wore #7 for the Broncos from 1983-1998. He led the team to 2 consecutive Super Bowl victories before retiring. He is currently the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Basically, he is Colorado royalty. Synonyms: The Duke, The Sheriff.
PFM An acronym for Peyton “freaking” Manning.
Vonster Nickname for linebacker Von Miller, typically used in the context: “Unleash the Vonster” when he sacks the opposing quarterback.
Barth Vader Nickname for placekicker Conner Barth.
Thunder The name of the white horse that runs from one end zone to the other after the Broncos score.
Miles The name of the Broncos mascot who interacts with the fans.
The Barrel Man The late Tim McKernan (1940 – December 5, 2009) aka Barrel Man was a superfan of the Broncos. In all types of weather for thirty years he attended every home game at both Mile High Stadium and INVESCO Field at Mile High wearing nothing but an orange barrel that covered his torso and a cowboy hat and boots.
Mile High Salute Popularized by Ring-of-Famer Terrell Davis during his Broncos playing days from 1995-2002, the military-style salute is given to fans and teammates in celebration, typically standing in the end zone. The celebration can be spotted both on the field and in the crowd.
United In Orange Friday Often enforced by workplaces all over Colorado (and sometimes even Mayor Michael Hancock) this refers to the day when you are allowed to wear Broncos gear to work.
The South Stands Before Sports Authority Field at Mile High the Broncos played at Invesco Field at Mile High. The South Stands refers to the area below the scoreboard where the rowdiest of fans congregated. 
Broncos Sunset When Colorado has a blue and orange sky during the sunset it is referred to as a Broncos Sunset. You will also most likely hear “God is a Broncos fan” during this event.
IN-COM-PLETE The way that fans say the word “incomplete” after the opposing team misses a pass, it will soon become the normal way you say incomplete.
Raider Hater The correct response anytime anyone ever mentions the Oakland Raiders.
Broncos Country The correct way to refer to the extent of Broncos fans, it is also the correct hashtag to use when positing Broncos content #BroncosCountry

Step 5: Fake it ’til you make it.

Photo by 303's Rhonda Depalma.

Photo by Rhonda Depalma.

Cheer when everyone else cheers, but do not get a big head and start yelling advice at Coach Kubiak through the TV set just yet.

If you want to fit in with the bandwagons then go to Seattle. True Broncos fans can spot a bandwagon fan from a Mile High mile away. Take your time to learn the team and the Broncos Country culture. Soon enough you will also cringe when you see Tom Brady strolling in his Uggs and begin to bleed orange all on your own.

3 Responses

  1. Doug Grebenc

    Thanks Holly. Great article. However, I believe I do have a clarification regarding the South Stands and the stadium name. ‘Old Mile High’ stadium was never called Invesco. It was only at the new venue, built just a few hundred yards away, did naming rights come in to play. Gov. Hickenlooper launched his political career by sponsoring a group who lobbied to keep the Mile High in the name, thus resulting in ‘Invesco Field at Mile High.’ Go Broncos!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.