New Denver Broncos president Damani Leech wasted no time discussing the team’s uniforms.
During his introductory news conference yesterday, Leech said he’d be “looking at” the Broncos uniforms once he settles into his new role with the organization.
“I think you’ve got to try and balance history and tradition, and [we’ve won] three Super Bowls wearing this uniform,” Leech said at the news conference. “But [we] also understand that tastes evolve, customers evolve, and connecting with fans and representing your brand in the best way is important.”
“No proclamations on day one, but it’s one of those things, certainly, that I’ll be looking at,” Leech added.
The Broncos have worn their current uniform style, with moderate tweaks, since 1997. The upcoming season will be (believe it or not) their 26th with the navy blue helmets and a profile of a white horse’s head and its flowing orange mane as their logo. During this time, as Leech mentioned, the Broncos have won all three of their Super Bowl championships, including back-to-back victories at Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.
Presumably, the team would consider changing back to the orange-D logo the club had used before their current design. The Broncos first wore this style during their time in the American Football League in 1968; it moved with the team into the NFL and stuck around right up until the end of the 1996 season. The Broncos, realizing the popularity of their retro look, have brought back the logo numerous times as throwback uniforms, first in 2001 and then as a regular part of their set (with darker colours) starting annually in 2016, right up through this past 2021 season.
“When it comes to the Broncos’ uniforms, don’t get cute. If there’s ever a doubt, honour the past. Honour the legacy,” writes Sean Keeler in the Denver Post, earlier adding, “Anything else is blasphemy.”
“Bring back the D. Or let it be.”
Hard to argue with Keeler’s take here. If you’re going to change anything, there’s really no other option than to go back to the 1968-96 “D” logo; otherwise, leave it as it is.
The Broncos have two visual eras worthy of being recognized as their “forever look.” Either it’s the logo worn during a nearly thirty-season run which included their first years in the NFL, their first appearances in the Super Bowl, and the bulk of John Elway’s career.
It’s the current look, now in use almost just as long as the “D” logo. What the club wore for three Super Bowl championships, what legendary quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning wore during Super Bowl championships.
The Broncos have to pick a path here, and it’s not an easy choice, but I think ultimately, the attachment fans have to the “D” logo will never wane. Any attempt to go in any other direction is simply delaying the inevitable — much like the San Diego Padres and their brown and yellow or the Buffalo Sabres and their blue and gold. It’ll happen. Everyone knows it. We don’t know when, but when it finally does, the “D” logo will never go away again.