As a lifelong Denver resident and Bronco fan, I was greatly anticipating the release of this DVD. I was sure NFL Films would pull out some great footage that hadn't been seen before, and we could get a really in-depth look at the development of the Rocky Mountain region's first major league football franchise, as well as a game or two from the past.
If you are a die-hard Broncos fan from before the Elway era, you may be disappointed with this DVD. While understandably focusing a great deal of attention on the man that has come to define the franchise and his impact after retirement, very little attention is given to the players that first captured the city's heart in the late 60s and early 70s, especially the Orange Crush. Surely NFL Films could have gotten long-time defensive coordinator Joe Collier, Randy Gradishar, Rubin Carter, or Louis Wright to sit down for a few minutes and provide their thoughts on those years. However, there is a nice section in the main feature on Marlin Briscoe, the first starting black quarterback in the AFL or NFL, as well as other lesser-known but significant players like Charley Johnson. This historical oversight might be due to the fact that up until the mid 1970s, the Broncos just weren't a very good team and thus the archival footage of their games and players is scarce, but it is still disappointing. Insights from Tim Mckernan, the "Barrel Man," provide a nice view of a true-hardcore fan, as well as former LB Tom Jackson, who truly seems to appreciate and relish just how devoted the team's fans are.
If you are an Elway fan, you'll love this DVD. The crux of this compilation focuses on the man's impact on the franchise and how he has come to be synonomous with the team, the city, and its identity.
The biggest disappointment has to be the single game NFL Films chose for the set, the 1987 AFC Championship game that featured "The Drive." While no doubt a watershed moment in the franchise's history, as well as Elway's coming-out party, much of the actual game itself is really not all that memorable--it's only the last 5 minutes that anyone really cares about. Rich Karlis' kick in overtime that sent them to the Super Bowl is almost an afterthought. Why not relegate "The Drive" as a 20 minute special feature, and include whole games such as their first AFC Championship against Oakland in 1978 or the Super Bowl win against Green Bay, which not only ended the Broncos streak of Super Bowl losses, but the double-digit losing streak of the AFC in Super Bowls as well? There is just so much potential that was wasted on what could have been a classic compilation.
Warning: Those who bought a VHS tape from a few years back called "Mile High Memories" will find a great deal of material from that tape on this DVD, including special features on Floyd Little and Tombstone Jackson. So if you bought that tape, getting this DVD might be an unnecessary expense.
Bottom line: Only buy if you are a die-hard Bronco fan.