Denver – From the top of a fire truck, Von Miller thrust the Super Bowl trophy into the air again and again as the Denver Broncos convoy made its way through streets lined with blue-and-orange clad fans.
Behind Miller, the Super Bowl MVP, stood Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware. Behind them, the architect of this team and Hall of Famer John Elway.
Fittingly, the group traveled the route, which was a bit longer than a mile, in fire truck No. 18 — Manning’s number. Will he be back with the Broncos?
A question for another time. Because Tuesday was parade day and a million fans — according to an estimate from the city’s mayor — showed up to cheer on the Super Bowl champions after beating Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday. The supporters held up signs and screamed “Thank you, Peyton!” at the top of their lungs as they soaked in the sun while basking in the glow of the Broncos’ third Super Bowl title — and first in 17 years. Fans packed in tightly along the route, while others watched from balconies, rooftops and even the branches of trees as the players rode by on a series of fire trucks.
Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler signed footballs and threw them into the crowd as he rode by on another truck, while Annabel Bowlen, the wife of ailing Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, took a seat next to Miller.
Pat Henderson and Melanie Novak usually cheer together at the stadium, where they met at a Broncos game a decade ago in a part of the stands they proudly described as the rowdy south section. During the season, “it’s our responsibility to all the Broncos nation to help the team by yelling,” Henderson said. The task Tuesday, she said as she stood with Novak along the parade route, was a bit different: “To have fun and represent Denver.”
The parade followed an outdoor concert by a trio of Colorado bands, including Big Head Todd and The Monsters, near City Hall and the state Capitol.
Newton defends sulk
Charlotte, North Carolina — Cam Newton isn’t apologizing for acting like a “sore loser” after the Super Bowl.
The league’s MVP has been widely criticized for walking out of a three-minute press conference after a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday in which he answered questions with mostly one- and two-word responses while sulking in his chair wearing a black Carolina Panthers hoodie over his head.
“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser,” Newton said Tuesday as players cleaned out their lockers at the team’s downtown stadium.
Newton said he believes the situation is being overblown by the media, and added he doesn’t plan to change how he reacts to losing just to appease his critics.
“If I offended anybody that’s cool, but I know who I am and I’m not about to conform nor bend for anybody’s expectations because yours or anybody’s expectations would never exceed mine,” Newton said.
The quarterback went on to say, “Who are you to say that your way is right? I have all of these people who are condemning and saying this, that and the third, but what makes your way right?”