Jay Cutler

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Posted by motoman 04/18/2009 @ 09:11

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News headlines
Chicago Bear Jay Cutler's 'ifos' generate buzz - Chicago Tribune
Jay Cutler's "Identified Flying Object" caught everyone's attention when the Bears conducted their first OTA (organized training activity) Wednesday in Lake Forest. The Bears hope Cutler's laser passes will help elevate one of the NFL's least...
Bears' Jay Cutler works 'delicate process' of building leadership - Chicago Tribune
Jay Cutler's Pro Bowl credentials from Denver command instant respect from his new Bears teammates. Now the 26-year-old quarterback says he is determined to demonstrate that he also will be a dependable teammate and forceful field leader....
Secondary should be intriguing as Chicago Bears begin otas - Chicago Tribune
By Vaughn mcclure While most eyes will be on quarterback Jay Cutler as the Bears begin organized team activities Wednesday, watching how the Bears line up in the defensive secondary should be interesting as well. Strong safety Kevin Payne has been...
Krieger: Broncos' respect taking big hit - Denver Post
Sure, the Jay Cutler fiasco had the Broncos front and center there for a minute, but it was sort of an Ozzy Osbourne front and center, not necessarily what the public relations department had in mind. Since then, as talk has turned to the coming season...
Bears try Graham at safety - Rockford Register Star
Although most eyes were on Jay Cutler, third-year cornerback Corey Graham also made news by lining up as the second-team free safety. Chicago is five deep at corner with Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher, Graham, Trumaine McBride and fourth-round pick DJ...
Broncos Focus on Running Game in '09 - FanHouse
As soon as Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler commenced with the whinging, fans, for the most part, blamed the 32-year-old McDaniels. He has no prior head coaching experience, and obviously inherited his people-person skills from mentor Bill Belichick....
Bears' Playbook Might as Well Be the Jay-Book Now - Bleacher Report
I only want to see one paycheck handed out for the next decade or so, and I want it to say, "Pay to the Order of: Jay Cutler." I don't care how much money he wants, give him a gazillion dollars for all I care (the Bears haven't paid a QB at all,...
The NFC North Will Be Closely Contested By Minnesota, Green Bay ... - Bleacher Report
The Bears made a substantial amount of noise this offseason by acquiring QB Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos for Kyle Orton and multiple draft picks. The Bears now have a quarterback that has seen Hawai'i in his career and they are banking that he...
Q&A with Brian Urlacher - Bleacher Report
Q: With the addition of Jay Cutler, are the Chicago Bears contenders for the Super Bowl? A: I think we were contenders without him, but the fact that we can add a Pro Bowl talent to our team, at the head position on offense can only help our chances....
The 2009 Chicago Bears Fan Expo: A Writers View - Bleacher Report
Of course, this was one of the more interesting Expos because the Bears had just signed quarterback Jay Cutler and the fans present were eager to hear more from the Bears new quarterback. Cutler didn't disappoint. His interaction with the crowd was...

Jay Cutler (American football)


Jay Christopher Cutler (born April 29, 1983, in Santa Claus, Indiana) is an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos 11th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Vanderbilt.

Cutler earned a Pro Bowl selection with the Broncos in 2008.

Cutler attended Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Indiana. He started three years at quarterback, amassing a combined 26–1 record for his junior and senior years, including a perfect 15–0 during his senior year. Cutler and his team outscored opponents 746–85, including a 90-0 shutout at Pike Central. During his senior year, Cutler connected on 122-of-202 passes (60.4%) for 2,252 yards with 31 touchdowns, while rushing 65 times for 493 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also started at safety for three years, intercepting nine passes as a senior, 12th overall in the state. His team's perfect record during his senior year included the school's first 3A state championship, where Heritage Hills beat Zionsville in overtime, 27-24. The most notable play of the game occurred when Cutler lateraled the ball to the halfback, Cole Seifrig, who then passed it to Cutler in the end zone to end the game. It was Seifrig's 4th touchdown pass of the season.

Cutler was named a first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press as a senior. In addition to playing football in high school, he was a first-team All-State selection in basketball and garnered honorable mention All-State accolades as a shortstop in baseball.

Cutler attended Vanderbilt University, where he started all 45 career games that he played for the Commodores, the most starts by a quarterback in school history. He did not miss a game due to injury. In 2002, Cutler set the school record for touchdowns and rushing yards by a freshman and rushed for more yards than any other Southeastern Conference quarterback that year. The Associated Press honored him with a first-team freshman All-SEC selection. In 2004, as a junior, Cutler completed 61.0 percent of his passes, setting a school record, while throwing for 1,844 yards with 10 touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions.

The Commodores ended their season, and Cutler's Vanderbilt career, at Tennessee against the Tennessee Volunteers with a 28–24 win. The victory was Vanderbilt's first over the Volunteers since 1982, the year before Cutler was born. The win also marked Vanderbilt's first victory over Tennessee on the Volunteers' home field in Knoxville since 1975. Cutler passed for three touchdowns and 315 yards during the game, becoming the first quarterback in school history to record four consecutive 300-yard passing performances. Cutler's final play in college was the game-winning (and streak-ending) touchdown pass to teammate Earl Bennett against Tennessee. A finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top senior quarterback), Cutler was a first-team All-SEC pick by the league’s coaches and led the conference with a school-record 3,288 yards of total offense.

While at Vanderbilt, Cutler was a three-year captain and four-year starter, setting school career records for total offense (9,953 yds.), touchdown passes (59), passing yards (8,697), pass completions (710), pass attempts (1,242) and combined touchdowns (76).

Cutler graduated from Vanderbilt in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in human and organizational development.

Cutler was expected to be a high draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and was ranked by many experts as the third-best quarterback prospect, after Matt Leinart of USC and Vince Young of Texas. Some mock drafts as recent as April 1, 2006, had projected him as being selected ahead of Leinart, but behind Young. Still, other experts such as ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Ron Jaworski tabbed him as the best quarterback available in the draft. Many scouts believed he had better arm strength than Young and Leinart, and compared him to Brett Favre for his arm, play style and gunslinger attitude. At the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine, Cutler completed 23 repetitions of a 225-pound bench press (more than some linemen) and ran a 40-yard dash in 4.77 seconds.

After attracting interest from the Oakland Raiders, the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens, Cutler was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 11th pick in the draft, after the Broncos acquired the pick from the St. Louis Rams by trading their 15th and 68th overall picks. Many believed Cutler was chosen by the Broncos due to the lackluster performance in the previous season's AFC Championship Game by then-starting quarterback, Jake Plummer. After the pick by Denver, Cutler said, "We had no warning. I think I knew about 15 seconds before everyone else did." Cutler, as predicted by most, became the third quarterback chosen, after Young (3rd overall) and Leinart (10th). He is the third first round pick to come from Vanderbilt, preceded by Will Wolford and Bill Wade. Cutler agreed to terms on a six-year contract on July 27, 2006 worth $48 million, which included $11 million in bonuses.

After a strong training camp in 2006, Cutler was promoted from third to second on the Broncos' quarterback depth chart ahead of Bradlee Van Pelt. He passed for more yards than any other rookie in the preseason.

On November 27, 2006, Shanahan officially announced that Cutler would replace Jake Plummer as starting quarterback because, as Shanahan said, "I think he gives us the best chance to win now." This announcement capped weeks of speculation and rumors about Cutler's impending promotion to a starting role.

Cutler's regular-season debut was a 23–20 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks on a frigid night on December 3. Cutler completed 10 of 21 passes for 143 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His first career NFL touchdown pass was to tight end Stephen Alexander in the second quarter of the game. His other touchdown pass occurred in the fourth quarter on a memorable 71-yard TD pass play to Brandon Marshall, also a rookie, which tied the game 20–20. The play was one of the longest TD passes for a debut in NFL history and was also the second-longest pass play between two rookies in Broncos history.

On December 10, 2006, in a road loss against the San Diego Chargers, Cutler connected with tight end Tony Scheffler for two touchdowns in a span of 48 seconds, which tied for the fastest in league history that two rookies produced a pair of scoring passes (equaling the mark established by Charlie Conerly and Bill Swiacki of the New York Giants in 1948).

Cutler then led the Broncos to a Christmas Eve win over the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-23, in his fourth start on the season. He went 12-of-23 with 179 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also directed the Broncos on a 99-yard drive in the third quarter that culminated on a Mike Bell two-yard touchdown run. The game was the first of two consecutive Christmas Eve games that Cutler and the Broncos played.

As a result of the two passing touchdowns in the game against the Bengals, Cutler became the first rookie QB in NFL history (second player overall, joining the Washington Redskins' Mark Rypien in 1988) to throw for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four games played. He also became just the second rookie in league history (fifth player overall) to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of his first four starts. The only other rookie to accomplish the feat was Dan Marino in his 1983 rookie season.

The Broncos' quest to clinch a playoff berth came up short in the final game of the season, when they fell at home 26–23 in overtime to the San Francisco 49ers. The loss dropped the Broncos to a 9–7 overall record and an uncharacteristic 4–4 record at home. Despite sustaining a concussion in the 1st half, Cutler finished 21-of-32 with 230 yards and a touchdown, and led Denver on a game-tying touchdown drive in the closing minutes of regulation to force overtime.

In five games played on the season, Cutler finished with a record of 2–3, and went 81-of-137 for 1,001 yards, 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, earning a passer rating of 88.5 in the process. He posted the second-highest TD percentage (6.6) and third-highest TD-to-INT ratio (1.8) among NFL rookies since 1970 with at least 125 passing attempts.

The 2007 NFL season marked Cutler's first full season as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. In the first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, Cutler led Denver to a comeback win on a 12-play, 42-yard drive culminating in a Jason Elam 42-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter. Cutler's pass attempts (39), completions (23) and yards (304) for the game were at the time career-highs. He led Denver to a second straight comeback win the next week in the home opener against the Oakland Raiders. Late in regulation, Cutler moved the team 78 yards in 15 plays for the game-tying field goal with 2:18 remaining. The game went into overtime, where he engineered a 52-yard drive that led to another game-winning field goal by Elam. Cutler had a touchdown pass during the game, making him the first Broncos passer to begin his Broncos career with at least one touchdown pass in his first seven starts. Cutler's streak extended to nine games until a 41–3 home loss to the San Diego Chargers in the fifth game of the season. He recorded his first career rushing touchdown the previous week against the Indianapolis Colts at Indianapolis in the third quarter.

After the bye week in week six, the Broncos came out (after going 2–3 to start the season, with both wins coming on last-second Jason Elam field goals) and beat the 4–1 Pittsburgh Steelers, 31–28 (again winning on a last-second Elam field goal). Cutler had a QB rating of 106.7 during the game, as he completed 22-of-29 passes (career-high 75.9%) for 248 yards and a personal-best three touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high 41 yards and a career-long run of 31 yards. Cutler was named NBC Sunday Night Football's Co-Horse Trailer Player of the Game (joining Elam). His career-opening streak of 11 games with at least 1 interception came to an end the next week, when the Broncos were able to take the 6–1 Green Bay Packers to overtime on a game-tying, 89-yard drive led by Cutler with 2:27 remaining (Elam kicked the tying field goal). However, Denver lost in overtime, 19–13, on Green Bay's first play from scrimmage. Cutler was knocked out early in the next game against the Detroit Lions with a leg injury, handing over the reins to backup Patrick Ramsey. The Broncos lost that game 44–7, although, with Cutler back for the next game, Denver was able to rebound for a 27–11 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

The next week, in a Monday Night Football home game against the Tennessee Titans, Cutler faced fellow 2006 NFL Draft class quarterback Vince Young for the first ever time in the regular season. The Broncos won the game, 34–20. Cutler posted a 137.0 passer rating (the second best mark for his career), going 16-of-21 for 200 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Both of his touchdowns occurred on passing plays of over 40 yards, which made Cutler the first Broncos quarterback since John Elway in 1995 to throw for at least two touchdowns of more than 40 yards in one game. Denver set a franchise record with four touchdowns of longer than 40 yards in the win over the Titans. The victory improved the Broncos record to 5–5, moving them into a first place tie with the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West.

The Broncos lost the next two games (thus, falling out of the first place tie with San Diego in the AFC West), but then went on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs at home in blowout fashion, 41–7. In the game, Cutler passed for four touchdowns and recorded a career-best quarterback rating of 141.0.

Denver finished the regular season with a 7–9 record, missing the playoffs for a second straight year. Cutler started all 16 games in the season, completing 297-of-467 passes (63.6%) for 3,497 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He was the NFL’s 12th-ranked passer (88.1) and also had the tenth-most passing yards (3,497). Furthermore, Cutler was the league’s ninth-best third-down passer, with a 92.1 passer rating (73-of-125 for 901 yards, 8 TD and 3 INT). His 3,497 passing yards ranked as the seventh-best single-season performance in team history. He also had the third-best single-season completion percentage (63.6) in team history. Also, like his predecessor, Plummer, Cutler showed the ability to make big plays outside of the pocket, and to run when needed, rushing 44 times for 205 yards (about 4.7 yards per carry) and a touchdown on the season.

In late 2007, various experts were interviewed, stating that they believe Cutler to be the most likely young quarterback to reach the elite status along the lines of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Following the 2007 season, Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler went to Atlanta together to train and work on timing for the 2008 season.

Before the 2008 regular season began, Cutler and tight end Daniel Graham were voted offensive captains by Broncos teammates.

Cutler started the season facing the Oakland Raiders in Oakland on Monday Night Football. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns, en route to a 41–14 Broncos victory. His performance yielded the second-highest passer rating (137.5) in the league after the first week of the season. The Broncos netted 441 total yards while committing no turnovers in the season-opening win. The next week, Cutler and the Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers in Denver, 39-38. Cutler went 36 of 50, with 350 yards passing and four touchdowns. His four touchdown throws in the game matched his career high for touchdown passes in a single game. One of those throws came with 24 seconds left in the game on a 4th-and-four from San Diego's four-yard-line. He threw the touchdown to Eddie Royal, who then caught a pass from Cutler on a two-point conversion, which helped seal a one-point win for Denver. The game was not without controversy though. Cutler appeared to fumble the ball on the play just previous to the final touchdown. The ball was recovered by the Chargers, but was awarded back to the Broncos due to an inadvertant whistle by Referee Ed Hochuli. Cutler followed his performance against the Chargers with another multi-touchdown game against the New Orleans Saints, as part of a 34-32 home victory. He went 21 of 34, with 264 yards passing and two touchdowns. Cutler and the Broncos suffered their first defeat of the season in the next game - a 33-19 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Cutler had his first multi-interception game of the season, as he was picked off twice. However, his overall performance in the month of September earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for the first time in his career. He finished the month of September first in the AFC in completions (102), first in attempts (157), fifth in completion percentage (65.0%), first in passing yards (1,275), second in passing yards per attempt (8.12), third in passing touchdowns (9) and third in quarterback rating (98.6). The Broncos had a 3-1 record in September and were first place in the AFC West.

Cutler and the Broncos began the month of October with a home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 16-13. It was the second straight game the Broncos failed to score at least 20 points on offense after scoring more than 30 points in the first three games of the season. Cutler went 23 of 34 with 227 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. The win would prove to be the only victory for Cutler and the Broncos in October, as they lost three straight games afterwards. The first of the three consecutive losses came at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the Broncos went down, 24-17. Cutler passed for under 200 yards for the first time of the season, as he went 21 of 37 with 192 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The next loss came in a Monday Night Football road matchup against the New England Patriots, as New England blew out Denver, 41-7. Cutler injured his index finger on his throwing hand (right hand) on the first offensive play of the game. He came out for one series and passed for a season-low 168 yards for the entire game. The Broncos next had a bye week, then suffered their third straight defeat in October, as they lost at home to the Miami Dolphins, 26-17. Cutler went 24 of 46 for 307 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The three interceptions were a season-high for one game.

Following the three consecutive losses in October, Cutler and Broncos began the month of November with a road win over the Cleveland Browns in comeback fashion. The Broncos were at one point down, 23-10, in the second half of the game, but came back on the arm of Cutler, as he passed for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, leading to a 34-30 win. On Cutler's first fourth quarter touchdown, he hooked up with wide receiver Eddie Royal on a 93-yard pass play. It was the longest pass play of Cutler's career and the fourth-longest touchdown in Broncos history. Cutler finished the game going 24 of 42 with 447 yards (career high), three touchdowns and one interception. He received AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career for his game against the Browns. He followed up his fourth quarter comeback performance from that game with another one in the Broncos next game, which was a road matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Cutler went 19 of 27 with 216 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, as he led Denver on another fourth quarter game-winning drive. With five and a half minutes left in the game, and the Broncos down, 20-17, Cutler threw a touchdown pass to Daniel Graham on a third and goal. The touchdown gave the Broncos a 24-20 lead, which proved to be the final score. The next week, the Broncos suffered their third consecutive home loss by going down to the Oakland Raiders, 31-10. Cutler failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 11 games, as he went 16 of 37 with 204 yards and an interception. He did, however, tie Broncos quarterback John Elway for the fastest quarterback in team history to reach 3,000 yards passing for one season. Cutler garnered 3,036 passing yards through the first 11 games of the season. He and the Broncos won the next game, 34-17, on the road against the New York Jets in a rainy and windy affair. The win was the Broncos third consecutive road victory. Cutler went 27 of 43 with 357 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Cutler and the Broncos won their first game in December, and ended their three-game home losing streak, by defeating the Chiefs in Denver, 24-17. Cutler went 32 of 40 with 286 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His 80% completion percentage was his single-game high of the season. Cutler also engineered his fourth game-winning drive of the season (the seventh overall of his career) after leading the Broncos on a 95-yard drive, culminated by a go-ahead touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall in the fourth quarter. In the next game of the season, the Broncos' three-game road winning streak was snapped, as they fell to the Carolina Panthers, 30-20. Cutler went 21 of 33 with 172 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He failed to pass for over 200 yards in a game for the third time during the season. Cutler and the Broncos also lost the next game, this time at home, to the Buffalo Bills, 30-23. Cutler went 25 of 45 with 359 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Cutler rushed for two touchdowns during the game. He also broke single-season franchise records held by former Bronco quarterbacks John Elway and Jake Plummer. Cutler broke Elway's record for completions (349) and Plummer's record for passing yards (4,089). Cutler and the Broncos closed out the 2008 regular season by losing their third consecutive game, as they fell to the San Diego Chargers, 52-21, with the AFC West title on the line. The loss kept the Broncos out of the playoffs for the third straight season. Cutler went 33 of 49 with 316 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the game.

Cutler finished the season with career-highs in passing completions (384), passing attempts (616), passing yards (4,526), passing touchdowns (25), interceptions (18), rushing attempts (57) and rushing touchdowns (2). His passing yards, completions and attempts were all single-season franchise records for the Broncos. He also had the most 300-yard passing games (8) in team history. For the season, Cutler ranked third in the NFL in passing completions (first in the AFC), second in passing attempts (first in the AFC), third in passing yards (first in the AFC) and seventh in passing touchdowns (third in the AFC). Cutler was also selected as the FedEx Air Player of the Week for his performances during weeks 10, 13 and 14 of the season. Cutler finished third in fan voting for AFC quarterbacks in the 2009 Pro Bowl. Three quarterbacks are chosen to play in the game. Fan voting accounts for one-third of the total voting (players and coaches account for the other two-thirds). He was officially picked to play in his first Pro Bowl when selections were announced on December 16, 2008. Cutler was chosen as a reserve.

In Hawaii before the Pro Bowl, Cutler became a victim to a prank organized by fellow Pro Bowlers, Peyton Manning, Nick Mangold, and Kris Dielman. He was tossed into a pool, and even though Manning remembered to swipe away his cell phone, Cutler's blood sugar monitor was ruined. A replacement one was found at a drugstore, and Cutler played without incident.

After the 2008 season, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was fired and replaced by Josh McDaniels, previously the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. On February 28, ESPN reported that the Broncos considered trading Cutler in a three-way trade with the New England Patriots and either the Detroit Lions or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The deal would have sent Cutler to Detroit or Tampa Bay while New England's quarterback Matt Cassel would join the Broncos and be reunited with his former coach, McDaniels. The Broncos said that they did not initiate the trade talks, but instead listened to offers. Cutler was reportedly upset about the trade possibility. This prompted McDaniels to make a statement that Cutler would definitely not be traded by the Broncos. Cutler believed McDaniels misled him about the trade talks and said he believed he would be traded before April's NFL Draft. On March 15, he listed his Colorado home for sale.; later that day Cutler confirmed that he has officially asked the Broncos to trade him. On March 31, 2009, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced that the team would accommodate his request and attempt to trade Cutler.

On April 2, Cutler was traded to the Chicago Bears along with a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. In return, the Broncos received quarterback Kyle Orton, the Bears' first and third-round selections in 2009, and the Bears' first-round pick in 2010.

Cutler does volunteer work for mentally challenged young people through Vanderbilt's "Best Buddies" program.

During the 2007 offseason, Cutler started the Jay Cutler Foundation, which partnered with Mile High United Way’s Youth Success Initiative to help at-risk youth overcome obstacles and graduate from high school.

On May 1, 2008, Cutler announced that he had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and needs daily insulin shots. He is responding well with the insulin treatments.

Cutler works with Dedicated to Diabetes, which is a Denver-based organization that aims to improve public knowledge about diabetes.

Cutler, along with Broncos tight end Tony Scheffler and former Broncos backup quarterback Preston Parsons, took part in an episode of Oprah's Big Give filmed in Denver in 2007. The episode aired on ABC on March 9, 2008.

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Jay Cutler (bodybuilder)

Jay Cutler (born Jason Isaac Cutler August 3, 1973 in Sterling, Massachusetts) is a professional bodybuilder.

Cutler started working in his family's concrete construction business, Cutler Bros. Concrete, at the age of 11, and started training when he was 18 years old as a senior at Wachusett Regional High School. He graduated from Quinsigamond Community College in 1993 with a degree in criminal justice. His first contest was the 1992 Gold's Gym Worcester Bodybuilding Championships, at which he took second place.

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Ed Hochuli

Ed Hochuli on the cover of Southwest Super Lawyers, 2007 edition.

Edward G. Hochuli (born December 25, 1950) is an attorney for the firm of Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C. since 1983 and better known as an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) since the 1990 NFL season. His uniform number is 85. Prior to his officiating career, he played college football for four seasons at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Hochuli is one of the most respected officials in the NFL for working numerous playoff games, two Super Bowls, as well as for his athletic physique and explanations on the football field. In a poll conducted by ESPN in 2008, Hochuli tied referee Mike Carey for "best referee" votes among NFL head coaches with eight. Beginning his nineteenth season in the league and seventeenth as referee (crew chief) with the 2008 NFL season, Hochuli's officiating crew consists of Chad Brown, Mark Hittner, Tim Podraza, Mike Weatherford, Tom Sifferman, and Bill Schmitz.

Hochuli was born on December 25, 1950 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived there until age eight before his family moved to Tucson, Arizona. He was the second child born out of a total of six siblings. During his childhood, he attended and later graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley, Arizona in 1969. During his high school years, he had in interest in sports as he participated in football (earning all-state honors twice), basketball, wrestling, and track. He attributes his competitive nature to having an older brother, Chip Hochuli. Ed Hochuli told Referee in a 2004 interview, "I was somebody who wanted to be good and I wanted my brother to be proud of me, and I wanted my parents to be proud of me." Following high school, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from UTEP in 1972. While at UTEP, Hochuli played linebacker on the school's football team from 1969 to 1972. As a football player, he earned All-Western Athletic Conference academic honors in 1972. His father, Walter Hochuli, was involved with law as a wills and estate planner, which influenced Ed Hochuli to pursue a career in law. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona in 1976. At the University of Arizona Law School, Hochuli served as a law clerk for two years under United States District Judge Carl Muecke. Upon completion of his education, Hochuli was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in the same year, which allowed him to practice law in the State of Arizona.

Hochuli resides in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He is currently divorced after his second marriage to Brenda ended in 2004. From his two marriages, he has a total of six children: Scott, Heather, Jennie, Shawn, Aaron, and Rachel. Five of the six children he had with his first wife. Of the six kids, Shawn Hochuli played college football at Pomona College and is following his father's profession as an official, currently working college football, Arena Football League, and arenafootball2 games. Scott Hochuli owns Hochuli Construction Team L.L.C., a company that specializes in residential construction in the Phoenix area. Two of Ed Hochuli's brothers are in law. Daniel Hochuli is the city attorney for Sahuarita, Arizona, and Peter Hochuli is a Court Commissioner/Judge Pro Tempore for the Pima County Superior Court, Juvenile Division.

Hochuli is a trial lawyer and a partner in the Arizona law firm of Jones, Skelton and Hochuli, P.L.C. since it was founded in 1983. The firm started with five partners and seven associates, and has expanded to over eighty attorneys. Hochuli specializes in civil litigation in the areas of Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability, Complex Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Fraud, Legal Malpractice and Professional Liability, Product Liability Defense, Trucking and Transportation Industry Defense, and Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Defense, and claims to be involved in two hundred cases at any time. He is admitted to practice in Arizona state and federal courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His recognition as an attorney includes being named Best Lawyers in America since 2003 and Southwest Super Lawyers in 2007. Super Lawyers includes only the top five percent of lawyers in a state based on point totals, as chosen by peers and through independent research by Law & Politics.

Hochuli began officiating Pop Warner football games as a law student to earn additional income, which was suggested by one of his former high school coaches as "a way to stay in touch with the game". His interest in officiating carried over into baseball, where he was a Little League Baseball umpire from 1970 to 1973. Progressing to the high school level in 1973, he focused on football, and officiated games in the Tucson area until 1985. In addition to high school officiating, he worked college football games for the Big Sky Conference and Pacific-10 Conference as a line judge during the 1980s.

Hochuli was hired by the NFL in 1990 as a back judge after applying to the league before the 1989 NFL season. His first game in the league was on August 11, 1990 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During his first two years in the league, he was assigned to the officiating crew headed by referee Howard Roe. To gain additional experience as a back judge and eventually a referee, Hochuli participated in the NFL's partnership with the World League of American Football (WLAF), a spring developmental league, in 1991 and 1992. Utilizing his experience in the WLAF, as well as the organization, precision, and analytical skills he learned while working under Roe's guidance, Hochuli desired to become a crew chief in the NFL. He was promoted to referee in 1992 when longtime referee Stan Kemp was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease and forced to retire. Hochuli had worked a pre-season game that year in Tokyo, Japan as a back judge when he received a telephone call following the game from then-Senior Director of Officiating, Jerry Seeman. Seeman asked Hochuli to work as referee for the first time when the Denver Broncos hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in a pre-season game.

Since becoming a referee, Hochuli headed the officiating crews for Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXVIII, and he was selected as an alternate for Super Bowl XXXI, Super Bowl XXXVII, and Super Bowl XXXIX. In addition to working two Super Bowls, he has officiated five conference championship games as of the start of the 2007 NFL season. Every officiating game performance is graded by the league each week. These grades determine which officials are assigned playoff games, as well as the Super Bowl. Hochuli credits his mentor, Jerry Markbreit, a four-time Super Bowl referee, as the greatest influence on his career.

Hochuli has also served as the head of the NFL Referees Association, the union which represents NFL game officials. The union was responsible for negotiating a new contract for the officials prior to the 2001 NFL season. At the time, salaries ranged from a first-year official earning US$1,431 a game to a veteran official with twenty years of experience making $4,330 a game. Officials were looking for a 400 percent increase in salary while the league was offering just 40 percent. During the negotiations, Hochuli believed the issue in finding a resolution was to convince the league that officials are full-time employees.

At the start of the season, officials had rejected a league offer of a sixty percent immediate increase in salary, followed by an eighty-five percent salary increase in 2002, and a one-hundred percent increase in 2003. For the first time in league history, replacement officials were used during the regular season. Hochuli had distributed an e-mail to 1,200 potential replacement officials warning them that "Working as a scab will actually hurt and likely kill any chances you would have of ever getting into the NFL." He later regretted sending the letter to college football officials across the United States. The stalemate between the union and the league ended on September 19, 2001, when officials agreed to a six-year deal from the league with an immediate increase in salary of 50 percent with a raise each year. Officials had been locked out since the final week of pre-season games that year and returned to work on September 23, 2001 when the league resumed games following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Hochuli has worked memorable games throughout his career. In his second year as referee, he worked the 1993 Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins in Irving, Texas. During the final moments of the game, Miami placekicker Pete Stoyanovich had a field goal attempt blocked. The Cowboys' Leon Lett inadvertently touched the loose ball before the Dolphins' Jeff Dellenbach pounced on it. At the time, Hochuli had "no idea" what happened during the play and had to confer with three other officials to piece together the sequence of events. With the information gathered from the officials, he ruled that Miami retained possession of the football.

On October 2, 2005, he officiated the first regular season NFL game played outside the United States when the Arizona Cardinals played the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City, Mexico as part of the league's "Fútbol Americano" marketing campaign. On the first penalty announcement of the game, Hochuli gave the explanation in Spanish to pay respect to the host city and country.

He was the referee for the game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, played December 17, 2006, that included Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre becoming the all-time leader for pass completions among quarterbacks in the NFL. Favre was unaware that his 4,968 pass completions were a record until he was informed during the game by Hochuli. Hochuli was the referee again for another Favre record-breaking moment when Favre threw his 421st touchdown pass of his career on September 30, 2007 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota to break the record previously held by Dan Marino.

On September 14, 2008, Hochuli officiated a now-infamous game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos, which become notable for a flagrantly controversial call near the end of regulation play. The call came with 1:17 left in the game, while Denver was in possession of the ball at the San Diego one-yard line, trailing the Chargers by seven points. On a second-down play, Denver quarterback Jay Cutler fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins. Ed Hochuli blew his whistle during the play, signaling that the play was dead. Hochuli admitted his mistake and spotted the ball at the point of the fumble, but could not award possession to San Diego. Chargers head coach Norv Turner later said after the game, "Ed came over to me and said he blew it. And that to me is not acceptable." The NFL intends to review the "inadvertent whistle rule" as a result of this play following the 2008 season. Hochuli responded to the situation, writing, "Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling. Officials strive for perfection – I failed miserably." Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was even fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing Hochuli.

Hochuli's career as an NFL official has been chronicled on the NFL Network's Six Days to Sunday in 2005. The half-hour television program detailed the game preparations that Hochuli goes through from Monday to Saturday during the season. This preparation work includes fifteen hours of video tape game review, a "couple hours" completing administrative tasks for the NFL, reading the rulebook, taking a weekly written exam on rules, and communicating with league supervisors.

Hochuli's celebrity status off the field includes being mentioned on the "Top Ten List" during the January 29, 2002 edition of the Late Show with David Letterman. His likeness appears in the Madden NFL video game franchise starting with Madden NFL 06.

During his college football playing career, Hochuli labeled himself as "small" and "slow" and attempted to compensate for his stature with physical strength. After college, he focused his efforts on running and has completed a total of thirteen marathons, including notable races such as the Chicago Marathon and Los Angeles Marathon. As an official in the NFL, he gave up on long-distance running because it became too time consuming, but he considers physical exercise part of the job and spends a "couple hours" a day conditioning his body. His workout routine consists of an hour of cardiovascular training (using a stair-climber or treadmill) each day and performing weight training four days a week.

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Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears helmet

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the NFC North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team is legally and corporately registered as Chicago Bears Football Club, Incorporated.

The Bears have won nine Professional American Football league championships (eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX). The Bears have the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with 26 members. The Bears have also recorded more regular season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise. The franchise recorded their 700th win on December 7, 2008.

The club was founded in Decatur, Illinois, in 1919, and moved to Chicago in 1921. Along with the Arizona Cardinals (also originally from Chicago), it is one of only two remaining extant franchises since the NFL's founding. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. With the exception of the 2002 season, they have played their home games at Chicago's Soldier Field every year since 1971. The stadium is located next to Lake Michigan, and was recently remodeled in a modernization intended to update stadium amenities while preserving a historic Chicago structure. The team has a fierce, long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers, whom they have played more than 170 times.

The team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. They hold their annual training camp from late July to mid-August on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Originally named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley Company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team. This was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921. However, official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.

The team relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the Chicago Staleys. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$ 100, whereupon they were renamed the Chicago Bears.

The Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL (and a crosstown rivalry from 1920 to 1959), was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs (who took two league titles over that span), and split with their crosstown rival Cardinals (going 4–4–2 against each other over that span), but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.

The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest, fiercest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, and then graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player.

In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears. The team moved into Wrigley Field, which was home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team (some directly, some indirectly - like the Bears, whose young are called "cubs"). Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, and the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each (the blue is a Navy Blue, and the orange is Pantone 1665, similar to burnt orange).

The franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7, even putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo. But the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, and the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929.

During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated. The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian.

After the financial losses of the 1932 Championship season, Halas' partner Dutch Sternaman left the organization. Halas maintained full control of the Bears until his death in 1983. He also coached the team off-and-on for forty seasons, an NFL record. In the 1932 "Unofficial" NFL Championship, the Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans in the first indoor American football game at Chicago Stadium.

The success of the playoff game led the NFL to institute a championship game. In the very first NFL Championship, the Bears played against the New York Giants, defeating them 23–21. The teams met again in the 1934 NFL Championship where the Giants, wearing sneakers defeated the Bears 30–13 on a cold, icy day at the Polo Grounds.

From 1940–1947, quarterback Sid Luckman led the Bears to victories in four out of the five NFL Championship Games in which they appeared. The team acquired the University of Chicago's discarded nickname "Monsters of the Midway" and their now-famous helmet "C", as well as a newly penned theme song that declared them "The Pride and Joy of Illinois". One famous victory during that period was their 73–0 victory over the favored Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium in the 1940 NFL Championship Game; the score is still an NFL record for lopsided results. The secret behind the one-sided outcome was the introduction of a new offensive formation by Halas. The T-formation, as Halas named it, involved two running backs instead of the traditional one in the backfield. Luckman's success at the quarterback position for the Bears has not been matched, as he still holds club records for passing.

After declining throughout the 1950s, the team rebounded in 1963 to capture their 8th NFL Championship, which would be their last until 1985. The late 1960s and early 1970s produced notable players like Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, and Brian Piccolo, who died of Embryonal carcinoma in 1970. The American television network ABC aired a movie about Piccolo in 1971 entitled Brian's Song, starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams in the roles of Piccolo and Sayers respectively; Jack Warden won an Emmy Award for his performance as Halas. The movie was later released for theater screenings after first being shown on television.

Halas retired as coach in 1967 and spent the rest of his days in the front office. He became the only person to be involved with the NFL throughout the first 60 years of its existence. He was also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's first induction class in 1963. As the only living founder of the NFL at the February 1970 merger between the NFL and the American Football League, the owners honored Halas by electing him the first President of the National Football Conference, a position that he held until his death in 1983. In his honor, the NFL named the National Football Conference Championship trophy as the George Halas Memorial Trophy.

After the merger, the Bears finished the 1970 season with a last-place finish in the division, a repeat of their placing in the 1969 season. In 1975, the Bears drafted Walter Payton from Jackson State University with their first pick. He won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in the 1977–78 season. Payton would go on to eclipse Jim Brown's NFL career rushing record in 1984 before retiring in 1987, and would hold the mark until 2002, when Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys surpassed it. Payton's career and great personality would capture the hearts of Bear fans, who called him "Sweetness". He died from a rare liver cancer in 1999 at the age of 45.

From 1977 through 1985 the club's official cheerleaders were the Honey Bears, who were hired by then-General Manager Jim Finks. They cheered at all Bears home games and performed at halftime. The idea of a cheerleading squad was thought up by Halas, who called them "dancing girls." and said that the Honey Bears would be around as long as he was alive. After his death in 1983, his heirs in the McCaskey family decided to end their relationship with the Honey Bears, declining to renew their contract following the Bears' championship season of 1985.

On November 1, 1983, a day after the death of George Halas, his oldest daughter, Virginia McCaskey, took over as the majority owner of the team. Her husband, Ed McCaskey, succeeded her father as the Chairman of the Board. Their son Michael became the third president in team history. Mrs. McCaskey holds the honorary title of "secretary of the board of directors", but the 82–year–old matriarch has been called the glue that holds the franchise together. Mrs. McCaskey's reign as the owner of the Bears was not planned, as her father originally earmarked her brother, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr. as the heir apparent to the franchise. However, he died of a massive heart attack in 1979. Her impact on the team is well-noted as her own family has dubbed her "The First Lady of Sports", and the Chicago Sun-Times has listed her as one of Chicago's most powerful women.

Mike Ditka, a tight end for the Bears from 1961 to 1966, was hired to coach the team in 1982. In the 1985 season the fire in the Bears–Packers rivalry was relit when Ditka used 350–plus pound lineman "Refrigerator" Perry as a truly "wide" receiver in a touchdown play at Lambeau Field, flagrantly taunting the Packers. The Bears won their ninth NFL Championship, first since the AFL-NFL merger, in Super Bowl XX after the 1985 season in which they dominated the NFL with their then-revolutionary 46 defense and a cast of characters that recorded the novelty rap song "The Super Bowl Shuffle". The season was notable in that the Bears had only one loss, the "unlucky 13th" game of the season, a Monday night affair in which they were defeated by the Miami Dolphins. At the time, much was made of the fact that the 1972 Dolphins were the only franchise in history to have had an undefeated season and post-season. The Dolphins came close to setting up a rematch in the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. "The Super Bowl Shuffle" was videotaped the day after that Monday night loss in Miami.

After the 1985 Championship season, the Bears remained competitive throughout the 1980s but failed to return to the Super Bowl under Mike Ditka. Since the firing of Ditka at the end of the 1992 season, the Bears have made the playoffs five times under three different head coaches: Dave Wannstedt from 1993 through 1998, Dick Jauron from 1999 through 2003, and current head coach, Lovie Smith. Before the Bears hired Jauron in January 1999, Dave McGinnis (Arizona's defensive coordinator, and a former Bears assistant under Ditka and Wannstedt) backed out of taking the head coaching position. The Bears scheduled a press conference to announce the hiring before McGinnis agreed to contract terms. Soon after Jauron's hiring, Mrs. McCaskey fired her son Michael as president, replacing him with Ted Phillips and promoting Michael to chairman of the board. McCaskey's reign as president has been viewed as a "disaster". Phillips, the current Bears president, became the first man outside of the Halas-McCaskey family to run the team.

Lovie Smith, hired on January 15, 2004, is the third and current (as of 2009) post-Ditka head coach. Joining the Bears as a rookie head coach, Smith brought the highly successful Tampa 2 defensive scheme with him to Chicago. Before his second season with the Bears, the team rehired their former offensive coordinator and then Illinois head coach Ron Turner to improve the Bears' struggling offense. In 2005, the Bears won their division and reached the playoffs for the first time in four years. Their previous playoff berth was earned by winning the NFC Central in 2001. The Bears improved upon their success the following season, by clinching their second consecutive NFC North title during week thirteen of the 2006 season, winning their first playoff game since 1995, and earning a trip to Super Bowl XLI. However, they fell short of the championship, losing 29–17 to the Indianapolis Colts. Following the 2006 season, the club decided to give Lovie Smith a contract extension through 2011, at roughly $5 million per year. This comes a season after being the lowest paid head coach in the National Football League.

On April 2, 2009, the Bears made one of the biggest trades in franchise history, acquiring Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler and a 5th round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft from the Denver Broncos in exchange for quarterback Kyle Orton, the Bears' 1st and 3rd round selections in the 2009 NFL Draft and the Bears' 1st round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The club has played in over a thousand games since becoming a charter member of the NFL in 1920. Through the 2008 season, they lead the NFL in overall franchise wins with 702 and have an overall record of 702–515–42 (going 686–498–42 during the regular season and 16–17 in the playoffs).. On December 7, 2008 the Bears recorded franchise win number 700 in a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Virginia McCaskey, her children, and grandchildren control 80% of the team, and Mrs. McCaskey votes her children's stock as well as her own. Patrick Ryan, executive chairman of Aon Corp., and Aon director Andrew McKenna own 19.7% of the club. In a Crain's Chicago Business article, one businessman described his wishes for the team to maximize its potential. There have been rumors that the McCaskey family might split up over the team.

In 2008, Forbes magazine reported that the Chicago Bears franchise is worth $1.1 billion, making it the ninth richest franchise in the NFL. Chicago is the National Football League's second largest market. The team has major sponsorship deals with Chase, Miller Brewing Company, Cadillac, Motorola, and Coca-Cola. The team was the first in the NFL to have a presenting sponsor, with the 2004 season advertised as "Bears Football presented by BankOne (now Chase)". Additionally, the Bears have an agreement with WFLD-TV (the FOX affiliate in Chicago) to broadcast pre-season football games.

The club's first logo was introduced in the early 1950s as a black bear on top of a football. They kept this until 1962, when the Bears trademark 'C' logo was first introduced.

The change in their logo from the black bear was due to the addition of logos on helmets, which pro football teams started adding in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike some NFL franchises that have had many different looks over time, the Bears have kept the wishbone 'C' for over 40 years.

In 1974, the team decided to keep the same white 'C' logo but to change the color of it from white to orange with a white trim. This is the current logo; however, the club has since introduced alternative logos, including a black bear inside of the orange wishbone 'C', introduced in 1995, and an orange bear head, introduced in 1999.

In 1920 the team introduced uniforms containing brown and blue stripes. In the 1930s, the franchise's uniform underwent substantial alterations. By 1933 the Bears donned all-orange jerseys with navy numbers and matching black helmets. In 1936, they modified this design into "an early version of psychedelia" by adding three orange stripes to their helmets, changing the color of the jerseys from orange to white, complementing the new white jerseys with fourteen navy and orange alternating stripes on the sleeves, and introducing socks with a similar striped pattern extending from ankle to knee. Because of poor response from the fans and the media, this design lasted only one season.

By 1949, the team was wearing the familiar navy blue shirts with white, rounded numbers. In 1956, the team added "TV numbers" to the sleeves. The Bears 'C' logo first appeared on the helmets in 1962. The logo changed from white to a white-bordered orange logo eleven years later, and has remained unchanged ever since. The Bears added the initials GSH to the left sleeve of their jerseys in 1984 in memory of George Halas.

For decades, the team was known as the only NFL team to wear jersey numbers that were not the traditional block-style numbers. Although a handful of other NFL teams and the Houston Oilers during their early AFL days experimented with rounder jersey numbers, by the mid-1960s the Bears were the only team left to continue wearing rounded jersey numbers. Since the mid-1990s, however, several teams have shifted away from the block numbers in favor of numbers that match a specific team font (e.g. Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, etc...) or in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, match the jersey number font with the helmet numbers while otherwise leaving the jersey design alone.

Other variations to the Bears uniforms over the years include the addition of navy blue pants as a part of the road kit in 1984. During the 1994 season, the Bears – with most of the other NFL franchises – introduced throwback uniforms to be worn in the honor of the NFL's 75th Anniversary. These uniforms with brown and blue stripes resemble the original Bears uniforms worn in the 1920s. On October 7, 2002 the Bears wore navy blue pants with their navy blue home jerseys for the first time, and lost at home to Green Bay before a national Monday Night Football audience. The Bears did not wear the all-blue combination again until the 2006 regular season finale against the Packers, also a loss, on December 31.

On November 13, 2005 and October 29, 2006 (both times in games against the San Francisco 49ers), the Bears introduced an orange alternate home jersey. The orange swaps roles with the navy blue on this alternate jersey, as it becomes the dominant color while the navy complements. The orange jerseys were worn again on October 19, 2008 at home against the Minnesota Vikings in a 48-41 victory.

The Bears previously wore orange jerseys as part of a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. Their uniforms, especially for their classic look, have been cited as one of the best in the league.

Before the introduction of Staley Da Bear, the club had two unofficial mascots named "Rocky" and "Bearman". "Rocky" was a man who donned a "1" Bears jersey, carried a megaphone, and started chants all over Soldier Field during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. There is no known source of who "Rocky" was, except that he disappeared from Soldier Field in the early 1990s and presumably lived in Northwest Indiana. Don Wachter, also known as "Bearman", is a season ticket holder who decided in 1995 that he could also assist the team by cheerleading. The club allowed him to run across the field with a large Bears flag during player introductions and each team score. In 1996, he donned his "costume" of face paint, bear head and arms, and a number 46 jersey. "Bearman" was forced to stop wearing his costume with the introduction of Staley Da Bear in 2003; however, in 2005 Wachter was allowed in costume again.

Soldier Field, located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, is the current home to the Bears. The Bears moved into Soldier Field in 1971 after outgrowing Wrigley Field, the team's home for 50 years, and Northwestern University's residential neighbors objected to their playing at Dyche Stadium, now called Ryan Field. After the AFL-NFL Merger, the newly merged league wanted their teams to play in stadiums that could hold at least 50,000 fans. Even with the portable bleachers that the team brought into Wrigley, the stadium could still only hold 46,000. The stadium's playing turf was changed from astroturf to natural grass in time for the start of the 1988 season. The stadium was the site of the infamous Fog Bowl playoff game between the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2002, the stadium was closed and rebuilt with only the exterior wall of the stadium being preserved. It was closed on Sunday, January 20, 2002, a day after the Bears lost in the playoffs. It reopened on September 27, 2003 after a complete rebuild (the second in the stadium's history). Many fans refer to the rebuilt stadium as "New Soldier Field". During the 2002 season, the Bears played their home games at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign, where they went 3-5.

Many critics have negative views of the new stadium. They believe that its current structure has made it more of an eyesore than a landmark; some have dubbed it the "Mistake on the Lake". Soldier Field was stripped of its National Historic Landmark designation on February 17, 2006.

In the 2005 season, the Bears won the NFC North Division and the No. 2 Seed in the NFC Playoffs, entitling them to play at least one home game in the postseason. The team hosted (and lost) their divisional round match on January 15, 2006 against the Carolina Panthers. This was the first playoff game at Soldier Field since the stadium reopened.

The stadium's end zones and midfield were not painted until the 1982 season. The design sported on the field included the bolded word "Chicago" in both end zones. In 1983, the end zone design returned, with the addition of a large wishbone "C" Bears logo painted at midfield. These field markings remained unchanged until the 1996 season. In 1996 the midfield wishbone "C" was changed to a large blue Bears head, and the end zone design were painted with "Bears" in cursive. This new design remained until the 1999 season, at which point the artwork was returned to the classic "Chicago" and the "C". In the new Soldier Field, the artwork was tweaked to where one end zone had the word "Chicago" bolded and the other had "Bears".

While the Super Bowl XX Champion Bears were a fixture of mainstream American pop culture in the 1980s, the Bears made a prior mark with the 1971 American TV movie Brian's Song starring Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers and James Caan as Brian Piccolo. The film told of how Piccolo helped Sayers recover from a devastating knee injury to return to his status as one of the league's best players, and how Sayers in turn helped the Piccolo family through Brian's fatal illness. A 2001 remake of the movie for ABC starred Sean Maher as Piccolo and Mekhi Phifer as Sayers.

The 1985 team is also remembered for recording the song "The Super Bowl Shuffle", which reached number forty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The music video for the song depicts the team rapping that they are "not here to start no trouble" but instead "just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle". The team took a risk by recording and releasing the song before the playoffs had even begun, but were able to avoid embarrassment by going on to win Super Bowl XX by a then-record margin of 46-10. That game was one of the most watched television events in history according to the Nielsen Ratings system; the game had a rating of 48.3, ranking it seventh in all-time television history.

In addition to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" rap song, the Bears' success in the 1980s – and especially the personality of head coach Mike Ditka – inspired a recurring sketch on the American sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live, called "Bill Swerski's Superfans". The sketch featured Cheers co-star George Wendt, a Chicago native, as host of a radio talk-show (similar in tone to WGN radio's "The Sportswriters"), with co-panelists Carl Wollarski (Robert Smigel), Pat Arnold (Mike Myers) and Todd O'Connor (Chris Farley). To hear them tell it, "Da Bears" and Coach Ditka could do no wrong. The sketch stopped after Ditka was fired in 1993. The sketch usually showed the panelists drinking lots of beer and eating lots of Polish sausage, and often featured Todd getting so agitated about what was happening with the Bears that he suffered a heart attack, but quickly recovered (through self-administered CPR). The sketch also features the cast predicting unrealistic blowout victories for Bears games. A significantly overweight Farley died in 1997 from a drug overdose exacerbated by arteriosclerosis, and Da Super Fan sketch has not been brought back by SNL, with the exception of a single appearance by Horatio Sanz as a Super Fan for the Cubs on Weekend Update in 2003. Outside of SNL, George Wendt reprised his role of Swerski in the opening promo of Super Bowl XL on ABC.

On TV shows based in Chicago such as Still Standing, According to Jim and The Bernie Mac Show, the main characters are all Bears fans, and have worn Bears' jerseys and t-shirts on some occasions. Some episodes even show them watching Bears games.

Ditka's success and popularity in Chicago has led him to land analyst roles on various American football pregame shows. Ditka worked for both the NFL on NBC and CBS's The NFL Today, and he currently works on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and provides Friday night analysis on the Bears on CBS 2 Chicago, the CBS Chicago affiliate, called "2 on Football" with CBS 2 Sports Director Mark Malone. He is also the color analyst for all local broadcasts of Bears preseason games. Ditka also co-starred himself alongside actor Will Ferrell in the 2005 comedy film Kicking & Screaming.

Also, Ditka, Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, William "Refrigerator" Perry and Brian Urlacher are among Bears figures known for their appearances in TV commercials. Urlacher, whose jersey was among the league's best-selling in 2002, was featured on Nike commercials with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

Bill George and Doug Buffone hold the record for the most seasons in a Bears uniform with 14. George did it between the 1952 and 1965 seasons and Buffone during the 1966 through 1979 seasons. On the other hand, Steve McMichael holds the record for most consecutive games played by a Bear with 191; he accomplished the feat from 1981 to 1993. In second place is Payton, who played 186 games from 1975 to 1987 at running back, a position considered to be conducive to injury, only missing one game in a span of 13 seasons.

Placekicker Kevin Butler holds the club record for scoring the most points in his ten-year Bear career. He scored 1,116 points as the Bears kicker from 1985 to 1995. He is followed in distant second place by Payton, with 750 points. Payton holds the team record for career rushing yards with 16,726. That was an NFL record until Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys broke it in 2002. Neal Anderson, who played from 1986 to 1993, is the closest to Payton's record with 6,166 yards. Mark Bortz holds the record for most Bear playoff appearances, with 13 between 1983 and 1994, and is followed by Kevin Butler, Dennis Gentry, Dan Hampton, Jay Hilgenberg, Steve McMichael, Ron Rivera, Mike Singletary, and Keith Van Horne, who have each played in 12 playoff games.

The 1940 Chicago Bears team holds the record for the biggest margin of victory in an NFL game (playoff or regular season) with a 73–0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. The largest home victory for the Bears came in a 61–7 result against the Green Bay Packers in 1980. The largest defeat in club history was a 52–0 loss against the Baltimore Colts in 1964. The club recorded undefeated regular seasons in 1934 and 1942, but (unlike the 1972 Dolphins) did not win the championship game in either season. In 1934, the club completed a 13–0 record but were defeated by the New York Giants, and in 1942 the club completed an 11–0 record but were defeated by the Redskins. Had the Bears won either championship, the club would have completed a championship three-peat – a feat completed only by the Packers (twice), although no team has done it since the AFL-NFL merger. Halas holds the team record for coaching the most seasons with 40 and for having the most career victories of 324. Halas' victories record stood until Don Shula surpassed Halas in 1993. Ditka is the closest Bears coach to Halas, with 112 career victories. No other Bears coach has recorded over 100 victories with the team.

During the 2006 season, return specialist Devin Hester set several kick return records. He had six touchdown returns, setting a record for most returns in a single season. In 2007, he recorded another six touchdown season from returns. One of the most notable of these returns came on November 12, 2006, when he returned a missed field goal for a 108-yard touchdown. The record tied teammate Nathan Vasher's previous record, which was set almost a year earlier. Additionally, Hester set a Super Bowl record by becoming the first person to return an opening kick of a Super Bowl for a touchdown.

Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.

In the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Bears are have the most enshrined primary members with twenty-six, however the club also have had five Hall of Famers spend a minor portion of their career with the franchise. George Halas, Bronko Nagurski, and Red Grange were a part of the original class of inductees in 1963, while defensive end Dan Hampton, the most recent Bear inducted, was a part of the Class of 2002.

The Bears have retired thirteen uniform numbers, which is the most in the NFL, and ranks third behind the basketball Boston Celtics (21) and baseball New York Yankees (16) for the most in North American professional sports.

As of December 30, 2007. Only regular season and postseason games are counted.

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Denver Broncos

2008 Denver Broncos offense including Selvin Young, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) Western Division in the National Football League (NFL). The Broncos began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL Merger. They play at Invesco Field at Mile High.

The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959 when minor league baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League charter franchise. The Broncos won the first-ever American Football League game over the Boston Patriots, 13–10, on September 9, 1960. On August 5, 1967, they became the first ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team after beating the Detroit Lions, 13–7, in a preseason game. Overall the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s, compiling a record of 39–97–4 in the league. However, the Broncos first superstar was "Franchise" Floyd Little, (due to his signing in 1967 and his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field, he was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver).

Denver's franchise started out rough, managing its first winning season in 1973 after thirteen years of futility. They were the only original AFL team never to have played in the title game during the upstart league's 10-year history. Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, but a local ownership group took control that year and began to rebuild the team.

Rookie coach Red Miller, along with the Orange Crush Defense (a nickname originating in the early '70's, also the name of a popular soda pop) and aging quarterback Craig Morton, promptly took the Broncos to their first playoff appearance in 1977 (and ultimately first Super Bowl, where they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 27–10).

Quarterback John Elway arrived in 1983. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball (he was drafted by the New York Yankees to play center field and was also a pitching prospect), unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included Denver. Prior to Elway, Denver had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point. Elway would remain the quarterback through five Super Bowls, as he and the Broncos won two of them. He would also end his career as the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII. He then went on the help the AFC win the Pro Bowl, his last NFL game. The Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39–20; Super Bowl XXII to the Washington Redskins, 42–10; and Super Bowl XXIV to the San Francisco 49ers, 55–10, the most lopsided scoring differential in Super Bowl history.

In 1995, the Broncos debuted a new head coach, Mike Shanahan, and a new rookie running back, Terrell Davis. During the 1997 season, both would help guide the Broncos to their first Super Bowl victory, a 31–24 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Although Elway completed only 12 of 22 passing attempts, throwing one interception and no touchdowns (he did, however, have a rushing touchdown), Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl-record three touchdowns to earn the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award - this while overcoming a severe migraine headache that caused him blurred vision. The Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions the following season, defeating the Atlanta Falcons (led by Elway's longtime head coach Dan Reeves) in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34–19. Elway was named Super Bowl MVP, throwing for 336 yards and a touchdown (the touchdown pass being an 80-yard pass play to wide receiver Rod Smith). Elway also had a rushing touchdown.

Overall, Denver has reached the Super Bowl six times, winning it in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

Elway retired following the 1998/1999 season. Since then, Denver has only had two losing seasons (1999, 2007). The team has made the playoffs as a wild card three times (2000, 2003, and 2004) and won the division once (2005). However, the Broncos have won only one playoff game since Elway's retirement. Prior to the 2005 season, they were plagued by late-season flops following early-season success. In both 2003 and 2004, they started the season 5–1 and ended 10–6. In 2005, the Broncos would have a much-improved season, going 13–3 and earning a bye week in the playoffs with the #2 seed in the AFC. They would finally win a playoff game without Elway, defeating the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 27–13, ending the Patriots' 10-game playoff winning streak. The following weekend, the Broncos hosted the AFC Championship and were defeated by the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 34–17.

In the years since Elway's retirement, it has become obvious that the Denver fans and media expect Elway-like perfection from the quarterback position. Both Brian Griese and Jake Plummer have faced severe scrutiny in attempting to succeed Elway as the team’s quarterback. Elway’s jersey remains the most frequently worn at Invesco Field at Mile High, with the crowd generally voicing their loudest ovations when his name is mentioned or shown. Many members of the media have run stories and articles on the pressures that come with playing quarterback in Denver, as most fans believe no player will ever live up the standard set by Elway.

Elway’s overwhelming popularity in Colorado is generally attributed to a number of factors, including the extensive length of time spent on the team at the league’s premier position, his leading of 4th quarter comebacks (Elway ranks 1st in NFL history), his community work throughout the state and retiring directly after two Super Bowl wins (the last of which being his final game of his career in which he was Super Bowl MVP).

After losing their first game, 34–10, to the Miami Dolphins on September 11, the Broncos won five straight games, defeating the San Diego Chargers, 20–17, the Kansas City Chiefs, 30–10, the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20–7, the Washington Redskins, 21–19, and the two-time defending champion New England Patriots, 28–20, on October 16. Denver lost the next game to the New York Giants on October 23 by a final score of 24–23. The following week, the Broncos beat the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, 49–21, on October 30. In that game, the Broncos became the first team in NFL history to have two players, Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell, rush for over 100 yards and another player, Jake Plummer, pass for over 300 yards in a single game. Denver then beat the Oakland Raiders on November 13, 31–17. The next game, the Broncos defeated the New York Jets in Denver on November 20, 27–0. It was the first time the Broncos had shut out a team at home since the Carolina Panthers on November 9, 1997. Denver then went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day, November 24, winning in overtime, 24–21, on a Jason Elam 24-yard game-winning field goal. One of the key plays prior to the field goal was a 55-yard run by Ron Dayne, who filled in for the injured Tatum Bell. Denver lost to the Chiefs in the next game, 31–27, on December 4, but won against the Baltimore Ravens the following week, 12–10. On December 17, the Broncos defeated the Buffalo Bills, 28–17. On Christmas Eve 2005, the Broncos clinched the AFC West division title, as they finished with a record 8–0 at Invesco Field by defeating the Oakland Raiders, 22–3. On December 31, 2005, the Broncos got season-win number 13 in a season-sweeping on the road against their division rivals, the Chargers, with a final score of 23–7.

The Broncos entered the playoffs for the third consecutive year with the momentum of a four-game winning streak. Denver finished the regular season with a record of 13–3, tying them with the Seattle Seahawks for second best overall record in the league, behind the 14–2 Indianapolis Colts. Denver was seeded number two in the AFC behind the Colts. On January 14, 2006, the Broncos defeated the two-time defending champion New England Patriots, 27–13, in the divisional round - ending the Patriots chance of becoming the first NFL team ever to win three consecutive Super Bowl championships. The last team with a chance of winning three consecutive Super Bowls before the Patriots were the Broncos themselves. The Broncos' playoff run came to an end after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship, 34–17, on January 22, 2006. Denver turned the ball over four times and were outscored in the first half, 24–3. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.

In 2006, the Denver Broncos had high hopes among the league in being able to compete for the Super Bowl title. The Broncos defense started off the first five games of the season allowing only one touchdown, an NFL record, but struggled down the season stretch. Jake Plummer, the starting quarterback at the season's inception, led the team to a 7–2 record only to lose 2 straight and be replaced by rookie quarterback Jay Cutler, drafted in the first round out of Vanderbilt.

Cutler's first game as a starter was a home game against the Seattle Seahawks on December 3, 2006. He threw for 143 yards, along with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in a loss. Cutler would go on to lead Denver to two victories and three losses as a starter on the season. The most impressive win was in an away game over the Arizona Cardinals on December 17, 2006. During the game, Cutler launched a 68-yard touchdown to Javon Walker on the third play from scrimmage.

The Broncos' season ended with an unexpected loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which eliminated the team from playoff contention. Cutler was knocked out of part of the game from a blow he took from a 49er defender, giving him a concussion. Hours after the season ending loss, on January 1, 2007, Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed around 1:59 a.m. on West 11th Avenue and Speer Boulevard in downtown Denver. He was in a Hummer H2 limousine. Former Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker was also in the limousine, but he was not injured. A mere 50 days after the fatal shooting, running back Damien Nash collapsed and died suddenly on February 24, 2007, following a charity basketball game in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Broncos traded running back Tatum Bell and offensive tackle George Foster to the Detroit Lions for former Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly to compensate for the unfortunate loss of Williams. In addition to the trade for Bly, the Broncos had made a trade to the Miami Dolphins for Dan Wilkinson, only to have that trade voided because Wilkinson did not show up to Denver for his scheduled physical.

The first game of the season was on the road against the Buffalo Bills, which they won with a last second field goal kick by Jason Elam that put them up 15–14 as time expired.

In game two, the Oakland Raiders seemed to claim victory on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal in overtime, but a last second time-out called by coach Mike Shanahan negated that kick, and the subsequent kick hit the field-goal post. Jay Cutler then marched the Broncos down the field, and Jason Elam kicked the game winning field goal for the second week in a row.

In the seventh game of the season, the Broncos played and lost a Monday Night Football home game against the Green Bay Packers. There were 77,160 tickets distributed for the game, which is a franchise record. 76,645 fans attended the game.

Suffering through several injuries to players such as Rod Smith, Tom Nalen, Ben Hamilton, Javon Walker, Jarvis Moss and Ebenezer Ekuban, the Broncos finished the season with a 7–9 record and missed the playoffs.

The Broncos won their first 3 games of the season against the Oakland Raiders,41-14, San Diego Chargers,39-38, and New Orleans Saints,34-32, before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 33-19, in week 4. They went on to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 16-13, before losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-17, the New England Patriots, 41-7, and after their bye week the Miami Dolphins, 26-17. Week 10 and 11 brought the Broncos 2 wins against the Cleveland Browns, 34-30, and the Atlanta Falcons, 24-20. However they lost against the Oakland Raiders, 31-10, the following week. They beat the New York Jets, 34-17, and the Kansas City Chiefs, 24-17. Week 15 started the disappointing string of loses that ended the Broncos attempts at the 2008 playoffs. They lost to the Carolina Panthers, 30-10, and then to the Buffalo Bills, 30-23. By week 17 the Broncos were still leading the AFC West, with a 8-7 record, and had promises of beating the San Diego Chargers, who had a 7-8 record. However on December 28, 2008 the Broncos lost to the San Diego Chargers leaving both teams at 8-8. They would be the first team in NFL history to enter the final three weeks of a regular season with a three-game lead and lose all three games. Based on the San Diego Chargers AFC West record of 5-1 to the Broncos 3-3, the San Diego Chargers clinched the AFC West.

On December 30, 2008 Shanahan was fired as head coach and on January 11, Josh McDaniels was hired as the new Broncos coach.

Ending a turbulent transition period from Mike Shanahan to Josh McDaniels, on April 2, 2009, the team resorted to trading Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler and a fifth round draft pick from the Broncos to the Chicago Bears for Kyle Orton, 2 first-round draft picks, and a third round pick.

When the Broncos debuted in 1960, their original uniforms were vilified by the public. It consisted of brown helmets, brown pants (some had a satin sheen, some didn't), white and mustard yellow jerseys, and vertically striped socks. The club eventually got rid of these jerseys two years later, and celebrated the occasion by holding a public bonfire to burn the striped socks.

The team then unveiled a new logo featuring a bucking horse, and changed their team colors to orange, blue, and white. The 1962 uniform designed by Laura North-Allen, consisted of white pants, orange helmets, and either orange or white jerseys.

In 1968, the Broncos debuted a design that became known as the "Orange Crush". Their logo was redesigned so that the horse was coming out of a "D". Also, the helmets were changed to blue, thin stripes were put onto the sleeves, and other minor modifications were added. From 1969 to 1971, and again from 1978 to 1979), the team wore orange pants with their white jerseys.

The club then radically changed their logo and uniforms in 1997, a design that they continue to use to this day. The current logo is a profile of a horse's head. They wear "Broncos Navy Blue" jerseys instead of orange ones. This new uniform design also features a streak that runs down the sides of both the jerseys and the pants; it's orange on the blue jerseys and blue on the white jerseys. When they debuted, these uniforms were, again, vilified by the press and fans, until the Broncos won their first ever Super Bowl in the new design that same season. The team also introduced blue pants with orange stripes to be worn with blue jerseys. These pants are primarily worn for prime-time home games. An oddity of their pants are that the home white pants have an orange stripe, but the road white pants have a navy blue stripe.

The team introduced blue pants in the mid-2000s. Although they were part of the uniform change in 1997 and most players wanted to wear them, the only player who vetoed wearing them was John Elway, thereby delaying their eventual introduction.

The Broncos have also introduced an alternate orange jersey with a navy blue stripe going up the side. The jerseys were first used in 2002 against the Indianapolis Colts and last used in the 2008 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Denver Post reported on August 15, 2008, that the Broncos would wear their alternate orange jerseys for two games during the 2008 season: September 21 against the New Orleans Saints and December 7 against division rival Kansas City Chiefs. The article also noted that former head coach Mike Shanahan is not a big fan of the orange jerseys.

For most of their history they played in Mile High Stadium, which became one of the shrines of professional football for its record ongoing streak of sellouts. The team has sold out every home game (including post-season games) since the NFL merger in 1970, with the exception of two replacement games during the 1987 strike (but both were sold out before the strike). During home games, the attendance is announced to the crowd, along with the number of no-shows (the fans subsequently boo the no-shows).

The stadium's legendary home-field advantage is regarded as one of the best in the NFL, especially during the post-season. The Broncos have had the best home record in pro football over the past 32 years (1974–2006, 191–65–1). Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have given the Broncos an advantage over opponents.

Since 2001, they have played at Invesco Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of the since demolished old Mile High Stadium. Sportswriter Woody Paige, along with many of Denver's fans, however, often refuse to call the new stadium by its full name, preferring to use Mile High Stadium because of its storied history and sentimental import. Additionally the Denver Post had an official policy of referring to the stadium as simply "Mile High Stadium" in protest, but dropped this policy in 2004.

The Colorado altitude has also been attributed as part of the team's home success. The stadium displays multiple references to the stadium's location of 5,280 ft (1 mile) above sea level, including a prominent mural just outside the visiting team’s locker room.

Mike Shanahan held the Broncos head coaching position from 1995 until his firing after the 2008 season. Since the Shanahan era began, the Broncos have been known for having high-yardage running backs, and explosive offenses. Tuesday Morning Quarterback writer Gregg Easterbrook once mused that Denver’s helmets should have a label that says "Insert running back, gain 1,000 yards." To wit: Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell have all posted 1000-yard rushing seasons in Denver with Davis breaking the 2,000 yard barrier in 1998. In 2005, Mike Anderson rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the first time in five seasons. Anderson's backfield mate, Tatum Bell, fell 79 yards short of 1,000 with 921 while missing a game to injury. Had Bell been able to gain 1,000 yards he and Anderson would have been the first two running backs in over 20 years to break 1,000 yards in a single season on the same team (Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward accomplished this feat in 2008 with the New York Giants).

In the post-Elway years, Shanahan has taken the Broncos to the playoffs several times. The 2000 season ended with a Wild Card loss at the Baltimore Ravens. The 2003 and 2004 seasons ended with lopsided losses at the Indianapolis Colts, also in the Wild Card round. In the 2005 season, the Broncos defeated the New England Patriots in the divisional round and advanced to the AFC Championship game, losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Under Shanahan, the Broncos established a tradition in 1996 where the offensive linemen do not talk with the media as a form of bonding. This was evident during the player introductions for the starting lineup on nationally-televised prime time games as the linemen would not introduce themselves. How they were introduced has varied over the years as sometimes, another offensive player introduces them and during other times, the announcers introduce the offensive linemen. Due to a rule change within the NFL in 2007, this tradition came to an end. For the 2007 season each player is required to make himself available for media interviews. On Sunday Night Football game's against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007, and in 2008 against the San Diego Chargers the linemen introduced themselves.

As of 2006, the Broncos' flagship radio station was KOA, 850AM, a 50,000-watt station owned by Clear Channel Communications. Dave Logan is the play-by-play announcer; he starred for the Colorado Buffaloes before beginning his NFL career, spent mostly with the Cleveland Browns. David Diaz-Infante is the color commentator. Preseason games not selected for airing on national television are shown on KCNC, channel 4, which is a CBS owned-and-operated station, as well as other CBS affiliates around the Rocky Mountain region.

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Source : Wikipedia