Broncos add three to their Ring of Fame

The Broncos reached deep into their history to find one of the three new members of their Ring of Fame.

Gene Mingo was a member of the first Broncos team in 1960 and had the first punt return for a touchdown in AFL history in the first AFL game. That was a Broncos victory over the Patriots and Mingo contributed to many more wins as a halfback and kicker through the 1964 season. According to a release from the Broncos, Mingo was also the first African-American kicker in professional football.

Mingo will be honored alongside former head coach Dan Reeves and wide receiver Rick Upchurch. Reeves led the team to three AFC titles and five division championships between 1981 and 1992. He ranks second in franchise history in regular season and playoff wins behind Mike Shanahan.

Upchurch spent nine years with the Broncos and made the Associated Press All-Pro team three teams as a kick returner. Upchurch, who had eight career punt return touchdowns, was also named the returner on the NFL’s All-1970s team.

[Photo credit: Denver Broncos Football Club]

19 responses to “Broncos add three to their Ring of Fame

  1. They should add “Barrel Man” in some form or fashion — that guy was a classic.

  2. Congratulations to Mingo, Reeves and Upchurch. 3 former Broncos all deserving of being added to the Ring of Fame. Invesco Field always throws a great celebration when former players are placed inside on the Ring. Way to go Broncos!

  3. They should add John Beake their GM who circumvented the salary cap to win the tainted “rings of shame

  4. Maybe if Mingo was still playing the Broncos wouldn’t have got whooped in February

  5. Nice to see one of the oldest franchises in the league paying homage to the late greats. Denver is the only franchise to sell out EVERY home game since the merger. Great town, great fans, great game, great players. Go Broncos!

  6. They pay homage to their past greats as long as it suits them. Remember the Broncos had no problem when they unretired “18” from an 84 year old Frank Tripucka suffering from Alzheimer’s?

  7. “They should add “Barrel Man” in some form or fashion — that guy was a classic.”

    I remember in the early 2000s, sitting in the Black Hole at a Raiders game when the Barrel man sat right in our section. The guy was so passionate about his team (even though they were rivals) that he earned the respect of the hard core Raiders fans and wasn’t touched the entire game.

  8. What about Joe Flacco the Legend who smoked the turnover prone Peyton Manning with the Rocky Mountain Rainbow in 2012 playoffs! I mean they had his picture in lights last year time to put him in as the greatest play in Mile High Stadium History!

  9. What about Joe Flacco in the 2013 playoffs? Oh, never mind. I guess a season with a rating under 75, 19 TD passes and 22 INT’s doesn’t get you to the playoffs.

    Other average or below-average Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, besides Flacco: Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, Jim Plunkett, Jeff Hostetler, Bob Griese.

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