I Wonder: Was BSU or Denver first with blue/orange Broncos?

I Wonder: Was BSU or Denver first with blue/orange Broncos?

Who was first?


by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay


Posted on October 25, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 23 at 8:22 PM

I wonder which came first - the Boise State Broncos or the Denver Broncos? Also, I don't know if we have always had blue and orange as colors. I have always wondered why Denver took the broncos AND the colors.- David by e-mail

BOISE - From the Blue Turf to Mile High - if the Broncos are playing football, they'll be wearing blue and orange.

But who is copying whom?

In one corner is Boise State University - with its famous blue field, Fiesta Bowl win and a football team with one of the best win percentages in the country over the last decade.

Across the Rocky Mountains you'll find the Denver Broncos - with its mile high stadium, two Super Bowl rings and... oh yeah... former QB John Elway.

While the teams will never meet on the gridiron - they go toe-to-toe on t-shirts and hats and other merchandise.

Boise State's mascot and colors were picked out by a pair of players on the school's first team.

Preston Hale and Owen Sproat got the honor of making some key decisions that set up a long-term legacy. KTVB talked to Hale in 1997.

"We decided on orange and blue because there were no orange and blue combinations in the area at all," Hale said. "There were no Broncos either. So we chose the Broncos"

Denver also decided that the bronco was the best mascot to represent its team. But in the beginning, team officials went for a more western color scheme: brown and mustard yellow.

Go brown. Go big yellow.

Needless to say, those colors didn't last long - and Denver officials listened to fan complaints and went looking for a better color scheme.

The decision: blue and orange.

So who was first?

"We were definitely the Broncos first, since 1932 when we started as Boise Junior College," Boise State's director of trademark and licensing Rachel Bickerton said.

Denver Broncos history buff Bruce Hellerstein said his team's decisions came long after Boise State was up and running.

?"In 1962, a couple years after we were formed is when the Broncos adopted the orange and blue colors," he said.

The two organizations have co-existed for years -- and Bickerton says Boise State and the NFL are working to formalize the agreement.

While there might be two teams with similar mascots and colors, when it comes to Boise's team, Bickerton says:

"There's only one Boise State Broncos."

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