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A Little Love For Frank Tripucka | Manning

Peyton Manning has gone from being a Colt to being a Bronco and Tim Tebow might not be the only Denver Broncos QB to be replaced when Peyton Manning heads to town. The last and only man to wear number 18 for the Broncos was one Frank Tripucka, whose number has since been retired by the organization. As reported by the Washington Post, Mr. Tripucka has been gracious in his willingness to surrender the number 18 to Peyton Manning.

“He should have it, let’s give it to him” Tripuka said.

Its been a Peyton Manning media field day for the last couple months but its been a veritable Peyton Manning love fest for approximately 14 years, and not without cause. In the modern era of video game stats, protected quarterbacks and unmolested wide receivers, Peyton Manning has pretty much set the standard for off the charts numbers. He’s also managed to maintain his image as an all around good guy in an era when professional sports has far too few good guys.

Having said all that, let’s give a little respect to his predecessor. Francis Tripucka arrived in Denver in 1960 after spending several years in the Canadian Football League, and became a pioneer in the aerial offense that helped establish the identity of the AFL. In fact, Tripucka threw the first touchdown in AFL history and was the first quarterback to break the 3,000 yard mark in a season. And this wasn’t in the days of two hand touch rules for quarterbacks. Though he played only four years for the Broncos, he made such an impact on the team that his number was retired and his name placed in the ring of honor.

The Broncos will surely be happy if their most recently acquired quarterback can find a way to give them four good years as well.

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