Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper hold a joint proclamation making the day Pat Bowlen day as Bowlen’s wife, Annabel" border="0"/>
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper hold a joint proclamation making the day Pat Bowlen day as Bowlen's wife, Annabel Bowlen, looks on during the Denver Broncos Super Bowl championship celebration and parade in downtown Denver. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
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For a self-proclaimed "big, big fan" of the Denver Broncos since childhood, Mayor Michael Hancock, wearing his No. 1 jersey, didn't have to play up his excitement on stage at Tuesday's Super Bowl victory rally.

"How sweet it is! The Lombardi trophy is back in the Mile High City," he said to cheers.

The mayor, who served as the team's mascot Huddles during its 1986 season Super Bowl run — the Broncos lost — frequently took on a cheerleading role at the event.

"Broncos Country, make some noise!" he exhorted to hundreds of thousands in Civic Center at the start of his remarks. He fired up the crowd again at the rally's end.

For some fans — perhaps frustrated by heavy traffic or at-capacity light rail trains on the way downtown — agitation grew as the mayor and Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke nearly 10 minutes combined in the 35-minute rally, prolonging the wait to hear from their team.

Together, Hancock and Hickenlooper thanked Pat Bowlen, the Broncos' ailing owner, and his wife Annabel, who was present.

They presented what they said was a first — a joint city/state proclamation declaring Tuesday Pat Bowlen Day.


Before that, Hancock thanked fans for being so passionate. He took time to salute the public employees who put on the parade and rally. He thanked the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He thanked the Downtown Denver Partnership. He thanked Visit Denver and the event sponsors.

And, of course, he thanked head coach Gary Kubiak, quarterback Peyton Manning and backup Brock Osweiler, MVP Von Miller and "the greatest defense ever seen."

Meanwhile, Hickenlooper recalled a story about Pat Bowlen and noted that his own recent honeymoon lasted a single night, lest he miss the Broncos' playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Guys — Thanks and everything ... but sometimes??? You need to (shut up)," Brooke Cale wrote on Twitter, using harsher language. "This may be your town, but it ain't your show."

The officials' role prompted similarcomplaints from other Twitter users — maybe an inevitable outcome when politicians join a non-political celebration.

The wordy duo also rankled Colfax, a radio DJ for The Fox, Denver's 103.5 FM, but a follow-up tweet gave the mayor some due: "I didn't know @MayorHancock could rock a crowd like that!"

The efficient 1.3-mile parade and rally, which Hancock's office said drew more than 1 million people downtown, generally won positive reviews, and Denver police reported just one arrest, for making a threat.

The events were coordinated by city officials and the Broncos, with help from nonprofit partners. A Broncos consultant has said the team is contributing about $150,000, with a similar amount raised from donors and sponsors, while the city says its costs have not been tallied yet.

Jon Murray: 303-954-1405, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @JonMurray

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.