COLORADO SPRINGS — While the Hall of Fame Game will have little impact on the 2019 NFL season, Broncos fans were still happy to see the return of football.
Beyond that, the game marks a special weekend in the NFL: when the league's best are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
This year, the Broncos are well-represented in defensive back Champ Bailey and the late owner Pat Bowlen, and fans are happy to see them get the call.
Bailey played an instrumental role in the team's success over the 2000s. His 100-yard interception return during the 2006 playoffs is the longest, non-scoring play in NFL history.
Paula Cole-Zrust said Bailey is one of her favorite players.
"Well first off, he's really cute," Cole-Zrust said. "You know, he was an awesome corner, an awesome defensive player for us."
Bowlen is highly regarded as one of the league's best owners, and he's still a popular figure at sports bars around Colorado Springs.
Carole Troynacki considers herself a diehard fan.
"I'm especially happy for Pat Bowlen, because I think it's so long overdue," Troynacki said.
Both Cole-Zrust and Troynacki said their favorite memory of Bowlen will be him hoisting the Super Bowl XXXI trophy and yelling, "This is for John!"
Bowlen and Bailey will be inducted at a ceremony on Saturday.