The Denver Broncos legendary Orange Crush defense will have to wait at least another year to celebrate enshrinement as linebacker Randy Gradishar was left off the 2020 Centennial Class list for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Wednesday.
"Today was certainly disappointing but tomorrow will be here and it will be different tomorrow," Gradishar said.
These days don't get any easier for the Broncos Hall of Famer and member of the team's Ring of Honor.
"I've been through the modern day candidate process," Gradishar said. "I've been out of the game 30-something years, I was a final 15 finalist four different times."
The 10-year NFL veteran is one of 10 linebackers in NFL history to make seven Pro Bowls, intercept 20 passes and recover 13 fumbles The other nine players are all enshrined in Canton.
"There's always hope and I'm just very grateful in some respects that my name keeps coming up and that's a good start for me anyhow," Gradishar said.
Taking each setback in stride and heading back to work is what made No. 53 a tremendous fan favorite in Denver. Gradishar did just that today, heading in to Phil Long Automotive, where he serves as Corporate Communications Ambassador. The 67-year old also holds a similar position at the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service center in Colorado Springs.
"It's a good two-way street," Gradishar said.
Over the years, the Steel Curtain and Purple People Eaters have had their time to shine as two of the top defenses in the NFL.
"It would be nice to get some defense guys into the Broncos Hall of Fame," Gradishar said.
Those in Broncos Country believe it's time for the Orange Crush to have their golden moment too.
"Fans from all over the country, all over the world, remember that Orange Crush defense and to not have one single person represented by being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is utter nonsense," fellow Broncos Hall of Famer and 2020 nominee Steve Atwater said.
It should all start with the centerpiece of the unit: Randy Gradishar.
"If it does come, it will be great, if it doesn't come at some point and time I'll accept that too," Gradishar said. "But the reality of it is I think it will still happen."