January 28, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

How we watch Broncos football at CBS News Colorado

Ah! Broncos season starts in a week and it means the return of all the traditional football watching traditions. The CBS News Colorado team is packed with Broncos fans so we asked them to share some of their favorite ways to cheer on the hometown team.

Denver Broncos fans watch Super Bowl 50
Denver Broncos fans watch Super Bowl 50 at Brothers on Feb. 7, 2016.

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images



Michelle Zelinger was born in a sports family where dad always had news or football on the TV. He got season tickets in 1960. “Our family has retained ownership and our tradition is to share and rotate tickets between family and friends. Fun to support Colorado sports!!!”

Creative Services Producer Michael Vialpando-Nunez shares a great story about his Broncos experience, “Growing up in the Sun Valley Projects, the roar of the crowd would rattle the walls of my childhood home. But going to a game seemed so out of reach, it would easier to get tickets to the moon. Getting season tickets has always been a childhood dream of mine.
So around 10 years ago, I dropped $200 to get on the waiting list for Denver Bronco United Club Level tickets. And in the summer of 2020 my number came up! When that email came in my whole body shook with excitement. Then disappointment when I realized there might not be any games because we were in the middle of a pandemic. A year later, football was back! And as I sit in ‘my’ seats thinking about how far I’ve come… I’d say the best way to watch a Bronco game is when you’re a part of the ROAR!”

But not everyone can make it to the stadium and, of course, there are plenty of away games.

Investigative Reporter Brian Maass is reflecting on how his Sundays will change with his oldest son heading away to college this fall. “Favorite way to watch the Broncos has always been as a family, at home, on the couch. With two teenage boys who are of course sports and football fanatics, watching together is a long- standing tradition. The game(s) is typically interrupted by going out in the street at half-time and all of us tossing around a football. There is always a lot of good-natured trash talking surrounding the Broncos, and our fantasy teams. It’s all a bit wistful as our oldest just left for college. He said one of the things he would miss most is our Sundays at home, watching the Broncos with his family. This fall will be different…”

It’s also a family affair for Creative Services Producer Brett Heinzerling, “For me, the best way to watch a Broncos game is on the floor in front of the couch next to my son with my daughter climbing into and out of my lap over and over. Maybe not the most COMFORTABLE way to watch, but definitely the BEST way. Oh, and we all have to be wearing our orange and blue, obviously.”

Another Investigative Reporter Kati Weis admits she’s new-ish to Colorado and is a bit partial to the Buffalo Bills and the New Orleans Saints “but we are really starting to love our Broncos too! Every year, we have watched the Broncos games at different sports bars around town, we love soaking up the energy from others around us. That said, we are in the market for more great places to try, and I would love to hear some recommendations from those that are really in the know! Please hit me up on social media if you have a good suggestion!”

Website producer Jesse Sarles offers up his truth, “I’m sure I’m in the minority on this, but I would say it’s listening to a game on the radio while catching up on work in the garage.”

Turns out he’s not alone. “I usually listen on the radio while driving my Jeep or watch it on TV in the garage,” shared Photojournalist Mark Nietro.

Engineer Chris Jones takes advantage of all of us watching the game. “When the Broncos are playing I find it makes conditions much less crowded for some of my hobbies. A Sunday afternoon Broncos game is the perfect time to enjoy an un-hurried and crowd free round of disc golf or some peaceful icefishing.”

Since CBS carries the Broncos and our sports team covers them, that means plenty of “watching” is actually “working.”

Follow along for the machinations from Director-Broadcast Operations & Engineering John Baich:
“When it airs on a proper TV station, KCNC I am watching from the home office:

 TV on wall left = stream of Paramount + (distributed by SyncBak)
 Desk left = multi-viewer with the network, backups, and returns from OTA, Comcast, Dish and DirecTV.
 Desk center = listening to intercom traffic with Atlanta and Karl Gilbert and the rest of the KCNC gang. iTX Automation up on the Center computer screen making sure our spots are ready, the program log on my tablet, and monitoring my iPhone for viewer or BO&E emails.
 Desk right Hulu stream of our air (distributed by LTN)

I typically have no idea what down we are on, what the score is, or who is playing. The dogs are generally on stretched out on the king bed behind me providing canine support the best they can…unless I am snacking, then they are begging.”

(Author’s note: no we don’t understand all of that either.)

Engineer Karyn Diesburg shares her view: “I have worked Sundays since the beginning of my 35 year career! Whether it be in Master Control from KTWO-TV or Master Control, NGO or TOC at KCNC-TV, it’s been from a control room with multiple monitors and incoming feeds as well as what is being fed out. At this point, I wouldn’t be able to watch from just 1 TV monitor (yawn).”

And Karyn’s view of the game impacts the rest of the building. CBS News Colorado Digital Producer Dago Cordova shares his insights, “Anyone who has worked weekends knows how the Broncos are doing based off Karyn’s reactions in TOC, LOL. The gameday experience at work softens the blow of working on a Sunday. We bring in snacks, wear our football gear and hope for a Broncos win as we work to get everything ready for postgame coverage.”

Dago does add his favorite way is to actually go Mile High. “In the stadium, everyone cheers and cheers loud for a Broncos win. Everyone is just happy leaving the stadium after a W and that atmosphere is a great experience that I highly recommend for any Coloradan that’s able to go to a game.”

Plus a note from the man in charge of the sports department, Eric Christensen: “Ever since 2004 I have watched almost every Broncos game here at work. It’s kind of become a professional tradition. My day starts at 9 a.m. with producing our Ford Countdown to Kickoff show. Then I watch and log the game and prepare to produce our live lockerroom coverage in our 5 p.m. newscast. I’d love to say I can sit back on my couch and enjoy a Sunday afternoon Broncos football game but the stress and pressure of putting TV on air on Sunday makes it hard for me to enjoy. I always tell myself, it’s the life I chose.”

Our Sports Photojournalists, Brian Madden and Dave Wille, point out they have best view of all of us, right from the sidelines.

But Sports Editor Kevin Harper knows the importance of eating the right meal before the game begins. “I will be doing a brunch on the grill Cheesy hash browns with a Buffalo sauce, spicy sausage patties, and eggs to order. GO BRONCOS!!!!!”

And then there are those of us (myself included) convinced watching the Broncos only brings bad luck to the team.

Editor Kevin Strong is one of those superstitious ones: “If I watch the Broncos, they lose. Therefore in the spirit of (hopefully) seeing them actually have a winning season, I watch the highlights after the fact. Once they’ve been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (week 8), I feel better about catching a game every now and then. Other teams, no problem. I’m not invested in the outcome. ” Kevin does admit he can leave the game on the background while chores and will watch if he’s working. 

Source: Rocky Mountain News