Denver Broncos

1960 Frank Tripucka
(Authentic Reproduction)



The simple but tasteful original 1960 Denver Bronco helmet design was unfairly judged because of its association with the remainder of the team's uniform which was far from elegant. The drab uniform ensemble featured a dull gold jersey, brown pants and comical vertically stripped socks. The cash strapped Broncos purchased the used uniforms from the Copper Bowl, a now extinct post season college game that was held in Tucson, Arizona. Unlike their shirts, pants and socks the team helmets were apparently acquired new from Riddell and its classic style would have been more appreciated if the rest of the uniform had not been so hideous.
In 1960 Frank Tripucka was the original Bronco quarterback and unlike his bargain priced teammates he had a national reputation prior to signing with the team. He was the star signal caller for Frank Leahy's national champion Notre Dame teams in the late 1940s. After a short stint in the NFL he and 14 other players jumped to the Canadian Football League in 1953. He was brought to the Broncos by their first coach Frank Filchock who had also migrated from the CFL. Although he was originally signed as a backup type player for the new team Tripucka soon wound up being a starter and one of the AFL's first outstanding performers. In its inaugural 1960 season he led the league in pass attempts, completions and yards passing all while surrounded with a weak offensive line. Fortunately he had the facility to improvise as he could actually be found diagramming plays on the ground with his fingers during the game. In 1960 Frank also led the league in interceptions. This negative statistic was primarily due to how many times he threw the ball. One thing is certain -- none of his interceptions were due to him throwing the ball down field to an opposing player by mistake because their uniforms looked similar to the Broncos!