DENVER, Colorado. Most Broncos fans are probably aware on some level that our team encourages players to be Champions in the Community. Commitment to volunteering and community outreach is a fundamental cornerstone to the Broncos’ winning culture on and off the field, and was established by owner Pat Bowlen when he assumed ownership of the Broncos. Near and dear to Bowlen’s heart has always been the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, and over the years, the Broncos have provided tremendous financial and direct volunteer service to the children of Denver.
In fact, the Broncos remain the only professional sports team with its own Boys and Girls club, which reflects how deeply Mr. B has invested in Colorado youth. Some of the kids from the metro club even helped announce the Broncos’ sixth round draft pick last week–it is a deep and special bond between organizations.
— Broncos Off Field (@BroncosOffField) May 4, 2017
What is terrific is that Emmanuel Sanders has created a new foundation which will continue to strengthen and support the Boys and Girls Club :
My foundation is based around the Boys and Girls Club. This is the reason why I invented my foundation. I grew up in the Boys and Girls Club, from going there every day after school to being involved. It put me in sports and extracurricular activities. When [Senior Manager of Community Development] Liz [Mannis] came to me with the idea, I thought it was an awesome idea. I’m in the process of starting my foundation. I have my first event coming up in May, so what a great start? The Broncos are the only team in the NFL that has a Boys and Girls Club, so I’m just honored to be a part of this one.
While announcing his new foundation, Sanders took time to reflect on how many wonderful memories he had growing up in the Boys and Girls Club:
I remember summer. Summer time, everyone was out of school, but everybody was still in the community and still at that Boys and Girls Club playing basketball. There was football, flag football, arts and crafts—just enjoying the summer with no rules or restrictions of staying in the classroom for an entire hour waiting on the bell to ring. We had a summer basketball league, a Boys and Girls Club basketball league. We traveled all over Texas trying to compete. Those are my fondest memories.
Sanders’ decided to support Boys and Girls Clubs, not only because of his childhood experiences and the strong Broncos’ ties, but also because it was a natural fit with his passion for interacting with kids:
Of course. I’m a big kid. When talking to kids, some kids are born into certain situations. Some kids are going through something and some kids just want to have fun with Play 60 and some kids just want answers to questions on certain topics. That’s what I’m here for today. I’m here to help, no matter how I can help. I’m excited to go in here and meet the kids, eat pizza, and take them to a movie.
While obviously there to promote his charitable endeavors, Sanders did take the time to enthusiastically discuss the addition of RB Jamaal Charles to the Broncos’ offense:
That was awesome. Obviously, you don’t want to throw too much excitement because you know obviously you have [RB] C.J. Anderson there, and he is a close friend of mine. I’ll tell you what, in this day and age, you need a one-two-punch. I tell you what, with him and C.J. Anderson in the backfield, we could make that work. Me, [WR] Demaryius [Thomas] and all the play makers that we have, offensively, I feel like we’re going to be a lot better this year. That’s what it’s about, and [Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John] Elway has been doing a great job. Kudos to the entire Broncos staff for the draft class that they brought in. That was awesome. A lot of those guys, I sit back and I had them on my draft board of guys we should draft. It was just amazing to see that.
Sanders believes that Charles is a perfect ingredient to turn up the heat on the clearly revamping Broncos’ O:
Competition. I remember three years ago, a coach always used to say, ‘Keep the room hot, keep the room hot.’ I used to watch him and he used to say that to the media all the time. ‘Keep the room hot.’ I finally walked up to him and I asked, ‘What do you mean by keep the room hot?’ He said, ‘The more and the better the athletes are, the hotter the room is. The less comfortable guys are in terms of getting comfortable because there are no other guys in the room that can compete with him.’ But when you put competition in the room with him, it brings out the best out of everybody. Only the strong survive. It’s the National Football League. Everybody wants to be in the NFL or be a professional athlete. A lot of guys don’t make it. You have to keep that room hot, and I think that’s what they’re doing.
It cannot be overstated how valuable these off-field contributions impact our community, and particularly the children and families served at the Broncos’ Boys and Girls club. Congratulations to Emmanuel Sanders for taking the lead this year in showcasing and supporting one of Pat Bowlen’s favorite causes. Pat Bowlen will always be remembered for his fiercely competitive love of our team, as well as his passionate commitment to winning in life by using his beloved Broncos as a catalyst for good in our community.