As a kid I remember going to Denver Broncos Training Camp a few times when the team was still using the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley as their home for camp. But a number of years back, the team moved camp to their headquarters in Denver at Dove Valley. Since then it really wasn't a thought to go all the way to Denver to watch practice (we talkin' bout practice after all). But, our new 36 year old quarterback will make a lot of people (including me) do a lot of things they wouldn't normally do. Yes, I drove almost two hours to watch practice, and yes it was wonderful!

Training Camp is essentially about getting the players ready for the season. Figuring out what players will make the team, learning plays, and getting into shape, but the Broncos also make sure that it is a pleasurable experience for the fans. Making it one of the neatest FREE things I have done in awhile.

Sure, the drive to Dove Valley is a long one. From Windsor with no traffic, it took us just under two hours to get to Bronco headquarters, which is just south of Peoria and Arapahoe (way south) in Englewood, but well worth the trip. Parking is free, the walk inside is short, need a drink? A water is only $1 and all goes to charity, forget to bring stuff to get autographed? Don't worry there are stores to get anything Bronco related all over the place. Then to make things even better, they don't put you miles away from the team, you basically sit right on the practice field if you would like. Watch the two hour practice from about ten feet away and then when its all over the team selects one position of players to sign autographs.

Things I learned at Training Camp:

~Physically Peyton Manning may be in the worst shape on the team. Our $120 million superstar standing next to 22 year old wide receivers who are in immaculate shape looked like a 45 year old, beer bellied, fried chicken eating, fantasy football expert. But is was Peyton freaking Manning like 10 feet in front of me!

~Starting running back Willis McGahee doesn't shut up. It seems like #23 was right in front of us the whole afternoon, and I am pretty sure the mouth never stopped moving. Trash talking teammates, singing, yelling, and clearly having fun, McGahee was the most colorful guy we saw!

~Coach John Fox is respected. During the teams stretching session, coach Fox went around to just about all of the 90 players and had a word with all of them. They all responded very well, and you could feel a mutual respect the players had with John and vice versa.

The team has chemistry. Everyday when I turn on Sportscenter it seems like there is a team fighting each other at training camp (usually the Jets). There was no tension like that at all at Broncos camp. It seemed like all of the guys were best friends. Chemistry makes champions. This team could be special!

Unfortunately I went to camp late, so I gave you no warning to get down to Dove Valley and check it out. Today (8/16/2012) is the last day of camp open to the public, but start making plans now to take a day to go next year. Watching practice IS worth your time, and if you are a football fan, you will enjoy it! Well done Broncos, and thanks for having us!