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EXCLUSIVE: An Interview With the Broncos Uni Twitter Thread Guy

This morning I wrote about the speculation swirling around the Broncos’ upcoming uniform redesign. A lot of that speculation is based on a Twitter thread from an exercise professional and massage therapist named Mario Vatenze (that’s him in the photo shown above), who works with a bunch of Denver players. As I wrote in this morning’s post, I had reached out to Vatenze via phone and email but hadn’t heard back from him.

Shortly after this morning’s post was published, Vatenze wrote back and said he’d be happy to talk with me. Here’s a transcript of the phone conversation we then had, edited for length and clarity:

Uni Watch: Can you describe your connection to the Broncos?

Mario Vatenze: I’m a body worker, and I have a handful of Broncos players who come in to my office. I travel to away games and stay at the team hotel so I can work on guys before the game, but I do that as an independent contractor, not a team employee.

UW: Aside from game day, are you ever at the stadium or at the team facilities?

MV: No, I’m completely independent. I own my own practice, I run my own business. I’m not affiliated with the Broncos whatsoever, just an independent contractor for some of the players. And then I have other connections in the media and stuff like that.

UW: Regarding the new uniforms, have you actually seen the things that you tweeted about, or have they just been described to you by a third party?

MV: They were they were described by two different third parties who had seen them. But admittedly, they said, “It was brief, I saw them quickly, I want to get a better look at it.” So everything that I put in that Twitter thread is basically how it was described to me, because I think only a very, very select group of people have seen them.

UW: When these descriptions were given to you?

MV: I think during the preseason.

UW: So, August?

MV: Yeah, August or September. There was a team of people, between players and members in the organization, who were like a committee that they had put together, because they wanted feedback from different avenues. I know there was a lot of attention to detail, like there’s going to be a “5280” somewhere on the pants, but it’s subtle. But the thing is, all of this was described to me. I didn’t see it myself.

UW: In your tweet, you said the “5280” would be part of the design, but you didn’t say where. But now you’re saying it’s on the pants?

MV: Yeah, on the pants.

UW: As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s this other person on a Broncos message board who gave a description of the new uniforms, much of which overlapped with what you had tweeted. He calls himself Brady2024 — do you know him, or know who he is?

MV: No, I don’t.

UW: He also said the “5280” would be on the pants, so that matches up. And he said the helmets would be white. Do you know anything about that?

MV: That was the one thing that I hadn’t heard, so I can’t confirm that. I’ve messaged a couple different people about that and I haven’t heard back yet.

UW: The other things that Brady2024 posted, do they sound right to you?

MV: It seems like it tracks pretty consistently with what I was told, but I think what I’m going to do is show that post to my sources and ask them how accurate it is. The thing that was emphasized to me is that there’s a lot of little details, and I think that’s why it was difficult for the sources to like, really give me an apt description, because some of these little details may be hard to describe or, you know, hard to remember.

UW: Who are these sources of yours?

MV: Yeah, you know, I can’t tell you that.

UW: But they presumably have a more inside connection to the Broncos than you do.

MV: Oh, yeah. I know for a fact that they’ve both seen the uniforms.

UW: Once you check in with them about Brady2024’s post, will you get back to me and tell me what they said?

MV: Sure — I’ll keep you in the loop. I literally just want people to have access to information that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.


And that’s where we left it. Obviously, none of this confirms or guarantees any of the info that Vetanze tweeted, but at least it provides a bit more context. If I hear more from him, or from anyone else with worthwhile information on the Broncos’ new uni set, I’ll share it here on Uni Watch.

Speaking of which: Brady2024, if you’re reading this, I’d love to hear from you. Anonymity assured, of course.

Comments (40)

    Wondering if what these folks have seen were early concepts rather than finished products.

    Based on the mockups from the previous post I’m excited for the new uniforms. My only tweak would be swapping the current logo for the throwback D much like the alternate snow capped helmets we introduced this season.

    They are white helmets. I don’t think I caught a game where they placed snow on top of the helmets.
    No need to encourage this nonsense by using their market speak.

    Off topic…this reminds me of when the bucs went to the red and pewter uniforms in the 90’s. My neighbor worked for what became Fanatics (on Linebaugh) and was one of the people who saw the early mock ups and variations. He was sworn to secrecy but after the new uniform reveal he said the other options were awful. I think at one point the bucs put the other helmets on display in the lobby at One Buc Place. IIRC they looked fine, nothing crazy.


    As much as I liked the Bucco Bruce era uniforms, I will say that Tampa Bay’s uniform reboot was a really good one. And, fans must think so too. After all, they did bring it back after the awful ones in the Jameis Winston years. I also like the Chargers “modern” version of their old uniforms. They are really great too. The Rams uniforms are growing on me (except the bone ones). I think the shade of blue looks really good on the field. Nike has done some decent redesigns. But, they have also done some pretty crappy ones also. IMO, the Seahawks are due for a new or retro design. Give the Patriots gray pants and I’m good with their current uniforms. Jets, ehhhhhhhh. Giants need to scrap the gray on the pants stripe. Just doesn’t feel like it belongs there.

    Ok, I’m done for now LOL

    “There was a team of people, between players and members in the organization…”
    This is interesting to me. Ultimately football is a product, and most certainly the uniforms are a product given the sales component of jerseys these days. So the committee that is providing feedback on this product does not include the customers, but rather employees.
    It also speaks a lot to why there is so much mono out there now, and especially designed mono. If the players have a significant seat at the table, they most certainly are pushing for the design to be mono from the start, since everything you read seems to indicate when teams like the Bills (who aren’t designed mono) wear mono during the game it is because the players are calling for those combos.

    I think he just meant the in-house committee. But they certainly did plenty of test-marketing, focus-grouping, etc. It’s not like they didn’t have any input from the fan base.

    And yet if the fans asked for a BFBS uniform, the UW faithful would no doubt say they weren’t “the right fans”. When players request black uniforms, or mono, or anything differing from the UW commenters’ perspective, it’s also deemed to be wrong.

    I’ve tried my best to not make this kind of comment since Paul and I had a chat about my behaviour on this site, but it’s really hard to refrain when these kinds of opinions continue to be expressed on a near daily basis.

    what’s wrong with giving an honest opinion?

    also, ten years from now fans will lose their minds when the current set comes back as a throwback

    It’s ok that you & others may like a lot of BFBS. It’s ok that others don’t. You happen to be on a site where the philosophy around it is that it’s (mostly) not aesthetically pleasing, so I’m not sure why that’d upset you in any way or you’d expect differently. Even here, there’s acknowledgement that some BFBS/GFGS do look good (for example I liked the Ohio State GFGS this year and I think Phil acknowledged it too) but tend to not like it when black/gray aren’t team colors. Just because this site has a majority opinion doesn’t make it or yours wrong, but that’s how it is and I don’t see that general philosophy toward the on-field aesthetics changing on UW.

    From how I see it, there are design principles behind the general viewpoints here, among them are color balance/contrast, kerning, use of space, etc. etc. Mono pants for instance are generally not loved here due to at least a couple of those well established design principles.

    “I liked the Ohio State GFGS this year and I think Phil acknowledged it too”

    Gray is a school color, so it’s not GFGS. I did like it as helmet, jersey and pants striping all perfectly matched.

    I love me some black unis..
    It has to be done well tho..the right Saints combo, maybe, with pant stripes

    As a Denver native and a Broncos fan, I am very anxious to see what a new uniform would look like – never was a fan of the faux Nike swoosh stripes jersey and pants.
    Removal of those elements would be addition by subtraction for me

    Paul, did you ask why he chose to leak this info? And why now (if he’s known this info since the preseason)? He seems very eager to get as much as he knows out there now and yet it seems like he sat on it all season. Not questioning the veracity or anything, I’m just curious. Thanks.

    He told me he initially posted the same info several months ago but nobody particularly noticed or cared, apparently because it wasn’t yet common knowledge that the team would definitely be getting new uniforms in 2024. Even when he posted that thread on Dec. 23, it didn’t gain too much traction. I only learned about it this week!

    I’m also curious if leaking will jeopardize his relationships with the players if he’s leaking things that (presumably) were told to him in confidence. Like I’m sure the Broncos remember the players who were part of the committee who saw the unis.

    He never said he got the info from a player. It’s entirely possible that he has other contacts with the team. As noted in a linked article from this morning’s post, his father worked with the Broncos for decades.

    Obviously, if he was worried about burning bridges, he wouldn’t be sharing any of this.

    Okay crazy questions of the day:
    what are the odds the Broncos leaked those on purpose when they’re not the final design? And isn’t it kind of like finding out the ending of a movie before we see it?

    As a Denver resident and massive Broncos fan: I’m very tired of the “5280” theme being plastered everywhere on my favorite teams’ jerseys. It’s not as clever as people think, and hell, half the fanbase lives at a higher elevation than that anyway

    I’ve worked in just about every college/pro sports venue along the front range and I agree that the whole “altitude warning” thing is pretty played out

    I get your point and kind of agree that it’s “been done” but at the same time, I’m in the middle of Ohio and live 945′ above sea level so for a team to play 5.5x higher than that is still kind of remarkable to me.

    The Nuggets REALLY went all in with “5280” this year – their alternate uniform is black with a huge 5280 on it, yeesh – i agree it’s become a bit tiresome at this point.

    They’re getting way too cute with over-designing some of these sets. Just get a good color scheme, a decent logo, and a recognizable striping pattern. You know, like a football uniform. With teams like this that are really struggling on the field, putting them in goofy costumes just seems to make them look even more ridiculous. That’s how I feel about the Bears in orange helmets.

    Reading the Twitter guy’s description on here sounds not-so-bad, but reading the Brady2024 guy’s description sounds like the new uniforms could be really awful. The “snowcapped” thing on the shoulders sounds particularly suspect, kind of like the Titans’ embarrassing “sword” motif.

    I’m really not a fan of the 5280 thing, and its going to be worse the more we continue to see it. I thought it looked really strange on the Nuggets, and if the Broncos are putting it vertically down the pant stripe (which is what I’m reading from these descriptions) that could be even worse. Like the area code thing, it’s meant to feel geographical, but it really doesn’t land.

    The idea of adding a light blue or grey accent color could work, but could just as easily backfire and become too cluttered, so we’ll just have to see how they go about it. Sometimes I feel that Denver’s navy is a little too dark.

    I think my opinion on the white helmets has softened. I really think of Denver as the “blue hat” team in that division these days (although sometimes that’s been the Chargers too), but the white hats might look fine.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how they abuse and make an embarrassment out of 5280.

    I’ve said it before whoever came up with that 5280 stripe design was definitely a mile high…
    (funny how many jokes we’ve made about this and we don’t know if it’s even real yet LOL)

    Whit/orange/white looks good, even with goofy mountains on the sleeves. I will get used to that. As long as those huge toe nail clippings on the sides and that collar are gone.

    Words/numbers don’t belong on pants. I hate when I see a team name or something (like what the Browns did a few years back). Stripes belong on pants – and full straight ones at that!

    Makes you wonder who looked at the Titans pants prototype and said “those would look sweet on the field” LOL

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