As we all know, the Denver Broncos are slated to get a new uniform set in 2024. We don’t yet know how those uniforms will look, but a fair amount of intriguing, highly unverified info is currently circulating. Although my default mode is to remain skeptical about unverified info like this, at least some of the info is coming from a verifiable human being, so I’ve decided to go ahead and write about this topic, even though we don’t yet have any hard info.
Let’s start with this: On Dec. 23 — that’s two and a half weeks ago — a Twitter-er who goes by “Mile High Mario” posted a thread about the Broncos’ new uniforms. Mile High Mario’s Twitter handle is @VetanzeTherapy, and his real name is Mario Vetanze. According to his website, he’s a board-certified posture exercise professional and and a licensed massage therapist who’s worked with over 50 Broncos players. That claim appears to be confirmed by this 2021 Denver Gazette article and this 2021 TV news report. In other words, Vetanze is a real person with a real connection to the Broncos.
So what did Vetanze tweet on Dec. 23? The full thread is here, but I’m going to copy/paste the text so it’s easier to read without slogging through the various tweets (plus I’ve cleaned up a few typos and added some links):
Here’s what I know about the Broncos uniforms for next season:
- They will be updated, with the biggest change being the removal of the parentheses stripes on the sides of the uniforms.
- The tops will likely be solid so they can mix and match different tops and bottoms without worrying about a weird mismatched-stripe situation like they did with the white tops and blue pants in 2022.
- There will also be an emphasis on “5280” and the mountains to some extent.
- I believe they are also altering the font of the jerseys and the stripe on the helmet.
- They will also be bringing back the throwbacks that the team wore from 1968-1996. The committee actually got to decide which throwbacks to bring back, and believe it or not, the brown and yellows were on the table. Thankfully, nobody wanted them, LOL.
Naturally, some of Vetanze’s Twitter followers posted follow-up questions, some of which he responded to. Here are those exchanges:
I have a lot of questions about all of this, so I reached out to Vetanze via the email address and phone number listed on his website. No response, at least so far.
So for now, we just have Vetanze’s tweets. Judging by the way he phrased things, it sounds to me like he’s had the new uniforms described to him but hasn’t actually seen them. (That’s one of the things I wanted to ask him.)
Okay, so that’s all intriguing, right? And since we know Vetanze is a real person with real ties to the team, he presumably isn’t just blowing smoke. That doesn’t automatically mean his info is accurate (he seemed to hedge a bit on some of the claims himself), but I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he’s not a hoaxer or a bullshit artist.
We can’t necessarily say the same thing about the other person who’s recently been generating chatter about Denver’s new uniforms. That person is a pseudonymous participant on a message board hosted by the Broncos’ website. On Jan. 4, this participant, who goes by Brady2024, posted the following (again, I’ve cleaned up a few typos):
For those who care about these things, the Broncos are getting new uniforms this year that will be unveiled around draft time. Whether you love them or hate them, the parentheses stripes are gone. Here’s what I know.
The colors are not changing — we remain orange, white, and navy. There is a new color being introduced but it is used sparingly as a trim element. It’s a light grayish blue, it makes things look frozen. A big theme of these new uniforms is mountain peaks and ice.
The Broncos will be moving to white helmets permanently. The helmet logo remains the horse head but it has a shiny finish to stand out from the white shell. The helmet stripe is a classic tri-stripe of navy-orange-navy. The facemask will be interchangeable based on uniform combos.
There are three new tops and one throwback. The new tops are orange, navy, and white. All tops have white shoulders. On the orange top there are blue mountains with the white acting as a snow cap, and have white numbers with topography lines of the Rocky Mountains on the inside of them. The navy uniforms are just navy and white with very little orange. The white uniforms are white and orange with very little navy and the only new top that doesn’t have blue mountains on the sleeve but instead has white ones with the new color marking their outline.
The throwbacks are of the ’80s variety with the classic “D” and the off-blue helmets to match.
The Broncos have three pants options with the white, navy, and orange tops, and they are white, navy, and orange. They feature no stripes but have “5280” stacked down the leg in the same color as the pants, so it’s subtle.
Just wanted to pass that along for the people who care about such things.
Two days later, in that same discussion forum thread, Brady2024 said:
Royal blue was on the table [as the primary helmet color] and tested very poorly. People saw it as too collegiate, evoking Florida or Boise State, and a fair amount even saying it looked too much like the Giants.
Still later in the thread, on Jan. 8 (that’s two days ago), Brady2024 said: “Someone reached out to me and made a pretty close mock-up. It’s not 1:1, but it gives you an idea.” He then linked to this concept image:
Naturally, that led to more fleshed-out versions:
So: Brady2024’s info is much more detailed than Vetanze’s, but we don’t know who Brady2024 is, so there’s no accountability. And while it’s true that a lot of Brady2024’s info seems to confirm what Vetanze tweeted, it’s also true that Brady2024 could simply be yanking everyone’s chain by creating a fictitious post based on the info in Vetanze’s tweets.
Anyway: If this is what the Broncos really have in store — and that’s still a big if — it sounds very much like the NFL’s first City Connect uniform. Which I guess isn’t so surprising, but it’s certainly not a good sign of where NFL uniform design may be heading.
Update: A few hours after this post was published, I heard from Mario Vetanze, who agreed to talk with me. You can check out my exclusive interview with him here.