Frank Tripucka, the man who quarterback the Denver Broncos in their inaugural season dies at the age of 85. When Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos, Tripucka wanted his number 18 UN-retired so Manning could wear it.

Tripucka died of congestive heart failure at his home in Woodland Park, N.J. He also was suffering with  Alzheimer’s disease. The Broncos released a statement today saying that Tripucka will always be remembered as one of the first great drop back quarterbacks.

The team then went on to say; “Frank will always hold a very special place in Broncos history for what he meant to this organization and community.”

Tripucka played his college football at Notre Dame. he then went on to play for several teams in the NFL.  he played for the  Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and Dallas Texans. her was originally brought into Denver to be a coach before the 1960 season.

It didn’t take the Broncos organization long to figure out Tripucka was their best option for a quarterback. According to the story on Fox Sports, Tripucka threw for 3,038 yards and 24 touchdowns that season. He also tossed the first touchdown pass in American Football League history.

Tripucka’s number was one of only 3 broncos numbers retired. he didn’t hesitate at all to give permission for Peyton manning to wear the number 18 when he came to the Broncos in 2012.

Tripucka said: “If Peyton wants the number, they should give it to him. They definitely should.” The rest is history in the making.



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