Broncos fans tailgate for first time since losing friend to cancer

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Orange and blue through and through as soon as the gate is unlocked the morning of game day following an impromptu Broncos parade, the fans stake out their tailgating territory.

They bring flags, games, and the occasional shot ski.  

“You just start creating friendships through food and beverages,” said Ron Martinez.  

Some friendships are forever all thanks to football.  

“Take every day, you know, like it’s your last, and being here is so special and we’re very lucky and fortunate that we get to come out and do this,” said Kevin Hoag.  

This time tailgating for the home team is different for Hoag. His friend Luke Hardy won’t be joining them. Hardy was 44 when he passed away in May from colon cancer five weeks after getting the diagnosis.  

“We’d been tailgating together for upwards of 12 years, 13 years,” said Hoag. “So, there’s a lot of emotion kind of the first game back and he’s not gonna be at the tailgate and it’s just hard.” 

Kevin, Ron, and others will hold their favorite fan in their hearts.

“He may not be here physically. but he’s here,” said Hoag pointing to his heart.   

“Luke’s a marvelous human being. We miss him,” Martinez added. 

Broncos Country now has an angel watching over the Mile High. 

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