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Thursday, August 28, 2008
Updated: August 29, 7:08 AM ET

All hail.


When Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for President tonight—exactly 45 years after Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech—it went down as the biggest moment in the history of Mile High Stadium (both of 'em), even topping my favorite five. - R.R.

1 (4) APRIL 9, 1993: THE ROCKIES DEBUT After dreaming of, thirsting for, and getting jilted by major league baseball for 40 years, it finally arrived to delirious fans in the form of the Colorado Rockies. And in the very first at bat in Rockies history, tiny shortstop Eric Young hit a 3-2 pitch over the left-center-field fence for a home run, ensuring he'd never have to buy a drink in Denver again.
2 (6) JANUARY 17, 1988: BYNER'S FUMBLE In the AFC Championship game, the Cleveland Browns and Earnest Byner, a running back built like a Wal-Mart, wore inexorably toward the Denver end zone. The 38-31 lead Elway had built with Popsicle sticks and Scotch tape looked doomed. But then, on a sweep left from the Denver 8, a tiny unheard-of nickel back named Jeremiah Castille snuck in and flicked the ball out of Byner's hand from below. Denver fell on it, the title was won and the citizens of Denver screamed the rest of oxygen right out of the air. I covered that game and couldn't find Castille afterwards. I finally talked to him at home. Turns out he didn't talk to the press. Nobody had even tried.
3 (7) OCTOBER 16, 1977: JIM TURNER SCORES AGAINST THE RAIDERS No list of great moments of Mile High is complete without some memory of the Broncos beating the heartless Raiders who'd pillaged the town for years. The best of these had to be this day, when the black-high-top-wearing kicker Jim Turner—the slowest man in the stadium, fans included—set up to kick a field goal. The holder took the snap, Turner faked the kick, the holder rolled out right, then suddenly spun and threw to the least likely person imaginable—Turner. He was so alone, he could've caught it, stopped to floss and still made it into the end zone. Greatest day in my 19-year-old life.
4 (9) AUGUST 12, 1993: POPE JOHN PAUL II VISITS Never thought I'd see it, but it happened: Pope John Paul II came to Mile High Stadium on World Youth Day, and over 90,000 people witnessed it.
5 (11) JANUARY 4, 1992: ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF ELWAY MAGIC People ask me sometimes to explain what it was like watching John Elway perform his Houdini comeback acts behind those shrimpy Denver Broncos offensive lines, Sunday after Sunday. I always tell them to look up this. It was a playoff game, Denver behind Houston 24-23, 2:07 left, no timeouts, Elway taking over the ball on his own two. In one of the greatest drives in pro football history, he made impossible throws, escaped inescapable traps, hit guys who didn't even realize they were open, possibly because they weren't. Get this: on that drive, he converted not one, but two fourth downs. The chip field goal gave Denver a 26-24 win.