With Josh Allen Coming To Town, Broncos-Wyoming Fans Face Tough Dilemma

Written By Ian St. Clair on 12/17/2020 - Last Updated on January 8, 2021

When it comes to Wyoming, Josh Allen is up there with Johnny Cash.

In the words of Step Brothers, with a slight alteration to make it more Wyoming-like, the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills is a combination of the outlaw country music star and Jesus.

So it’s no wonder, despite the fact the Denver Broncos play about 90 minutes south of Laramie, Allen is the focus.

The University of Wyoming has a lot of fans in Colorado. On a typical Saturday morning, if you head north on Interstate 25 or Highway 287, you will undoubtedly see a parade of vehicles making the trek north.

Josh Allen impact on Colorado sports betting

The Colorado sports betting numbers bear that out.

According to insight courtesy of FanDuel:

  • The Bills were the biggest event last Sunday in Colorado. However, Buffalo was not in the top 5 of events on Dec. 13. (FanDuel did stipulate Allen and the Bills playing on Sunday Night Football was a big part of that.)
  • Josh Allen has the sportsbook’s highest bet count in MVP voting. In Colorado specifically, Allen has the fourth-highest bet count.

Look no further than Cody Tucker, the founder, editor, and writer at 7220sports. The name of the site is in reference to the altitude of the Gem City, where the university plays its games.

Tucker loves two things more than just about anything else: Wyoming and football.

So, you can imagine how he feels about University of Wyoming football.

To say he’s a fan is an understatement.

He loves the Cowboys.

He loves the Cowgirls.

To sum it up, Tucker loves the brown and gold.

In fact, Tucker is probably one of the few Denver fans who wouldn’t mind the franchise’s original (and hideous) brown and gold vertical-striped socks of the early 1960s.

As you can imagine, fans of both the Broncos and Wyoming are in bit of a dilemma this weekend.

Allen and the Bills march into Denver as one of the NFL betting favorites to win the Super Bowl, while the Broncos are on the verge of their fourth straight losing season.

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Josh Allen’s success brings sense of pride to Pokes fans

So when it comes to Allen, Tucker is like a proud parent.

As Tucker told PlayColorado:

“I can tell you this, you don’t have to look too hard to find Bills’ No. 17 jerseys all over town these days. I can’t lie, I even have one. With the Broncos having no success, coupled with the fact Denver didn’t take Josh in the NFL draft, which really didn’t sit well with a lot of folks, I think it’s safe to say a lot of Wyoming fans have swapped the orange and blue for the Bills Mafia. It’s wild, but I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to say that. I am a die-hard Broncos fan, but I have to admit, I’ve watched a lot of Buffalo games these last few years.

“I think just the visibility of having a former UW guy playing arguably the most important position in sports — and having a ton of success — just fills everyone with pride. That is huge for people in this state and the program itself.”

“Surreal” experience

When you add in the fact Allen has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, that sense of pride has blasted through the ozone.

According to Tucker:

“It’s surreal … it was already amazing that a UW quarterback was drafted early and selected to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL. The fact he is not only that, but one of the top signal callers in the league, is just icing on the cake. Imagine if he brings a title to Western New York? I don’t want to get ahead of myself. The naysayers pissed a lot of people off around these parts during the draft process.

“They said Josh couldn’t throw an accurate ball. They said he was from a small school and didn’t do enough in college. Heck, someone even suggested he was an NFL tight end. All Josh has done since high school is prove people wrong. So, it’s amazing to see that continue. I think people are also proud of the way he has led that Buffalo team. His fellow players love him. He has also remained humble like he was in Laramie. What he has done for the children’s hospital in Buffalo is really special.”

UW recruiting sees positive impact

The success of Allen in the NFL isn’t just helping the pride quotient for Pokes fans or the Cowboy State.

It’s also having a positive effect on the recruiting efforts for head coach Craig Bohl and the program.

As for the 2020 season, Wyoming was 2-4 in the Mountain West Conference. That’s fairly close to what the oddsmakers predicted before the season started.

As Tucker said:

“These current quarterbacks, Sean Chambers and Levi Williams, aren’t shy about telling you Josh being here had an impact on their decision. You can also throw Carson Wentz in the mix. This Wyoming staff has two quarterbacks in the NFL right now. There’s only 32 of those jobs in the world. And, honestly, if Craig Bohl and company aren’t pitching that fact, it would be insane. I’m going to go out on a limb here — they are. Very much so.”

Broncos-Wyoming fans torn over Saturday

As for this Saturday at Mile High Stadium, how torn is Tucker?

For those betting on the Broncos and this game, Allen and the Bills are a touchdown favorite.

“Well, the Broncos did play in Orchard Park last year, so kind of got those feelings out of the way. I guess my thoughts are: ‘I hope Josh throws for 400 yards and five scores and the Broncos find a way to win.’ But, if they don’t, that gets Buffalo that much closer to home-field advantage in the playoffs. Imagine if the Bills make it to Tampa. Think about that — the last time the Bills played in the Super Bowl in that city, Scott Norwood misses the game-winner. If Josh can get them there and win it, he will have a statue. An all-time great. A hero in that city forever.

“Plus, Buffalo and Wyoming, I think, have a lot of similarities. Both places are filled with tough, hearty, working-class people who love and take so much pride in what is theirs. Yes, that includes the weather! Josh fits perfectly there. If he wasn’t going to be a Bronco, I think most would agree, he’s right where he needs to be.”

Photo by AP / Jeffrey T. Barnes
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Ian St. Clair

Ian St. Clair is an award-winning sports journalist. He is a University of Northern Colorado graduate, Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. Ian does a weekly Broncos segment each Saturday on Klahr and Kompany on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM.

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