BRONCOS

Frank Clark reveals the hard truth about the Broncos-Chiefs “rivalry”

Jul 29, 2023, 1:19 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — No one on the Denver Broncos roster knows what it’s like to beat the Kansas City Chiefs while wearing orange and blue.

For a while, only kicker Brandon McManus did — and the team released him in May. The Broncos’ 15-game losing streak to the Chiefs is an anvil around their collective neck. And while last season’s games were competitive, many have not been.

Frank Clark has seen plenty of wins in the series. But that’s because he spent the last four seasons with the Chiefs.

And from his experience …

“I wouldn’t call it a rivalry. In a rivalry, it’s competitive,” Clark said.

He expounded.

“I’ve been on the other side, and we didn’t call it a rivalry then. I’m with the Broncos now. Until we become competitive enough –”

Clark then changed his train of thought.

“We have to beat the team,” he continued. “We have to win our division. We have to do a few things, not just about the Chiefs. It’s things we have to do here. We gotta get our own ball together here in order for us to go out there and compete, for us to become one of those factions.”

It’s the kind of truth that eluded former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett — at least when it came to public pronouncements. While Broncos Country’s frustration mushroomed with every successive setback to the Chiefs, Hackett — who spent his high-school years in the Kansas City area while his father, Paul, served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator — didn’t look at the Chiefs with any enmity.

Although Hackett did say it was a “rivalry.”

All Clark did Saturday was tell the truth. Yes, the Broncos and Chiefs have a history. But a series in which one team loses 15 successive games — at least for a little while — becomes something else.

“A football game between two teams,” Clark said.

Oof. But it is the cold, honest reality of where things stand between two teams whose duels go back to the Eisenhower administration.

***

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