The Man in the Can was the Broncos Biggest Fan
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve sat in front of a computer staring at my blog. It seems different now. Before when I was blogging I was running on adrenaline. Now, I don’t feel rushed anymore.
Our move to the mountains really taxed my ability to attend Rockies games, work full time, be a father and keep up a top ten MLBlog.
At the end of the Rockies/Phillies post-season game aka “The coldest post-season game in history” I was mentally done for a while as you could see in the lack of recent entries.
However, myself being a super fan in Colorado it would be impossible for me not to write an entry on the recently passed Bronco Superfan..the Barrel Man.
Without fans professional sports cease to exist.
Most might disagree but in my small mind I consider myself the Rockies unofficial mascot.
This man also was considered the Broncos unofficial mascot.
Although when you make the Hall of Fame that in my eyes sort of makes it official.
I’ve attended 1-2 Broncos home games for at least the last ten years. Almost every game I’m dressed in several layers and by the time I get home I’m ready for a hot bath.
Not the Barrel Man. Nobody except he and his wife knew what he wore underneath that barrel.
Everything on the outside of that orange cylinder was exposed to the brutal elements.
Simply amazing. The temperature of the “Coldest baseball post-season game in history” was a nut shriveling 27 degrees. That’s probably close to what the average temperature of a Broncos game in the winter time is.
Had I watched that Rockies game in dressed only in a barrel I would have been a popsicle.
I don’t know how the Barrel Man did it, but he did it…And he did it for a long time.
Here’s a little history on ‘The Man in the Can“.
“He wanted to see me on TV out in California,” McKernan said. “I had painted a barrel to make a drum out of it to look like an Orange Crush can, told him about it and he bet me 10 bucks that I didn’t have the guts to wear nothing but the barrel to a ball game.”
He retired from being the Barrel Man for thirty years after the 2007 Broncos season due to Doctor’s orders.
McKernan was the first Broncos fan inducted into the Visa Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Several years ago, McKernan sold the famous barrel he wore for Super Bowl XXXII for $30,000.
The Barrel Man had it autographed by 49 Broncos and he sold it to a Black Hawk, Colorado casino.
McKernan gave 10% of the profits to the Jubilee House in Gunnison, Colorado.
The Jubilee House is a domestic violence and sexual assault emergency shelter serving a large rural area in Colorado.
Ok Broncos, time to step up to the plate on this one. I have heard a lot of ideas for tribute to the Barrel Man and these are the ones that I liked. The Barrel Man should absolutely be in the Ring of Fame at Invesco Field at Mile High and a bronze statue of the Barrel Man should be erected somewhere in the South stands so the Barrel Man is is seen cheering on the Broncos for as long as the Broncos organization exists.
It’s not a lot to ask and as I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, without fans,… professional sports cease to exist.
The Barrel man may have been imatated but he’s never been duplicated.
That would be impossible because he was truly one of a kind
I trust the Broncos organization will do the right thing. I’ve never met the Barrel Man but I’ve been within a few feet of him at a Broncos game.
The guy was magnetic.
Krista and I will be at the next Broncos home game vs the Raiders on Dec 20th.
This will be the first Broncos home game since the Barrel Man has passed.
I really hope they have some kind of tribute for him. Fans like this one don’t come around often.
Got a Barrel Man Story? I’d love to hear it.
D…The Rockpile Ranter