ESTES PARK, CO—Following their 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos held a championship parade Tuesday through an icy and treacherous stretch of the Rocky Mountains.
The parade, which commenced at Wynkoop Street in downtown Denver and is scheduled to culminate at the 14,440-foot-high summit of Mount Elbert, reportedly attempted to traverse a perilous route along jagged and snow-covered mountain terrain, facing blizzard-like conditions and temperatures that dropped as low as 40 degrees below freezing.
“Super Bowl champs, baby!” linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller screamed from an open-top bus at the head of the parade, his teeth chattering uncontrollably as he wiped frost rapidly accumulating around his nose and mouth. “Broncos nation!”
“We shocked the world!” Miller continued as he huddled with several teammates for warmth. “We’re number one!”
The rally officially began at noon, with a 15-vehicle motorcade of Broncos-themed parade floats, flatbed trucks, and convertible sports cars only stopping briefly to refill supplies at a base camp in the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range.
“I loved watching this team all season, and I never had any doubt that we would beat Carolina,” said 54-year-old Colorado Springs resident Nick Kirrane, one of an estimated 200,000 Broncos fans who attempted the dangerous climb to greet the Super Bowl 50 champions. “There’s no way I wasn’t going to be here today. I took the day off work, grabbed my climbing harness and ice ax, and started my 14-hour ascent so I could camp out and get a good view of the players.”
According to reports, players and coaches jubilantly waved Broncos towels and danced to music playing through speakers affixed to parade floats, though the songs became difficult to hear through 60-mile-per-hour winds, and occasional bursts of blue-and-orange confetti were virtually impossible to see due to poor visibility created by ground-level fog. Sources also confirmed that a large marching band and two dozen Broncos cheerleaders accompanied the motorcade on foot, delaying the progress of the parade significantly as they slowly trudged through roughly five feet of snow.
Members of the team—many of whom were accompanied by their severely frostbitten wives and small children—reportedly took turns triumphantly hoisting the Lombardi Trophy into the air, however several players were unable to maintain their grip after losing the feeling in their fingers.
“Every one of these guys worked his tail off all year, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of this football team,” said Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, who wrapped himself in numerous “Super Bowl 50 Champions” flags in an effort to keep his body temperature up and stave off the effects of hypothermia. “With the talent and the desire on this squad, there’s no reason we can’t win back-to-back championships. The goal—once we cross that nine-foot crevasse in the ice and safely get down the mountain—is to do it again next season.”
“Honestly, though, winning the Super Bowl still feels pretty surreal,” added Kubiak. “I don’t think it really sunk in for me until I held up the Lombardi Trophy at the top of Pikes Peak.”
As the parade continued, conditions on the ground were said to have worsened considerably, with temperatures plummeting and air growing thinner as the Broncos reached 13,000 feet of elevation.
At 3:36 p.m., sources confirmed that a large avalanche hit Mount Lincoln, cutting off the Broncos’ original parade route and leaving the Super Bowl 50 champions with no choice but to take an alternate path via a steep, narrow ridge along the mountainside. The situation was reported to have grown even more serious once offensive coordinator Rick Dennison realized that the team had depleted their supply of oxygen tanks.
“We have to reach the campsite before sundown, otherwise we won’t last through the night,” said Broncos quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, rocking back and forth in the fetal position as he violently shivered. “We have to keep moving. We only have three, maybe four more hours of daylight left. Please, God, see us through this.”
“How ’bout them Broncos!” added Manning, his eyes slowly rolling back in his head. “How ’bout them...Broncos….”
At press time, Broncos general manager John Elway sadly confirmed that the team was forced to leave the body of Aqib Talib in the mountains after the 29-year-old cornerback froze to death.