“She made me feel I was worthy of that gift.”


The Broncos can’t stop breaking Sicily’s heart. Which is funny, given how that heart now beats inside a 48-year-old man from Parker.

“(Broncos CEO) Greg Penner, he’s got a lot of decisions to make,” Tony Young told me last week. “And we’re all going to be watching him. I hope he knows how much more we (in Broncos Country) expect out of him than we expect out of (Rockies owner) Dick Monfort.”

From his Super Bowl 50 ball — signed by Von Miller, naturally — to his little Broncos drum kit, Tony’s an Orange & Blue lifer. Former Broncos defensive end Brison Manor, Young’s cousin, once had that great 1977 Orange Crush defense, the backbone of the franchise’s first AFC champs, autograph a team photo for Tony and his brother.

“It’s hard,” he offered with the kind of resigned, rueful laugh that’s become the soundtrack to a season. “I have to check my blood pressure pretty regularly. I’ve had to learn to de-stress in other ways.”

Which is why his favorite moment from this season, maybe the coolest Broncos story of this uncool autumn slog, is about the game he missed. About the time he watched arguably the high point in a season of lows — Denver’s 11-10 home victory over Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers, the eventual NFC West champions — with the woman who helped save his life.

“(That was the) best decision,” he said. “The Broncos won that game, but meeting my new Texas family was one of the most important things I will ever do.”


Tony rocks. No, really. He was a touring drummer for a while.

The man’s a walking Wikipedia on metal and death metal in particular. He attended six different Slayer concerts during the band’s farewell tour from spring 2018 through fall 2019.

“The final shows, in Los Angeles, were when I went into AFib (paroxysmal atrial fibrillation),” he recalled. “I left in an ambulance. And so Slayer is in my medical files.”

See, Tony was also born with a heart defect. He’s gone into cardiac arrest three times in the past 25 years. The first was at age 25. The most recent was when they were putting in the new heart — Sicily’s heart — on March 7, 2020.

Fortunately, the transplant took. Young received a new kidney two days later, just before the COVID-19 pandemic started to shut everything down.


Source link