Originally posted on Denver Post  |  Last updated 12/22/11

For months, we’ve been lamenting the potential travel hazards of flying home from Buffalo on Christmas Day after the Broncos Dec. 24 road game against the Bills.

Turns out, we should have been worried about getting to upstate New York.

Denver (and much of Colorado) is currently being walloped by a massive snowstorm that will ultimately dump at least eight inches of snow in the metro area — not ideal for holiday travel.

Or for football travel.

The Broncos have already moved today’s practice indoors, but not to their normal indoor practice facility. Instead of driving a couple of miles to the South Suburban Sports Dome, the Broncos will hold a short practice in the small indoor facility at Dove Valley.

The team is still scheduled to head to Denver International Airport by bus in early afternoon to catch their charter flight to Buffalo.

But here is the beauty, I suppose, in John Fox’s plan to always leave two days early for cross-country trips. Even if today’s storm disrupts some plans, the team will be in better shape than the 1997 team that nearly didn’t make it to upstate New York because of a Denver blizzard.

I looked in the Denver Post archives for more about that day (disclosure: I was a high school sophomore then, stranded in Pueblo with my high school cross country teammates when the state meet got postponed). That storm dumped 22 inches of snow on the metro area.

From the Oct. 26, 2007 Denver Post written by Adam Schefter called the adventure “Planes, Trains and Snowmobiles.”

Several players needed snowmobiles just to get out of their homes in the southwest suburbs, and the state patrol had to rescue other players who were stranded on the road, including kicker Jason Elam, who got stuck on I-25 south of town. Another player bailed from his car on Broncos Parkway and walked the rest of the way to Dove Valley.

It took team buses two hours to get to DIA, and after a delay on the ground for deicing, the charter flight took off just before 8 p.m. MDT Saturday. The team landed in Buffalo and arrived at the hotel around 1 a.m. EST Sunday. Kickoff was just 10 hours away.

The Broncos won that game, 23-20, in overtime.

“You’re out there trying to make yourself think that you’re not tired from the whole weekend,” said cornerback Tim McKyer that day. Then he shrugged. “But you are,” he added. McKyer was the player who walked the final quarter-mile to the facility in order to catch the plane.

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