Julie Royse first noticed the crooked Broncos bumper sticker as she walked to get her mail last summer.
Day after day, the same black Jeep Wrangler was parked near her condo’s mailbox. There was a Peyton Manning “18” sticker on a corner of the rear window. Under that was the Broncos logo — tilted so that the horse head was gazing toward the sky.
“I passed it like every single day, and it just got under my skin more and more,” Royse said. “It was 90 degrees off.”
How could a Broncos fan place the team’s logo so poorly, Royse wondered? She groused to her friends about it, and they told her they’d noticed misplaced Broncos logos all over Denver.
So last August, Royse and her sister Sarah devoted themselves to highlighting the surprisingly large number of Broncos logos that are tilted the wrong way. Their Instagram account is called BroncTards. Its bio reads: “Shaming poor logo placement since ’16.”
The black Jeep Wrangler is the first post featured on the account. There have been 138 posts since. BroncTards primarily features pictures of off-center Broncos bumper stickers, but there also are T-shirts and hats sprinkled in.
“It really puzzles me,” Royse said. “If you’re such a big fan that you want to put it on your vehicle to show the world, just look at the helmet the Broncos wear, or the Broncos emblem that appears next to the score every Sunday when they’re playing. It’s placed with the point of the logo facing straight down.”
The majority of the logos on BroncTards depict the Bronco head turned too far counterclockwise.
“The ghost horse should be looking straight ahead like it’s ready to charge,” wrote Rick Bakas, one of the designers who created the logo, in an email to Denverite. “It’s not supposed to be looking up like there’s a solar eclipse or something.”
The logo should appear “horizontally level as if it were balancing on the bottom point of the logo,” he continued.
Part of Royse wonders if some fans are sticking the logos on their cars poorly on purpose.
“You know how people place bumper stickers on their car in sort of like a rebellious, punk-rock fashion ?” Royse asked. “I don’t know if people are trying to make it look cool.”
Royse, a bartender who lives in Sunnyside, has been a Broncos fan for as long as she can remember. When she was 5, she dressed up as John Elway for Halloween. She has distinct memories of her father jumping up and down in their living room after the Broncos’ first Super Bowl victory in 1998. Royse still tries to watch the team play every Sunday.
Since starting BroncTards about a year ago, Royse has received some pushback. The account, which has 511 followers, hasn’t exactly blown up. But every once in a while, Royse receives an angry message.
“They’ll rip me a new one about how great the Broncos are,” Royse said. “They’re missing the point.”
The point, Royse said, is simple: To get Broncos fans to properly place the logo on the back of their vehicles.
Some of BroncTard’s submissions are photos Royse takes herself. Other times, friends hit her up out of the blue with images of off-center Broncos logos. There’s also the occasional anonymous person who hops in BroncTard’s DMs.
The submissions that irk Royse the most are those that feature a misplaced logo feet away from one that’s properly aligned.
“I’m constantly wondering why people have an issue with it,” Royse said. “We make jokes about protractors. I don’t know why people have such an issue.”
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