Every Denver Bronco who’s worn the number 12, because 12-12-12

We happen to hate things like this, but today's quirky date has inspired us to look back at the history of the Broncos and the number 12.

Besides, the world is coming to an end in nine days anyway, so there isn't much time for people to call us the Broncos fan's version of Bleacher Report (and isn't that title already taken, anyway?).

So without further ado, here goes - our first, and presumably last - countdown column.

Here are the eleven different players to have worn #12 for the Broncos in the regular season, ranked in ascending order of Career AV (couldn't make this a completely brainless exercise):

AV - 0 -  Domenik Hixon - WR, 2006-2007

Taking Hixon in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft was a classic Mike Shanahan hubris move - the Akron Zip entered the draft with a broken foot which would end up costing him his rookie season.

Unfortunately, his most memorable moment as a Bronco came when he returned the second-half kickoff in the 2007 season opener at Buffalo (his NFL debut) and was tackled by Kevin Everett, who suffered a cervical injury that left him temporarily paralyzed.

Hixon has since become a two-time SB winner with the Giants, for whom he's been a solid #3 wideout and kick/punt returner.

AV: 1 - Shawn Moore - QB, 1992-93

Moore, an 11th-round pick in the 1991 Draft, attempted just 34 passes during his Broncos career - all during the 1992 season. His claim to Denver infamy was the Week 14 matchup against the Cowboys, and the Week 15 game at Buffalo, when Dan Reeves put into action the harebrained strategy of having Moore alternate series - and at times plays - with Tommy Maddox (the 20-year-old from UCLA who was supposed to take over John Elway, because of course he was).

AV: 2 - Charlie Adams - WR, 2003

Adams is the third-most successful ex-Hofstra wideout (out of four), behind Saints star Marques Colston and former Jets team mascot Wayne Chrebet.

AV: 2 - Matthew Willis - WR, 2009-12

Willis was the intended target on each of the pick-six interceptions thrown by Peyton Manning this season, and he appeared on American Ninja Challenge during last year's lockout.

AV: 2 - Gary Kroner - K, 1965-67

Kroner, who was born in Green Bay, was drafted by both the Packers and Jets in 1963; he made just 29 of 56 FG attempts during his three-year career, all with the Broncos.

AV: 2 - Al Pastrana - QB, 1969-70

Pastrana was 0-2-1 as a starter in 1970, posting a Tebow-like 38.7% completion rate along the way.

AV: 2 - Chris Miller - QB, 1999

Miller was a star for the Falcons, but a string of concussions forced him to retire at age 30. He came back in 1999 to back up Brian Griese and Bubby Brister, going 2-1 in three starts, but another concussion convinced Miller to again retire.

AV: 2 - Ken Karcher - QB, 1987-88

Karcher was the Broncos' scab QB in place of Elway during the 1987 player strike; Denver went 2-1 with Karcher starting. He is currently the OC/QB coach at Eastern Illinois, and went 21-46 while the head coach at Liberty from 2000-05.

AV: 3 - Craig Penrose - QB, 1976-79

Taken as a fourth-round pick in 1970 by Denver, Penrose was 3-1 in four starts over four seasons with the Broncos. During the team's first SB run of 1977, Penrose backed up Craig Morton, but had zero touchdown passes against four interceptions.

Like Pastrana, his career completion rate (47.0%) was actually higher than his QB rating (41.2).

AV: 8 - Gus Frerotte - QB, 2000-01

Frerotte was the other quarterback drafted by Washington in 1994, when they took current U.S. Congressman Heath Shuler third overall.

In Gus We Trust threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead Denver back from deficits of 34-17 and 37-24 in a 2000 38-37 win over the visiting Chargers. That performance (36/58 for 462 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions) left a lasting impression on the Denver record books.

His 58 attempts are the second-most by a Bronco (Elway, 59 attempts, 1993 at Green Bay), his 462 yards stood as a team record for almost four years (Plummer, 499 yards, 2004 vs. Atlanta), and he remains tied with Elway (1984 vs. Minnesota) and Frank Tripucka (1962 vs. Buffalo) for the most touchdown passes in a single game in Broncos history.

Apropos to the Broncos' trip to Baltimore this week, Frerotte was the starting QB for the 21-3 playoff loss to the eventual SB Champion Ravens, on the final day of 2000.

Unfortunately for Frerotte, who exceeded any expectations typical of a seventh-round pick (93 starts), he will be best remembered for this moronic TD celebration (skip to 1:33 mark)

AV: 35 - Charley Johnson - QB, 1972-75

Johnson was acquired from Houston in exchange for a third-round pick in 1972, and a year later quarterbacked the Broncos to their first winning record in franchise history.

Among Denver quarterbacks, Johnson ranks fifth in wins (20), eighth in completions, attempts, and yards (517/970 for 7,238 yards), and sixth in touchdown passes (52).

Charley was inducted to Denver's Ring of Fame in 1986 along with Frank Tripucka and Paul Smith, and is, in every sense, the greatest Bronco to ever have worn the number 12.

There you have it folks - the first and only jersey number countdown in IAOFM history. Admittedly, it was kind of fun to put together, so perhaps there will be more of these to come in the future, provided the world doesn't come to an end next Friday.

Update 5:40pm ET - Reeves had Moore and Maddox alternate at times both series and plays during two games - versus Dallas and at Buffalo. Story originally only mentioned swapping series in the Buffalo game.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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