The Broncos made a surprising decision for the Super Bowl, and it shows the game is in their head

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The Denver Broncos' first major decision for Super Bowl 50 was a curious one: They will wear their white jerseys, the team has announced.

The decision is eyebrow-raising on a couple of levels. As the designated home team, the Broncos had the first choice about which color jersey to wear, and typically teams wear their color jerseys as the home team.

Before the announcement, ESPN's Paul Lukas, who also writes a daily column at Uni-Watch.com, had called the idea of the Broncos ultimately deciding to wear their white jerseys "highly unlikely" based on their own history.

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The Broncos made a surprising decision for the Super Bowl, and it shows the game is in their head
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: Super Bowl 50 signage is displayed around the city on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: A pedestrian is seen next to the beginning of a large mural on Market Street promoting Super Bowl 50 on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: A fan poses with a Super Bowl 50 sculpture on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 03: A large graphic of the Vince Lombardi Trophy promoting Super Bowl 50 is displayed on a skyscraper on February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
Kamron Samady, age 4, gets football images painted on his face at Super Bowl City Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Angie Bagares poses for a photo in front of a Super Bowl 50 sign at Super Bowl City Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Darian Anador, 13, wears a Super Bowl 50 logo on his face while attending the NFL Experience Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in San Francisco. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Levi's Stadium is decorated for the Super Bowl Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2015, at Levi's Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Andrew Macy, 10, walks away from a display inside the Super Bowl NFL Shop Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
San Francisco Police tactical unit officer Jeff McHale watches the crowd at Super Bowl City Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 in San Francisco. From ticket scalpers to terrorism, football's biggest game always presents challenges large and small for law enforcement officials. Their task is made more difficult by the location of Super Bowl 50, some 45 miles from downtown San Francisco, and a number of events throughout the sprawling Bay Area in the run up to the game in Santa Clara on Sunday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Denver Broncos fan Rocky Brougham, left, and San Francisco 49ers fan Stacy Samuels pose for photos at Super Bowl City Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 in San Francisco. Both men have dressed in costume and lead the crowd in cheers at their respective stadiums for 33 years. The Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A Super Bowl 50 sign stands in a park overlooking San Francisco Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. The Denver Broncos play the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Antonio Cantey, 9, climbs out of an oversized Dallas Cowboys football helmet at the NFL Experience Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Visitors pass a video board inside the NFL Experience Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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"Aside from 1971, when they wore white at home for the entire season, the Broncos have worn white at home for only a handful of games in their history," Lukas wrote. More important, the decision suggests that the Broncos are worried about their own history in the Super Bowl — which is not great — just as much as they are worried about the Carolina Panthers.

In making the announcement that the Broncos would indeed defy convention and wear their away jersey, John Elway, the team's executive VP of operations and general manager, cited the team's past Super Bowl performances for the decision, strongly suggesting this was a decision based on superstition.

"We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms, and we're looking forward to wearing them again in Super Bowl 50," Elway said. While Elway refers to the team's "success" in white uniforms in the Super Bowl, it would seem what he is really referring to is the team's lack of success in the Super Bowl while wearing their orange jerseys.

While the team did win a Super Bowl in white, they also lost one in white. The Broncos are 0-4 in Super Bowls while wearing orange — including two years ago when they were thumped, 43-8, by the Seattle Seahawks.

But to turn away from the orange jersey because of past Super Bowl results also means the Broncos will be turning away from their success this season. The Broncos are 8-1 this season, including the playoffs, in their orange jersey, while they are 5-2 in white.

Denver BroncosJason Miller/Getty Images

How the players perform will determine whether or not the Broncos will win the Super Bowl and not their jersey color. But athletes are notoriously superstitious, and with the Broncos opting not to wear orange, it shows their own Super Bowl history is in their head more than this one game. That seems like a strange way to start the two-week run up to the Big Game.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are showing that they are not worried about past results, as they will wear their black jerseys despite being 0-2 in the playoffs with that color choice.

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