How are you all holding up this season? I know it’s been tough. We aren’t used to seeing our team wallow among the dregs of the NFL, or being eliminated from the playoffs less than halfway through December. That’s on top of the eight-game losing streak the Broncos endured, the one time they were shutout by the Chargers and the fact that they are still winless on the road so far this year. Misery, misery, misery, everywhere we look this season.
Everyone has their own way of coping with this level of losing. Some take to Facebook to openly complain about how much they hate Vance Joseph and how John Elway is long overdue to be fired. Others simply tune the games out and find something better to do on Sunday afternoons, like go for a walk or tend to some household chores (or literally almost anything else). And there are evens “fans” who have stopped supporting the Broncos altogether and have jumped on another team’s bandwagon, such as the Eagles or Rams. To those people, I say good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out and don’t bother coming back when the Broncos turn things around.
But in case you didn’t notice, the Broncos actually won a game on Sunday, in dominant fashion I might add. This may have felt like sweet relief to you, if you’re tired of watching your team fall flat on their faces every week and want them to end the season on a high note. Or maybe you were completely frustrated because you have embraced the tank and the Broncos are so bad that they can’t even figure out how to get that right. Either line of thinking is alright by me, because it’s your team and your free to support them however you wish.
That being said, it got me thinking about how that was the kind of performance we’re used to seeing from the Broncos, and that one bad season doesn’t change the fact that we are lucky to be fans of a team that has enjoyed so much success over the years.
As you get older you start realizing how much time you have wasted in your youth. This realization can easily make you feel depressed and anxious. Why didn’t I learn to play the guitar? Why didn’t I read all of those books? It’s a very difficult feeling to shake. You start making new goals and new promises to yourself. You imagine all you can accomplish if you just buckle down, starting today. You tell yourself there is still time.
Unfortunately sometimes it is too late. Sometimes your window of opportunity has closed. Sometimes you have no choice but to give up on a dream, a goal, or even a legacy.
Another week of Denver sports is in the books. Let’s look at the week gone by and the week ahead.
Despite the All-Star Break, the Nuggets were plenty busy. While no games were played the Nuggets had their hands full making trades.
When Kevin pitched me his idea of doing a weekly wrap-up for all of the major four Denver sports teams, I thought it was pretty neat. When I realized that we were launching this in February, the undisputed worst sports month of the year, I was a little intimidated. It’s not going to be easy to discuss teams that are inactive right now, but hey, I like a challenge as much as the next guy. Let’s do it.
This is gonna be pretty cut and dry. After the jump I’ll give a brief rundown of each team and what I’m fixated on.
I spent the last week trying to make sense of everything that has happened. Last Sunday, the Broncos were primed to make another run at the Super Bowl. The roster was much healthier and supposedly more talented than the one from the year before, providing plenty of incentive to feel hopeful about our chances. Then the game started and all of that optimism disappeared on the horizon as quickly as a winter sunset. Not only did the Broncos get outplayed by an inferior Colts team, but the coaching staff did little to adjust when things went awry and the players went out without so much as a whimper.
This was completely unacceptable, or as John Elway put it so bluntly, if the Broncos were going to lose then they needed to go down “kicking and screaming.” They didn’t, seemingly content with a fourth-straight AFC West title and yet another one and done showing in the playoffs. On a team whose expectations were sky high heading into the season, someone had to pay for such a lackluster, uninspired effort in the first game of the 2014 campaign that truly mattered. That someone turned out to be John Fox.
Flash forward to today and Elway has made the parameters of his revised “Plan A” abundantly clear; in order to claim more Super Bowl titles in the future, the Broncos are going to re-embrace their past. Enter Gary Kubiak, returning to Denver after nine years in a quest for that elusive third Lombardi trophy. It just feels oh so right.
Sunday’s game against the Rams was a lot like your classic schoolyard fight, featuring the quiet pipsqueak vs the bully who beats up every kid who crosses him. No one gives the pipsqueak a chance, because well, he’s a pipsqueak. He has no business winning the fight and everyone expects another massacre, but then the fight starts and the pipsqueak walks right up to the bully and punches him in the nose. The bully is shocked, the other kids are shocked and even the pipsqueak can’t believe it, but that’s just the beginning. He keeps coming at the bully with lefts and rights and eventually the bully gives up, not because he is physically unable to win at that point, but because he is mentally psyched out.
If you have the stones to do so, go back and watch that game and that’s exactly what you’ll see. The Rams open up the first quarter as the aggressor; they take shots down the field in the passing game, pound the Broncos’ defense with their running game and relentlessly assault Peyton Manning with creative blitz packages. They take the lead, receive a huge boost in confidence and never let up for a second. Meanwhile, the Broncos do little to adjust and seem to believe that just because they are more talented, they will prevail in the end. What we have here is a severe oversight by the Broncos and a lesson that they should have already known – on any given Sunday, any shrimp can kick your ass if you don’t match his intensity.
Sports fans sure have changed. Before all fans did was cheer on the guys in their favorite team’s jerseys. These days though, it seems that everybody is an armchair GM. It is honestly my favorite part of being a fan. I love to imagine the decisions I would make if it were my team.
Of course being a fan I only have a limited amount of knowledge. I don’t pretend to completely understand all of the workings of the salary cap. And I am no expert when it comes to understanding all of the intricacies of building a roster. But I can pretend and that is what I am going to do here today.
I have the unique distinction of correctly identifying the past two running backs that the Denver Broncos drafted before they were drafted. Go ahead, start calling me Mel Kiper the Third.
Unless you are an absolute baseball fanatic, this time of the year in the wide world of sports is tough to stomach. No basketball, no hockey, and a painstakingly long wait for football season. Sure, technically it’s not that far off, but it feels like we’re all doing 30 years in Shawshank with Red and Andy Dufresne. Don’t worry if you find yourself watching hours upon hours of Nathan MacKinnon highlights on YouTube or if you are overreacting to every little bit of Broncos news you can get your hands on. Believe me, we are right there with you, but don’t despair friends: Pegboard has got you covered. For the next four weeks, Kevin and I are excited to present to you our first annual Training Camp Primer, where we will analyze eight Broncos who have a great deal on the line for the 2013 campaign.