As I break from my first day back to work after two full snow days, I found myself missing the lifestyle I once had in the mountains of Colorado. Granted, I was only a child and the true inconvenience that massive amounts of snow can levy upon a person or town escapes me. However, as I drove out my home Monday, which sits in a valley at an elevation of 20 feet, seeing less than a half an inch of snow on my car I recalled thinking, "Man, I wish it had snowed more." I work about 50 miles away, going up into the Sierra-Nevada foothills and I saw on the news that the storm had dropped quite a bit more snow overnight in those parts. The phones were down, power was out and I had no way of finding out if my office was closed.
I called about two dozen times getting only an "all circuits are busy warning", then texted a co-workers work email and was finally able to leave a "not coming into work" message to my supervisor at around 1pm that afternoon. The next day, I got up and headed into work in my 2002 Toyota Corolla Sport. Not the brightest idea I've ever had, considering the overnight low was in the teens and black ice was rampant even on the main highway.
As I drove that long 50 mile trek, I was blessed to see the rustic hillsides turn into beautiful white rolling hills with the first glimpse of the morning sunlight hitting the landscape. I was quite impressed - since I've lived in temperate zones for the better part of 20 years now. Naturally, I have taken the family up into the mountains to sled and build snowmen, but I was hit with a different kind of feeling this week.
I came to realize that I have been living a lie. My lie is based on the fact that I lived in San Diego for many years and northern California for even longer. The heat, the sun, the...smog. I'm just tired of that. I desire the memories of my youth more and more. That short three year period I lived in Colorado back in the 1980's. Thus I have decided it's time to say goodbye to California.
Of course, I need a lot of things to happen first. I need to finish my trade school in the next 12-18 months. I need to save up enough money to make a move of that magnitude. I need to get my wife to have this baby already!(She is scheduled to be induced on Tuesday by the way) And I need to figure out the right tact to use on my wife to convince her that moving that far from her roots is a good thing. It's taken about 8 years, but she has finally begun to warm to the idea of leaving California for good.
I know this has nothing to do with football or the Denver Broncos, but in a way, this is how I am reaffirming to myself and all of you that my home is where the heart truly is - and that is not in the once great state of California.
I have two destinations in mind. The first of which is obviously Colorado. My training is in Network Administration, so obviously I will have to be near major tech hubs - so a mountain man I will not be. This option is the only one I have been able to really sell my wife on.
My second destination, and truly the one I desire the most, is Idaho. Of course, the only place my field is strong enough for me to get work in would be Boise, but to be in a state that carries an independent attitude that reflects my own would do well for my soul. However, Idaho has a negative image to the rest of the country thanks in large part to an over zealous media that always like to focus on the extremes of society. Thus my wife is not even remotely close to agreeing to that dream.
Which is fine, because the first damn thing I do when we make it to Colorado is to make that phone call and put my ass on the wait list for season tickets. If I can't have Idaho, then by God I'll have my Denver freaking Broncos!
Anyway, enough of my rant. Now I don't know if I have much to say today, but I've chatted about myself for long enough - let's get on with it!
Who Are The Denver Broncos?
What a tale of two teams we have this year. I really don't know which we actually have and my original thought of them being somewhere in the middle isn't sitting well with me anymore. It's all or nothing. Total domination or totally dominated. Not like the 2008 version of "all or nothing" though as I am convinced this team is far superior to the team fielded in 2008. Not just marginally superior either, this team executes consistently.
My only worry is that the playoffs will overwhelm our younger guys. Especially an away playoff game. This team will benefit much more in the long run if they get to host a playoff game. Even if the Broncos lost at home in the playoffs, at least the young guys on our roster who have never been the playoffs before will get to experience what a home game in January is truly like. It would give them something to desire and strive for in 2010.
A one and done on the road in the playoffs will not give our younger guys much to strive for as the energy and excitement just wasn't what one would think it would be. Which is why Josh McDaniels and company must win in the Wild Card playoffs if its a road game. More so than if its a home game. Yes yes, I know I am talking in circles because I don't accept any playoff losses well. Period. I am only saying that if in the grand scheme of things this team were to be one and done, I'd prefer to be one and done at home.
Of course, my opinion on how likely this team is to be one and done really hinges on this weekends game at the Indianapolis Colts.
Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts
There are two keys to this game for the Broncos in my mind. The first is red zone defense. Peyton Manning is going to move the football, make no mistake. What our defense needs to do is limit the damage to field goals. A big part of that is third down. The Dude laid some wood on me that I hadn't noticed about the Colts this year. Nearly FIFTY PERCENT conversion rates on third down....it's Week 14. WEEK 14! That's absurd to be sporting that kind of number this late in the season. I'm sure its been done, but my eyes bug out when I see teams in the low forty's. The reason being, its hard to convert on third down. Defenses tend to play harder on that down because they want off the damn field. If we fail in the red zone, we will lose this game.
The second key is time of possession. Now I know the Colts blew this mode of traditional thinking out of the water with their game against the Dolphins earlier in the year, but one game doesn't change an entire history of games. If the Colts have the ball for less than 15 minutes in a game again, they will lose. In fact, they will lose the next 10 times that happens. That Dolphins game was an aberration.
The Broncos need to pound the rock. They need to wear down the defense. Why? Because they will need to move the ball down the field in the fourth quarter, possibly even quickly. The best way to assure that can happen is to play against a tired and worn out defense. I have a feeling this game is going to come down to the wire and as much as Peyton Manning terrifies me, I have to believe that our offense will find a way to win without giving Manning a shot to come back on us.
My edge: Broncos 31, Colts 30
Teams That Piss Me Off
If you want to know why, just take a look at the last several weeks of my picks and the reason shall become clear. Except for the Chargers, I just hate them so they always piss me off.
Bold Super Bowl Prediction
Yes, they are being written off but I have a feeling these Patriots are going to be a very angry football team in January. The Saints are going to destroy the Vikings and Favre will choke. I see the Patriots beating the Saints in the Super Bowl as a team always learns more about its opponent after a loss and revenge is a vastly under rated emotional aspect of a rematch. Especially when the rematch occurs in the playoffs!
Jay Cutler's Interception Prediction
I don't think he breaks the record. I think Cutler becomes so paranoid and self conscious about that all-important stat that he will become Kyle Orton in the final four games(except for the winning part). I think he finishes with 22-23 interceptions. And the Bears will finish the year 5-11. Boy, who do we draft next year?!?! Giggity giggity. Already Patriot-like when it comes to draft positioning!