For the most part, I have fully backed Bowlen/McDaniels/Xanders throughout this Dove Valley Disaster that ended yesterday. While there is obviously blame to be laid everywhere, now that it's over, I'm going to use my first MHR Fanpost to tell you why I have supported and continue to support the powers that be at Dove Valley.
First and foremost, there are many that have attacked our beloved owner, Pat Bowlen, and his crew for not being open enough with the fans throughout this adventure. That is precisely why I supported them at the beginning. Call me old fashioned, but I appreciate the fact that, for the most part, they didn't take their fight to the media. This is the kind of thing that should be handled in-house, and I feel that they tried as hard as they could to do that. One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is teams and players that take a dispute to places that it shouldn't go, namely, the media. I love the fact that they tried to keep this thing as private as they could.
Second, I don't buy the notion that the Broncos have been dishonest throughout this whole process. Perhaps they weren't completely honest with Jay Cutler, but that's OK. I don't know if anyone has ever been a coach, but you simply can't tell your players every little thing. I guarantee you that Mike Shanahan, Wade Phillips, Dan Reeves, Red Miller, John Ralston, and everyone that came before them told half-truths to their players at some point during their time in Denver. That's the way it works. There's a reason that the players play, coaches coach, and personnel people make personnel decisions, and there has to be a line drawn between each department at some point. Sometimes, you have to be a little vague or not completely up front.
Third - and this is important - Broncos Country, please stop the comparisons of Pat Bowlen to Al Davis and Jerry Jones. They are nothing alike. I cringe a little bit every time a read a comment on MHR or DPO in which a "fan" insinuates such feelings. Just stop. Bowlen has been and continues to be great for this organization, this city, and those of us that are proud citizens of Broncos Country. The chief example that is used comes out of the story in which Bowlen said that he "doesn't recall that conversation" in which he allegedly told Cutler that Jeremy Bates would be retained. While I haven't been in on any conversations, once again, I have to believe Bowlen. I take you back to the press conference in which he announced the "termination" of Mike Shanahan. When asked about the coaching staff he said, "I don't anticipate that any of the current staff will be retained." That's pretty straight-forward, if you ask me. Pat Bowlen, if he's not the best owner in the NFL, is certainly in the top five. I can't find a link to it, but a few years ago ESPN voted him as the best owner in all of professional sports. Bowlen-bashers need to cool it.
Finally, I get to the most important point of the day. I made a point to watch Jay Cutler's press conference this afternoon. What he said in that press conference confirmed what I had thought about him throughout this process. He either didn't fully understand or didn't embrace his role as the Broncos quarterback, and he failed to realize just how great the fans here are. In his opening statement, he thanked "Mr. Bowlen and the Broncos". Notice, no mention of the Broncos fans, which bothered me a little bit, but not nearly as much as what came a little later. He was asked about differences that he saw between Chicago and Denver. He said, "Fans here are more passionate." Then he paused and said, "Not to put down Denver." Give me a break, Jay. There are no fans more passionate than Denver Bronco fans. I had wondered about his attachment to this city and those of us that call ourselves Bronco fans all along, and he confirmed to me today that he never understood or embraced his position while he was here.
It really irks me every time I hear somebody say that fans in Denver are bandwagoners. That's simply not true. Normally you hear that from people that just moved here recently. To me, a "bandwagon fan" is somebody that loves a team when it's good, but doesn't pay attention when it's bad. Attendance at games has nothing to do with that, which is why I never understand why people cite the Avalanche, Rockies, and Nuggets when talking about the supposed bandwagon fans in Denver. The difference between us and teams with bandwagon fans, e.g. the Arizona Cardinals, is that if we don't go to games, it's out of protest to what a team is doing. To me, that's the definition of a die-hard fan. Bandwagon fans buy team equipment when their team is good. Denver fans dig out the old Orange Crush gear when they support what the Broncos are doing. It has nothing to do with the product on the field. We don't have to go out and buy gear, as we already have it from 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 seasons ago. Cutler never understood that, and I believe that that is why he is a Chicago Bear today.
Have faith, Broncos Country! (By the way, another thing that annoys me is when people say "Bronco Nation". It's Broncos Country. Get it right. We aren't the Red Sox, Raiders, or Yankees.) Who knows what direction this franchise will go at QB in the future, but until then, have fun in Chicago, Jay, and bring on the Neckbeard!