This whole preseason and off season have gotten me to think about what it is to be a fan of the Broncos. I have seen several people posting several interpretations as to just what that means and that has sparked some thinking on my part as to how and why I apply that term to myself. It became very apparent that I apply that to myself very differently than some apply it to themselves or others.
First off, I need to define some terms as I use them and how they apply to me. Please understand that I am not applying these to anyone else, nor do I intend to. This is a self exploration only. If it interests you or if it sparks some self exploration of your own, fine. And if you feel that I am a nut case and nothing of what I say applies to you, then fine with that too.
When I say I am a fan of the Broncos, I mean just that, I am a fan of one team and its players and coaches, owner, front office, scouts and any and everyone else associated with the team from groundskeepers to cheerleaders. I am interested in everything they do and I openly, fervently, and enthusiastically root for utter and complete success of every one of them.... As long as they are in any form Denver Broncos.
I am NOT a fan of football, pro football, or sports in general. In those areas I am only what I would call a casual fan. For example, I keep track of the Rockies, but I haven't seen one of their games this year and I probably couldn't name at any given time more than half their roster. Same thing with the Nuggets, though I did watch some of their playoff games this year.
In the same way I keep track of other NFL teams and players. I like to know who we are going to play, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how we can best attack them. But I hold no rooting interest in them other than that. As evidence of this, I have only watched 6 Super Bowls from start to finish. Care to guess which ones they were? Many I have not watched at all, because they really held no interest for me.
The Broncos on the other hand are a completely different story. I read about the formation of the team, who their players were and then their first game against the BOSTON Patriots and I have followed them with a committed dedication ever since. I have seen every single game played by John Elway. I have seen every game played by Craig Morton and the Orange Crush. I have seen Frank Tripuka, Goose Gonsoulin, Rich Jackson, Gene Mingo and of course Floyd Little all play in person. I was amazed at the size and speed of Billy Joel when I first saw him in a pre-season game at the old DU stadium. I sat in the wooden temporary bleachers in the old Bears stadium. I kicked a table over when "The Drive was completed". And yes I practically needed therapy after the first 4 super bowl disappointments. But I also was flush with the rush at the first and second SB wins. It has been a spectacular ride and I look forward to it continuing.
This is all to say, that I could not call myself a fan of this team if I ever rooted for them to fail, or for individuals involved with the team to fail. I could not, and I will never do that. I want to see McDaniels and Orton and everyone else now associated with this team be as wildly successful as they can be. I want that with every fiber of my being and with every waking moment. I also want that for Brandon Marshall as long as he is on this team. I want him to wake up, grow up, come back and play and achieve to the best of his ability. I will continue to want that for him as long as he is here.
But I am never a fan of players who played here and then went to other teams. I appreciate what they have contributed to MY team, but that is the end of it. If they put on the uniform of another team, I am no longer interested in what they do, how they do it, or what they are paid to do it. Unless of course they play the Broncos, during which time I will root for their utter failure. Beyond that though, I will not care about them period. I didn't care about Shannon Sharpe, until he became a Bronco again. I did not care about Atwater until he became a Bronco again. I care deeply about every player that retired as a Bronco, because to me they are Broncos for life. Thank God Elway never went anywhere else.
Does that mean I have my head in the sand and instantly agree with every decision made or every action taken by players, coaches and management? Of course not. But it does mean that I hope it is me that is wrong and I still wish with all my being that those decisions work and that they help this team be as successful as they can be.
This is an extreme with me and it is also the reason I have no desire to play fantasy football. I wouldn't ever want to be in the situation that I would wish someone to have a good game AGAINST the Broncos.
Now you can take all this and then figure out easily enough that I care as little about Jay Cutler now as I did when Alzado and Romanowski went to the Raiders. I loved them when they were here and I could care less about them when they left. This is what I mean when I say that I am a fan of THIS team.
I am not saying that being a fan of this team cannot mean something entirely different to someone else and I'm quite sure that for many it does. But it is just to let you know the lens that I look through and where my perspective will always come from.
If you read all of this, I applaud your patience. If you feel differently, and I'm sure some do, I would enjoy hearing how the word fan applies to you.