FanPost

I Respectfully Disagree

Over the last few months, and in particular within the last few days and weeks, there seems to be a good old-fashioned loyalty assessment about what makes a “good fan”.  The Denver Broncos are going through some tough times, and as such, many of their faithful fanatics (from which the word “fan” is derived), have had cause to dissent from the actions, decisions and mostly the performance of the team on the field and off.  Even though I do not agree with much of what is said about what they have done or should do, I must say it is not because I question their loyalty to the team.  As a fan base, we all want one thing…SUCCESS….but success in the NFL is both elusive and fleeting.  The road map to arrive at “success” is difficult to read, and often in conflict with other sets of directions that lead to the goal…in other words…THIS IS HARD WORK!....and so is being a fan.

The Broncos have embarked on a journey that, depending on your point of view, is either leading us back to the greatness we had become accustomed to or perhaps it is leading us down the drain where we can rub elbows with the truly bad franchises of the NFL.  Sadly, no one knows which is true.  I certainly don’t…and though we all have our opinions, none of us knows for sure.  More than likely, we will change course before success or failure on this route is even revealed.  That said, we all really do have our opinions…very few fans are ambivalent about this…most, these days, feel that we are headed down the drain…and there are some, like myself, who fear that yet another road leading down the drain is the one where the course is constantly being changed…my (albeit lukewarm) support for McDaniels is based on the theory that the course he has plotted should be allowed to play out before abandoning ship….but I might be wrong.  Maybe a change needs to be made…I think no less of the advocates of immediate change than I do those that cling to the hope that McDaniels is indeed the savior of the franchise….you see, we are all still fans…I know that…we can sit in our seats or in the bars or in our family rooms, and cheer and bemoan and argue about what needs to be done, and we can remain loyal ardent fans of the Broncos…EVEN IF WE DON’T AGREE…even if we love McDaniels, and even if we want him fired today…

 

And if he does get fired, I will be hoping they pick a great successor (I’d favor Gruden, but understand there will other good candidates)…and I will be hoping for renewed success, and if McDaniels stays, I will be hoping this will be a bump in the road to success and that next season it will all become clear how the master plan is unfolding (though I ‘d love to see a real GM installed at some point in the very near future)…and even if they fire McDaniels and pick a horrible coach….say Wade Phillips…I will be hoping they do succeed despite my trepidation, and even though I will write FanPosts critical of his selection, I will be hoping he succeeds and makes me look like a fool…and I imagine all of those folks that write FanPosts calling for the head of McDaniels on a stick are similarly hoping they are wrong, and that the Broncos turn things around, because we are all fans, and we want the team to succeed even if we cannot agree on how to get there…

 

In some sense, this season has been a test…the team is bad, some would argue, despite the talent on the roster…they have lost badly to bitter rivals, squandered opportunities to win close games against good teams, and lost to teams they frankly should have beaten.  Add to this the appearance of cheating, even if it occurred without the coach’s blessing...(it surely did no good, since we lost to a far inferior team)…The fact that we are still talking and shouting and writing and caring about the team shows that we are still fans and that we have passed the test. Criticizing the coach, the players, even the ownership is NOT a betrayal against the team…such a  betrayal occurs when you stop buying tickets and stop turning on the TV when the team is playing….that is when you trade in your fan club membership.  Not caring at all is betrayal…caring so much that you want to scream in the streets is understandable, particularly in this season of discontent.

 

There is no litmus test for being a fan…all of us, McDaniels supporters and detractors, are fans.  The guy who wants to start Tebow is just as much a  fan as an Orton loyalist…and if either one of these guys is traded, even if we like them, we will hope the trade serves the Broncos and whoever replaces them succeeds.  Pretty much anyone who comes to MHR (or any other team based website) and cares enough to read or write words complimentary or critical of the team is a fan of the Broncos.  We don’t need the inference that if I am upset with the direction or conduct of the team, that I am somehow less a fan than someone who believes they can do know wrong.  I watched yesterday as they clawed their way back into a game that they were essentially out of, and with a minute left, and needing perhaps 15-20 yards to get into field goal position, they managed to gain not another yard (in fact, I believe they lost yardage)…my utterances at the TV are not publishable in a family setting….and I am sure many of you felt the same way.  We would have called different plays, or reminded Orton that a sack was not a great result….and perhaps if we had played the entire game like we did the last 10 minutes the result would have been drastically different…though some of you might disagree and say how valiant the team was, making an heroic effort when all seemed lost…and we are all right, because we are all fans…

 

When a coach has lost as much of the fan base as McDaniels has, the owner is faced with a difficult decision…if he believes there is progress being made, or if this is simply the “difficult” part of a difficult journey, then he must, against the storm of dissent, stay the course and let the coach remain.  If however he feels the coach is rudderless and the team is going nowhere, he is better off making a move…As a fan, it is easy to suggest, admonish, berate, support, and dissent…as an owner, however, these moves have consequences…He needs to look beyond yesterday’s result, and understand if there is truly a better course than the one the team is on now…his is a hard job…he cannot be a fan….it must be difficult though to sift through all the suggestions he is likely to hear and read about.  If he fires McDaniels, can he afford to pay three head coaches?  Is there really a better candidate out there?  Does that candidate fit the personnel currently in place or do we embark on further rebuilding?   How much longer does that take?  Is there realistically anyone out there who could “win now”?  Is he assured of getting the coach he wants given that there will be several openings?  I wonder what I would do if my status was elevated from fan to owner (or at least the person who makes these decisions for real). 

 

In the end, all of us want the same thing…A winning team we can be proud of; a team that beats the Raiders every year, and contends for the title on a yearly basis…regardless of who the coach is, those of us who care about those goals will call ourselves fans, and even if we would chart different courses to get there, or play different players, or wear different uniforms, and even if we disagree loudly, passionately and continually, we must keep in mind that as long as we care, we will remain fans.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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