Being the underwear clad, basement dwelling blogger that I am, I wanted to expand upon a few of the remarks I made in my post earlier this week.
Since I finally acknowledged to myself that this team is rebuilding, I had to let go of the old Mike Shanahan mantra, "We will compete for a Super Bowl every year". Pat Bowlen changed the direction of that ship when he hired Josh McDaniels and elevated Brian Xanders, yet most of us held onto that decade and half old credo of Championship pursuit. The end result will hopefully be a restoration of that principal, but for now we must endure the transition.
Accepting that reality doesn't mean we should all watch the rest of these games with resignation, rather we should adapt our expectations to the success in the little things. Such as, a big play here or a stop there. More than that, we need to see some pride from the players we are rooting for.
My expectation for this team now stands at 4-4 to finish this season. They have four home games and a big time revenge ticket on the docket. This team, though out of contention (barring some magnificent winning streak), needs to show us fans what kind of pride they have in themselves and in each other. We are all disappointed, but ending a disappointing season on a positive note is critical heading into the next offseason.
I think 4-4 is quite realistic for this team. The early part of the season was particularly brutal and a couple of bad breaks put this team into the abysmal hole it is now in. Eventually, this team will be good enough to overcome a couple of bad breaks, but that time is not now.
The four games I see the Broncos having a good possibility of pulling out a victory in are as follows:
- November 14, 2010, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos. It will not be easy, but the game is in Mile High (if that means anything anymore) and the Broncos players and coaches have had two long weeks to develop a really bad taste in their mouths. Pride.
- November 28, 2010, St. Louis Rams at Denver Broncos. A very winnable games against an upstart franchise. There is no reason for even a rebuilding Broncos teams to lose this one. Pride.
- December 12, 2010, Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are as dysfunctional as the Broncos right now and the Broncos have a better quarterback, so this should be another winnable game down the stretch. Pride.
- December 19, 2010, Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders. I keep mentioning pride. Well, this game is all about pride. 59-14 is a monumental embarrassment and no Broncos player or coach should come into this wanting nothing less than humiliating revenge. Every member of the Broncos organization should have this date circled on the calendar.
Those are my four winnable games to close out the season. The Broncos could likely trade a few here and there, but the one game that must be won is that one in Oakland. Whatever pride might be left in Dove Valley must be wielded that weekend before Christmas Day.
There are many definitions of pride out there. In fact, I would even call each a different level of pride. To me, there are two levels of pride that this team must exhibit to close out this season. The first is the pride in the organization.
Pride: pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself.
Without a pride in the organization, the players and coaches will never be able to come together and win. Thus negating any hope of having pride in oneself as defined below.
Pride: a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
Pride: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
I actually used two separate definitions for this one, as both are equally important in their respective descriptions of what pride means to oneself. This team must exhibit both collective pride and individual pride. The two are mutually exclusive.
I will continue to look for the positives and critique the negatives, but during this Bye week I felt like addressing the lack of pride exhibited thus far in the 2010 regular season. The Bye week represents a good time for the players and coaches to reflect on their play and to also rededicate themselves to finishing the season strong. We fans can also rededicate our fanhood to the pride we've always shared in this organization.
Hopefully the big man upstairs won't mind if I tweak the Bible a little bit with Pride cometh
before after the fall. The fall has been a humbling experience, but now is the time to rise and be proud once more.