Let's be honest. Many people didn't give Josh McDaniels a chance right from the start. I'm not here to rehash the past 22 months - that is counter-productive and divisive. That isn't my goal. I am concerned about the state of the Broncos - the team and the fans. I am concerned that we continue to make changes for the sake of change and I am concerned we keep chasing the ghosts of Super Bowls past.
I will talk about my organizational concerns in another post. That is another elephant entirely and to throw it in as a footnote in this post wouldn't do it justice. I also think it is the more pressing need, and worthy of further investigation. It wouldn't be fair to try and break it down right now.
No, this is about us, the fans. Yea, I said us. I'm not going to label anyone. The outside world doesn't segregate us. When Josh McDaniels was fired, terms like "Broncos Fans Rejoice" were thrown around and ESPN interviewed this guy as a representative for all of us. Be Proud.
(Yes, I know Page 2 is a satire site, but that doesn't mean I like being the punchline in their jokes. Yes, the country is laughing at us right now...)
Frankly, I have always hated the labels - you are either a Broncos fan or you are not. You think I like every move they make? Every cut? Every hire? Of course not. But on Sunday I always support them. Always. When I see people saying they "secretly rooted for the Chargers, Raiders and Chiefs" it sickens me. But that is just me, just my take.
When I read comments like "Josh McDaniels getting fired was my Super Bowl" it sickens me. That's just me, just my take. It tells me, however, just how personal it had gotten with some people. Again, I won't rehash the past because our beliefs on events won't change now. This is about the future. What now? For someone that has put so much energy into hoping the Broncos fail, what do you do now? For someone that calls the creation of complete and utter instability in the franchise we all love "like winning the Super Bowl", what now?
This isn't a Josh McDaniels defense post. Let me make that clear. This is a post questioning how WE want outsiders to view the type of FANS we are. Again, I say we. If some chose to draw lines and pick sides they can, I will not. People have been so angry for so long - I've seen the comments, the tweets, the blog posts - that how does that attitude change? What if the next coach isn't the one you wanted? What if the Broncos stick with Kyle Orton, or go with Tim Tebow? What if they start over all together?
On April 29, 2006 a divide started. Later that year I started MHR as way to try and bridge that divide. While people found refuge here the divide still existed, still got wider, and it fractured - there are several divides now about several subjects. More and more labels, more and more we all grow apart. Now we find ourselves the subject of jokes. Not a fun place to be.
What started out, in a lot of ways, as "Jay or Jake" has spun out of control. There are dozens of labels, dozens of groups people belong to. No longer are we Broncos fans - a group of one. We are "Tebow Lovers" or "Orton Lovers" or "Haters" or "Kool-Aid Drinkers". Hell, now there is a label based on which Broncos website you affiliate yourself with! Really?
How does all that change? Coaches, players, they all come and go. This goes deeper than that. We must rise above all that. That doesn't mean we agree, doesn't mean we sing Kumbaya together. What it does mean is get back to the basics of being Denver Broncos fans. Whatever that means to you I respect that - but you have to respect what that means to me as well - and we move forward in supporting the next regime - whoever that is and what ever they decide to do.
We must STOP living in the past. We must STOP lumping in past coaches and players into what is happening right now! We must CHANGE our attitude. Josh McDaniels is gone. In 6 weeks or so we'll probably have another Head Coach, another regime in place that is likely going to do some things and make some decisions we are not going to like. Coaches, GM's, they see this. They read about us. How we handle adversity. If you were them, would you want to deal with it from Day 1 on the job? We must change our Mob Mentality. Otherwise, in 22 months, we'll be right back here. Is this where we want to be?
A good first step would be winning. I agree. Things are easy when times are good. What defines us is how we respond in the tough times.
It won't be easy. The Mob Mentality, in a lot of ways, got Josh McDaniels fired. The fans spoke, and Pat Bowlen listened. That is a powerful position to have, and it must be wielded only when completely necessary. We need to look on the new coach, new GM, new Denver Broncos, as a new start for all of us. No more labels, no more divide.
If you are reading this, and were banned from the site for issues revolving around Josh McDaniels, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall et al, this is my olive branch to you. I will remove the ban. My word is nothing if I don't practice what I preach. Send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your user name and you are welcomed back.
I am hoping you all can do the same. Reach out to Broncos fans. Together, we can get through this. One day at a time. We all bleed Orange and Blue. We are a joke right now. Let's show the world what Broncos Country is all about.