It's great to see Pat Bowlen smiling again.
After the string of terrible luck that the Broncos have endured, it's nice to see the Owner of Owners shining brightly.
Looking back over the past 4 years, a nightmare, it seems the franchise had been cursed. Beginning with New Year's Morning, 2007, when we all received the news that Darrent Williams was taken from us, it's just been a maddening spiral of negative energy since. This tragedy was followed closely by the death of Damien Nash and then another, this past season, when Kenny McKinley departed.
All of this would have been bad enough, but the firing of Shanahan and the subsequent dismantling of most of what he'd built here left Broncos Universe stunned and confused. Unplugging Shanny, while a completely understandable move, disconnected us from our past glories and lowered a veil between the fans and our two glimmering silver trophies
It should have been apparent after Mr. Automatic, Jason Elam, departed for greener pastures in 2008. Even though it was a sublime event, it was a portend of things to come. We began to lose our grip on the Broncos Family and the fabric of our lustrous glories began to fray.
Each event thereafter did nothing to build, but added more weight to an already heavy burden. Our beloved Mr. B has had to carry it all.
The Jay Cutler fiasco, the rebellion of Marshall and Scheffler, the exile of Hillis - more weight - more burden for Pat Bowlen's brow.
The draft-day reaches, the dwindling wins... the laughingstock of Main Stream Media.
Oh, how the Media crucified the Broncos... and they LOVED doing it. Rich Eisen and Jamie Dukes ate. it. up.
It would have been bearable, had the public abuse been limited to the national media... but then the local newspaper dipped their toes into the slime and somehow thought it nice. They took the plunge. The result? A fractured fan base and a tremendous loss of credibility for our ownership.
"Pat Bowlen must be going nuts." they said, "He's getting old and losing his edge. His poor health is affecting his decision-making ability."
Like a tortoise, Mr B withdrew from the shouts and curses of many in the fan base who had once given him praise... and while the media wasn't solely to blame, they were clearly not innocent, and obviously set against Pat and his beloved Broncos.
Nepotism, cronyism... then Spygate II. More vitriol, more hate.
And yet, in the midst of chaos... while this family was being torn to pieces... hope glimmered at the fringe.
A knight in shining armor.
It is now known that Mr. Bowlen and John Elway had been meeting for some while before talk of his potential hiring hit the airwaves. Although I have no proof, I believe that it was John Elway that gave Mr. B the courage to start again.
And so it came to pass that John Elway was brought back into the fold and this gave the fans a connection, once again, to our past glories.
While it's too early to tell whether the curse has been lifted, I think everyone in Broncos Universe is breathing once again. And it feels good, too.
I hope that, in time, Pat Bowlen will be able to face the media again... and smile, just as he'd done on friday and so many other times in the past. I believe he has been burned deeply by the coals he's been raked over and only time will heal those wounds.
Here's to hoping it's sooner rather than later.
Here's to the greatest owner in professionsl sports!
To Mr. B!