My what a difference a year makes! A year ago, it seemed like our beloved Broncos could not buy a win. Now we have the moxie and the magic to steal them from the jaws of defeat. No matter how improbable, everything suddenly seems possible again. After this string of late game comebacks and crazy finishes, I may have to find some religion, or at least some better blood pressure medication. Is this the return of Mile High Magic?
I became a Broncos fan during the rise of John Elway to immortal status. Those were some great years where miracles happened, the ball seemed to bounce our way more often than not. We had a QB that could will his team to victory. He managed to do it thirty five times over his storied career. You had a feeling that no game was out of reach with Elway under center. I became a believer in Mile High Magic. That magic seemed to have been lost in recent years. John Elway retired after back to back Superbowl victories. The old Mile High was torn down to make way for Invesco Field. The Broncos lost their legendary quarterback and their mystical homefield that could intimidate the toughest adversary. Our beloved team slid into mediocrity and beyond. Where did the magic go? Was it buried under the parking lot of the new stadium? Did it follow Elway into retirement? Back then, I was younger, more well equipped to handle the strain of the "Comeback Kid". This new version might be the death of me, but I am enjoying the ride.
The Broncos suffered through their worst season in recent memory in 2010 and started 2011 still lacking the magic. Bowlen tried to get some of that old magic back by bringing the great one into the fold in the front office. Early on, it looked like our team was destined for another horrible season. The team played uninspired under a QB whose fire and determination had been questioned. The Broncos made a change at QB and found a lightning rod in Tim Tebow. There has never been a figure in the NFL quite as polarizing. Most people either love him or hate him, there is very little middle ground with Tebow. Early on, I found myself questioning his ability, but I tried to remain objective about Tebow. I had seen enough of Orton to know he wasn't going to get this team anywhere. The past couple of months, the kid has grown on me. I admire his humility. I admire how he gives credit to the team, the fans, and his higher power. In a time where most teams and players seem very "Me First", Tebow is like a breath of fresh mountain air. The team has bought into the selfless mentality of the team coming first. The receivers bide their time and wait for their chance. The defense plays lights out and keeps the team in the game. After seven games with Tebow, the magic seems to be back in full force.
Nearly every game since the switch has been a close affair. We've played most of these games from behind and found a way to win in the end. Yesterday, I thought I seen the magic start to fade again. The Broncos played a tough Bears team that refused to become the next victim of Tebow time. It looked dire for our beloved team right up to the point where Marion Barber was forced out of bounds to stop the clock, foiling any attempt by the Bears to run down the clock. At that point I said to myself "We're going to steal this thing"! At that point in time, any doubt of the outcome of the game was erased in my mind. When Wesley Woodyard forced the fumble to end Chicago's overtime drive, I knew it was just a matter of time. The Mile High Magic is back but this time if feels almost like divine intervention. The Broncos had no business winning that game yesterday and still found a way to do it. With this latest miracle, it is starting to feel more like destiny than simple magic. It is almost as if there is some higher power steering us into the post season. I say that being a person who has never really been big on religion. If it was pure luck, it would have ran out by now. There is something more there that I do not have an explanation for, almost like magic, or maybe it is divine intervention. I am not here to debate religion, or politics, that is very taboo. Something is happening in the Mile High City and no network expert or talking head can explain the unexplainable. As fans, we are in a position where we can just enjoy the ride and right now that is probably the best bet for any off us. Trying to figure it all out could cause madness.