After this week of great strife, vitriol, and frustration that arose after the nuclear bomb that was Pat Bowlen's private jet carrying Peyton Manning struck Broncos Country, I think it's important that we step back and think about how all of us are dealing with the very real possibility (probability?) that Tim Tebow has played his last game as a Denver Bronco.
1. Denial - This stage came before Bowlen's plane left Stillwater for Miami. It is generally characterized by comments like, "There's no way the Broncos are really going after Peyton; we've got a quarterback!", "Why would Peyton even be interested? He wouldn't want to be the guy that forced out Tebow.", "But Elway and Fox said Tebow is the starter going into training camp!"
2. Anger - This is probably the longest stage, and many are probably still stuck on this stage. It is characterized by the opinion that EFX is the worst front office ever, that Elway has been the head of a secret society that is conspiring to set Tebow up to fail, that Elway's Denver legacy will be irreparably damaged by this saga, and is very quick to get into heated and potentially insult-laden debates, particularly when baited by comments from the unilaterally-pro-Manning crowd that they are a Tebow fan and not a Bronco fan. This interaction with the UPMC is very volatile, and should generally be avoided by both sides to prevent a comment field explosion of angry words we'll all regret later.
3. Bargaining - This stage is difficult to pin down, because there's not really anyone to bargain with, but it probably entails calmly bringing up all the theoretical free agents we might not get if we sign Manning, or asking for just one more year and then we'll know for sure about Tebow or be able to draft a franchise replacement.
4. Depression - Usually brought about by thinking about the shiny new Tebow jersey you got at Christmas, or worrying about whether your kids will ever want to watch the Broncos with you again.
5. Acceptance - This is the inevitable state of calm and peace when you come to terms with the loss of Tim Tebow. You realize you're going to be just as excited to see the Broncos whether Peyton or Tim is the quarterback, and you're just relieved that you'll never have to hear the words "best chance to win" ever again. There's nothing keeping you from rooting for Tim on another team, but gosh darn it, you're still a Broncos fan, and this is still a proud franchise.
I've only recently come into acceptance myself, and let me tell you it makes this whole thing so much easier. I only hope that Manning decides soon - the longer this goes on, the more difficult it will be for people to come to Acceptance, and more will be stuck in the stage of Anger for far too long. Unilaterally-Pro-Manning-Crowd - please understand what we are all going through, and try not to flame us or belittle our fandom during this trying time.
Thanks for reading, and Go Broncos!