You don't know me. I'm a lawyer in Missoula, Montana. I'm 37 years old, and I have three young sons. I was one of the people in the crowd in Missoula when you did that fundraising event in early March, 2012. I've been a Bronco fan since 1983. I grew up with John Elway as my hero.
I hated you with a burning passion when I first saw you playing for Florida. It was nothing personal, I just hated the Gators. But as I watched your career, I came to appreciate your ability and your character. By the end of your college career, I was rooting for you. When we traded up to draft you, I was thrilled because I believed in your potential. I saw what you were able to do against the best competition in the SEC and I knew your game would translate to the NFL.
But more importantly, I admired you as a person, and I was proud to have you as the face of our franchise. I wanted my kids to grow up with a hero like you as the QB of our favorite team. I wanted to be able to point to you as a role model for them in sports and in life. And I wanted to be able to watch the movie "Braveheart" with them as your father did with you. I wanted to tell them, as your father told you, that if they approached anything in life with as much passion as the character in "Braveheart" did, they could never be stopped.
Not since 1998 have I been as happy (as a sports fan) as I was when you hit DT to beat the Steelers in overtime. That play, that game, that whole season, was just magical. I wish I had gone to Denver to see you play in person, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.
Now it looks like your time as a Denver Bronco is over. I can't tell you how disappointing this is for me as a fan of the Denver Broncos. I think it is the wrong move for the team, and think it will haunt our franchise. Part of me hopes that the Broncos keep you so that when Peyton Manning's career ends, you will be ready to resume your rise to greatness with the Broncos. But the bigger part of me wants you to be traded so that you won't lose the next two or three years of your career sitting on the bench. You deserve better than what you have been given here. I will continue to be a fan wherever you end up. Please know that you are loved and appreciated for what you do on and off the field.
I wish you the best in football and in life. I know that you don't need my support, but I still want to tell you to keep your chin up. You are destined for great things, and hopefully your new fan base will appreciate you. You gave me and my family more joy than you could ever know. God bless you.