How free agency, air travel, re-locating, fantasy football, Pat Bowlen, Josh McDaniels and DIRECTV have changed the NFL, the Broncos and their fan base?
Back when Josh McDaniels was canned by John Elway I wondered what kind of effect that would have on the fans here at the MHR. Many fans were deeply hurt and quickly followed Josh McDaniels to St. Louis so they could watch what they were certain was bound to be the re-birth of the greatest show on turf. Unfortunately the only great show of turf was when Josh McDaniels' QB Chris Simms got busted in the gateway city for smoking turf. Even after the failure in Missouri those fans still adore Josh McDaniels and will be rooting for none other than the evil Bill Belchik, the kiss ass Josh McDaniels, the new guy who video tapes walk throughs, Tom Brady's butt chin and the polarizing Pats.
And rightfully so, we saw the attention of Bronco fans shift with the departure of the "banished four" as well. Although surprisingly to a far, far lesser extent. Is this okay? Is it right for a "die hard" Broncos fan to give two shakes about and follow the career of an ex-player or coach? Is it an orange card violation? Should those "fans" be looked down upon by the purists?
So... hot on the heels of the beloved and departed Josh McDaniels was the departure of his prize pupil, Brandon Lloyd, just Joshin. I'm talking about T3, Timmy Tinsel Tebow. The man with the best nick name in the history of the league. Many Josh McDaniels loving "Bronco" fans were sad to see Josh McDaniels go but they took some solace in the fact that T3 (a direct extension of Josh McDaniels) was still in the Mile High City, so their wonder lust was subdued.
Subdued only until that fateful day when the Greatest Bronco of all time (and probably once the hero to many of the Josh McDaniels loving base) was officially hired to run our favorite team. This brought about mixed reviews from the Josh McDaniels loving Bronco fans because they missed Josh McDaniels and caught wind that the short sited and very jealous John Elway was honest and merely pleased with T3 as "a football player" and "a person" but not as a "QB". A monkey wrench with a long busted neck entered the Tebow machine and the bright young, handsome, charming, charismatic, well built, rising star would soon trade in his extra medium pink polo in for a gangly green jets jersey.
The Josh McDaniels loving, T3 adoring "Bronco" fans were for a lack of a better phrase were "orange crushed" over the events. How could this be? The Duke that these fans once trusted with their favorite teams final two minutes had finally let them down by spitefully trading T3 to an AFC rival of his choice. This created a huge crack in the fan fault, which was quickly followed by a tremor and then a tsunami of MHRers that couldn't wait to catch the next red eye to the right coast. But is that a bad thing? Or as George would say "was that wrong, should I not have done that"?
To a degree, it shows loyalty on their part and that's a good thing right? Should they hand in their card for caring more about an ex-Bronco then the current crop? The reason why I typed Bowlens name is because he's the guy that hired Josh McDaniels. And of course Josh McDaniels for better or worse started to rid our favorite team of some very young, very talented, very productive, pro bowl caliber, all pro caliber, franchise caliber, super bowl caliber offensive players. Did Josh McDaniels do the team a favor or did he dismantle the greatest core of young offensive players that our favorite team has ever known? That is a good discussion but not the debate at hand. What is up for debate is the question. Should you feel bad that you follow and cheer for some of the Josh McDaniels castoffs that he banished to grossly inferior teams?
Are you in fact like Josh McDaniels? Have you recently been canned? Hopefully not twice in two years like Josh McDaniels but none the less you're on the move looking for a new gig. Or maybe you're moving thanks to a promotion? Maybe you're running from the fuzz, ex-lover or killer bees. In any event, you had to re-locate, get out of the Centennial State and start anew.
Just so happens that your "new town" has an NFL team of its own. This is awkward, where did all the orange and blue in my life go? These license plates look strange too. Why no good Mexican food? All these folks talk about are this new team and its players. I don't want to hear this nonsense, I want to hear about my Broncos! Time goes by and you find your foot on the new teams proverbial bandwagon, you're going to games and you even bought an overpriced NFL jersey. Suddenly, you're feeling a little guilty. Don't beat yourself up bro, it's human nature to want to fit in and it's alright to cheer for the new guys to win as long as it's not against the Broncos. Right? Now you have a second favorite team, is that a crime? Orange card violation? Hard to say. And hey, your new coworkers were hospitable enough to invite you to join their fantasy football league. Oh no, now what?
To further your confusion you have a bunch of non-Bronco players on your FF team! Yes, all Patriots! Score! Your team starts out slow but by mid season you are in the hunt baby! You made the playoffs, the money and pride are on the line. You start out hoping that your players do well against the Broncos but that the Broncos still win. Then something strange starts to happen to you when your players are playing the Broncos. Yep, greed happens to you, just like it happened to T3. It turns out, "I don't give a damn if my guy catches the TD that beats the Broncos as long as I get the six points I need to help me advance to the next round! Damn it Jim. So now on top of all the other ex-player/coaches and teams that I am currently cheering for, not to mention, my "new towns" team, I also want the players on my FF team to produce against the Broncos at any cost?! What have I become? Have I no self respect? Am I even worthy of this tattered little orange piece of paper that I once carried with such pride?
So you now have quite a conundrum growing here don't you? Ends up you are a money hungry FF player wearing your 2nd favorite teams colors at the party. You love Josh McDaniels, Spenser Larson and Brandon Lloyd so of course you're a big fan of the Pats. You worship T3 and may actually be physically attracted to him so you are definitely following the jets (and Jockey) this year. (Also in the words of George "I think it moved").
Your head is spinning but you're not a lost cause. It is okay to have favorite players on other teams but I must remind you guys that yes, it is an orange care violation for you to cheer for either of these teams or any team while they are playing against the Broncos. I know it sounds crazy and un-thinkable to some card holders but there are those amongst us that have been so screwed up by the past four years that they in fact will vehemently be cheering for the Pats and Jets to beat the Denver Broncos, simply to say "I told you so". Hard to understand I know. Listen, I was going to touch on the effects of free agency but as usual I got a little carried away and this ended up being the longest in MHR history. So stay tuned for next weeks installment of "The new Fan".