"It's easy to grin / When your ship comes in / And you've got the stock market beat. / But the man worthwhile, / Is the man who can smile, / When his shorts are too tight in the seat. (chuckles) Okay, Pookie. Do the honors." Judge Smails, Caddyshack
As passionate fans, we're quick to cry out that someone or something must be against us when the breaks don't go our way - whether it's calls from the referees, injuries or turnovers, it's easy to look at our team when it's down and think we've got the worst of it. Woe be us, indeed. Playing the pessimist card is easy, too - misery loves company and the fact of the matter is even in the best situation, it's still incredibly difficult to be the one team that actually wins it all.
But today is Sunday - and the benefit for the resting Broncos is that the teams they're competing with for seed positions have to face their tests today; it's their turn to bear the brunt of the brutality that is the NFL. Bad stuff will happen - outright losses and losses within wins (injuries, like Gronkowski to the hated Pats).
As has been pointed out, Thursday wasn't a typical Broncos performance. Taken in the large scheme, it's an outlier. That's not to say there's not much to be learned - Kyle's excellent piece on TD and the value of the late season loss beat me to the punch on what I was thinking exactly. I remember feeling that sick when the Broncos lost to the 49ers for their second loss in a row late in the season, Romonowski had the ugly spitting incident with JJ Stokes and it felt like a promising season might be circling the drain once again. For all the good they had done, John Elway's Broncos, once again, would come up short.
Except, of course, they didn't. Here's the skinny, football fans: When it comes to whether or not the Broncos will punch their ticket to a Super Bowl win this year or not, nobody knows anything for sure. Keep the faith. Embrace the struggle. And try, if at all possible, to enjoy the ride.
As a quick aside, Santa just came a bit early to my house and delivered tickets for me and my dad to see the Broncos face the Raiders in this year's finale. If any other MHR'ers are braving the O.Co on Dec. 29, please let me know!