Standard Disclaimer: The following story is nothing more than a construct of my own meandering mind. It is utterly/absolutely/completely fabricated; an unmitigated (non-vicious) pack of (fantastical) lies. No real places or events… no real people, regardless of similarities, yada yada yada.
KRONK: An earnest yet innocuous fan of the Denver Broncos.
(TY)JE: Vice President of Football Operations – Denver Broncos. AKA: Ole No. 7, The Duke.
Deep in the bowels of Dove… (yuk, scratch that).
KRONK snaps abruptly back to consciousness, and immediately attempts to orient himself. Seated comfortably in a large over-stuffed chair, he sees its’ twin – empty – across from the small coffee-table in front of him. What he can see of the room is simply and tastefully decorated and the lighting is low, fading outward from the space between the seats. There doesn’t seem to be a source.
Not knowing where he is, he’s trying to remember how he may have gotten there when he hears a door open – and softly close – somewhere off to his left and behind him. A figure approaches through the dim.
(TY)JE: Hello, and Congratulations, Kronk!
KRONK: (rising) Uh, hi. Can you - hey!... you’re (TY)JE!
(TY)JE: (puzzled) Yes… and you were expecting…?
KRONK: (puzzled in turn) Expecting…? I wasn’t really expecting anything. I mean… wait a minute, wait a minute; what am I doing here? Where is “here”?
(TY)JE: (pausing, then muttering “oh, boy… not again!”) Uh, take a seat, Kronk. Now, what’s the last thing you remember?
KRONK: Well… I had just finished taking the tour of the Denver Broncos facilities at Dove Valley. (Frowning, concentrating…) I was following the group down a hallway toward the exit, when it seemed like a shadow rolled up behind me,… and then split? One to each side?
(TY)JE: Large shadows?
KRONK: Ginormous. And there was this sound; real low and rumbling… kinda like an avalanche… like… like dueling, a cappella avalanches… but from way far away. But coming on… you know? (getting agitated) Then something was shoved over my head, and there was this funny smell… (looking directly at (TY)JE, Kronk goes silent).
(TY)JE: (talking through his face-palm) Boyd and Mobley.
KRONK: Excuse me?
(TY)JE: Greg Boyd and Orson Mobley. You know how we’ve been trying to bring back the Ole Bronco Spirit? Being transparent, tweeting news, letting the fans get close to the real action, get close to the team? Inviting ex-players to come back into the fold; being seen, and contributing in real – or token - ways? Well, we put Boyd and Mobley on Fan-tasy Island duty this time around. That’s here. You’re in a very private lounge deep in the bow… uh, in a little-known, underground part of the greater Dove Valley complex.
KRONK: I see. And the sound?
(TY)JE: Huh? Oh. That. That was, uhhhm… giggling. They were giggling. (a moments awkward silence… then a bark of laughter.) I’m really sorry. (He snorts. Twice.) Really. (struggling for, then gaining, composure) Look, it’s not supposed to go that way. They’re just supposed to politely and quietly introduce themselves, explain that you’ve been randomly selected for a very special prize, and invite you to follow them here.
KRONK: (growing incensed) In-vite? So by “invite” you mean “abduct”?! No wait, I’m sorry; drug and abduct!?! (sputtering) Do you have any idea –
(TY)JE: Whoa whoa whoa whooooaaaaaaa… easy on there, Kronk. Slow the roll. Look, how about I tell you why you’re here; what the “prize” is? Then you can decide whether you want to get on with that, or continue with the indignation. Okay?
KRONK: (after a moment, yet still almost completely un-mollified) Okay; since I can /feel the depth of your remorse/, let’s move on for the moment. Bedazzle me.
(TY)JE: You know, you’re quite a bit of an… (deep breath), never mind. This isn’t going as planned. Here’s the deal; you have been granted the opportunity to conduct an isolated, uninterrupted, uncensored interview with me, (TY)JE, to discuss any seven aspects of the Denver Broncos that cross your mind. We call it Seven for 7 on Fan-tasy Island.
KRONK: Seven for… there’s actually quite a lot of innuendo and double entendre in that.
(TY)JE: Yeah, well; you know… our Marketing Guy. He gets a bit bored, I think, and has an inflated sense of his own cleverness.
KRONK: I suppose. And “uncensored”? Afraid I’d complain if I can’t swear?
(TY)JE: It means that there is nothing that is off-limits - so long as it pertains to the Broncos; no personal questions. And it means that I have to answer completely and honestly; no sound-bites or canned answers. You will get the “inside scoop” - the “real deal” - on any seven questions that so many others are dying to know the truth of. Things we’ve been surreptitiously saying “pound sand, Putz” about, to every media-credentialed, ignorantly-opinionated blow-hard that has ever been granted access to our “press conferences”. You get to be one of the cognoscenti.
(TY)JE: It means “one of those in the know”, a part of the “inner circle”… a possessor of superior knowledge. It means “you da man!”; at least relative to anyone that you are ever likely to speak to about the Broncos. The rest of us will know that you’re still just one of the “prize-winners”.
KRONK: Still just “one of the Putzes”?
(TY)JE: Well… yes. A “Putz of a different color”, though. But yes.
KRONK: Huh. You know, I’m starting to like you. I take my “fandom” quite enthusiastically… but I don’t mistake it for being serious. I’ll jump around like a bullfrog in biology lab over a big win, but I wouldn’t wallow for days in depression or start a stadium brawl over an equally painful loss.
I suppose I’d have to consider myself a bit of a Putz if I actually started to believe that watching games and rooting for the Broncos somehow qualified me to “know better” than y’all about the Broncos… so I guess I shouldn’t be offended that you see the truth of that as well. I just didn’t expect you to say so. Not exactly “fan-friendly”, ya know?
(TY)JE: (with a smile and a wink… ) Actually, I played that up a bit. I’m trying to give you an idea of what I’m willing to say to you. In truth, on the one hand I don’t feel the members of the media – or the fan-base – are putzes. Each individual understands and expresses their affinity for the Broncos in their own way - and not only do I appreciate that, I want to encourage that. It is, in fact, my job. Even though we know that there’s a ton of MMQBing and nitpicking when we win, and worse when we lose; going even so far as outrage if we’re in a significant slide.
Remember, we are “entertainment”. That’s what rings the register. We try to win a sports trophy, not a Nobel Peace Prize or the Medal of Honor.
On the other hand, the monstrously vast majority of viewers – we’re talking many, many millions of football fans worldwide - do not understand what really goes into achieving success on an NFL field on a given game day. There are some that do; current and past “high level” coaches and players, plus a few “non-participants” that are gifted with the ability to understand the processes at a cognitive level. But now you’re only talking about some tens of thousands.
KRONK: That seems a bit exaggerated, at both ends of the spectrum.
(TY)JE: Well, I mean it in a very specific way, and we can discuss that a bit later if you like. For now, the issue is we’re not holding press conferences – or selling tickets and merchandise - for the tens of thousands of experts, but rather for the less-knowledgeable vast majority. And as sincere as I want to be with them, my first problem is it would take too long to truly respond authentically so that most people understood what I was saying, and were satisfied.
My second problem is we’re trying to win some MFing games here, and the information is too valuable to offer up when there are people out there listening - who do know better - and are trying to beat us.
So here, today, I’m willing to say things to you, that will never be heard by another living being. I’ll honestly call you a Putz… but of course I mean it in the nicest possible way.
KRONK: Give me a break. People aren’t that stupid; and your knowledge – and the nature of “the game” – is not so incomprehensible that the rest of us plebes have no viable insight or discernible value, other than as a consumers’ pocket to be picked. People understand the game well enough – in fact I’ve read many who know a great deal. And the “monstrously vast majority” have eyes… they can see the obvious.
(TY)JE: So. Are you in?
KRONK: … uhm. Aren’t you going to respond to that?
(TY)JE: Is it one of your questions? And what, exactly, was the question?
KRONK: (Kronk considers this for a moment, then…) Yeah, I guess I see your point; both of them, in fact. (Sitting back, Kronk thinks for several minutes. Then… ) I’m in, but I don’t want to waste this; I want to see if I can coordinate my questions so that it tells as much of a story as possible. Kind of like a combination of a timeline, that also builds upon itself to reveal more “principles” than just random facts or trivia. Can you give me, say, ten or 15 minutes to get my thoughts in order?
(TY)JE: (Rising and heading back in the direction from which he had come…) No problem, I’ll just step out and take care of a few things… perhaps have a “performance review” with Messieurs Boyd and Mobley. There are drinks and snacks-foods back behind the bar; make yourself comfortable.
KRONK: Wait, what? There’s a bar in here?
(TY)JE: (laughing) Oh, yes; all that and then some. We don’t call it The AMEX Lounge for nothing, you know.
KRONK: The AMEX Lou… ?; ‘cause “membership has its’ privileges”?
(TY)JE: (Pausing at the door; ) You catch on quick, Kronk. (then gesturing into the distance…) Just start walking and the lighting will take care of itself. You’ll find the bar at the end of a deep post route; make your break at the stage. See you soon.
(SCENE fades to black as the door swings slowly closed.)
So, MHR, I have my seven questions for (TY)JE; the only other one I have is whether I should bother to write them up for general discussion, or keep playing them out in my own mind.
I’d probably post each one during a non-draft/-OTA/-Camp week when there are less compelling things to talk about, and also completely dependent on some rather stringent time constraints of my own.
Let’s see… in keeping with the theme, let’s say a “validity threshold” of 77 votes, with a 7 to 1 for-vs.-against ratio would mean it wouldn’t be an embarrassing (for me) waste of time (for both of us). Vote early, vote often.
POLL NOTE: Choices 1 and 4 are "AGAINST", choices 2 and 3 are "FOR".