Media and fans personal access to it has changed the landscape of sports. Fans are closer. They are louder. They are, potentially, more educated. And, yet, with all of these riches, it seems to satisfy some less and less. The pursuit of greatness, which the Broncos are clearly after, is not only a thing I admire but something I strive for in my personal and professional life. I believe it takes sacrifice, hard work, discipline and humility – for starters.
From my perspective, it’s a beautiful thing being 3-0, top of the division, conference, etc.. HOF QB playing at career best level? Check. Stout defensive line and quick, athletic linebackers, db’s and safeties? Check. Special teams feeling extra special – with punt returns feeling like the Holidays have come early rather than the dread of "old reliable" J. Leonhard’s catch-step-hit me routine (‘nuff respect, sir – you did well with what you had and what was asked). Oh – check those special teams, too.
How about that coaching staff – scheming and busting their tails, out-smarting teams week after week? The team is clearly responding to the coaches, too, as we fans are being treated to new and exciting ways to humiliate opponents week in and out. Anyone else enjoying the wide-eyed looks in the ping-ponging defenders eyes as everyone in orange starts pointing and making calls along the Broncos front line just before the snap? Oh snap, indeed.
Is this team perfect? Hardly. There are miscues and bungles aplenty; self-inflicted wounds enough to keep the hari-kiri hotline at hand – just to make sure no one’s considering anything silly. It would be nice if the offense would keep their foot on the pedal for four quarters – just to see it do it. A few less drops, a ban on fumbles and a bubble for Peyton would be nifty. It would also be pleasurable to see a few less third down conversions by the opposition. And, yes, it would be lovely to have VonDoom delight us again as our pass rush is not what it was. But…Doom and all two of his sacks so far this year have sailed. And Von is currently even more quiet than that (and for that we are thankful). But with eight sacks through three games, the Broncos defense currently ranks 14th. Not great. Not terrible. And certainly not the only stat to measure a defense or, even more importantly, a team by.
But greatness very, very rarely equates to perfection. And even then, perfection can be picked apart. The goal for this team, so far as I've seen, is the Super Bowl. That will not be played for several months. Now has very little to do with then, though having ones feet pointed in the direction of NYC is a good start. A perfect record, unless your the 1974 Miami Dolphins, doesn't mean a thing...ask the 2007 Patriots. I've said this many times -- it wouldn't bother me in the big picture if this team lost a few games a long the way. Playing well at the right time (which is so deeply impacted by the intangible injuries) is what it comes down to -- see the Ravens, Giants, etc..
Back to now. Back to one – or three, as in: 3-0. And not by small margins, mind you – this is not "Just win baby" or some kind of smoke and mirrors (looking squarely at the 6-0 McDaniels team). This year’s squad has scored the most points per game of any team in the NFL by 31 (GB is next at 96 vs. the Broncos 127). And giving up 23.7 vs. scoring 42.3 will win most of the time – if you really want it. But to some, this isn’t enough – and this, in my opinion, is the problem with the overly-empowered and self-important fan on the blog. Let’s be 100 percent clear here: discussion is good. Criticism is good. There are boundaries, however, for that criticism to remain constructive. When that line is crossed, the discussion becomes a fight that quickly spirals to meaningless insult at best. No one here is figuring anything out for the Broncos. They've got it in hand, thanks! Can we discuss it? Sure. That's what this place is for.
MHR has been a great site over the years I’ve been here (since 2006, which includes a handle change when I got into it with SB nation over an issue unrelated to the Broncos). There have been ups and downs, to be sure. Please take a step back and recognize this moment right now as an up – a big, big, BIG up. People often say the mark of a person is how they handle adversity – the same can be said for when times are good. Here’s my pitch: enjoy what’s going on. This is a (potential) new golden age for these Broncos we haven’t seen since the late 90’s. Again – not saying don’t criticize; not saying don’t ask questions and offer suggestions. But remember who you are (a fan) and what this is (a blog for fans). Nobody is solving anything the Broncos brass aren't already handling. Being right here doesn’t earn you anything except green ego strokes, I suppose. The greatest enjoyment I get out of this site is the community aspect -- the fact that we're all Broncos fans.