In recent discussions here at MHR, there has been a designation given to some optimistic fans who have expressed opinions with regard to their favorite team. Some of these optimistic fans have prefaced their own statements by identifying themselves with this same title. But I want to clarify something in this regard.
The word is "homer." And while many such "homers" do exist in sports. And many here in the past could be labeled as such. This, for the most part, should not be applied to current fans of the Denver Broncos..
A homer is defined in the urban dictionary as follows:
Having blind judgement towards a player because he is on that person's favorite team. Usually results in poor arguments in discussions.
A sports fan who picks his/her team to win, despite objective evidence to the contrary.
In definition A, certainly some of us can have a blind judgement towards an individual player. For example, if someone were to say last year that Champ Bailey was an elite CB, because he's Champ Bailey, they would be having a blind judgement. Or if someone were to say that Tim Tebow was an amazing QB just because he was a Bronco, only to see shortly thereafter that he couldn't stick on an NFL roster, he would be a homer.
I don't really see anyone here being a "blind" fan. Where we may have a hint of homerism, is in overvaluing players on the team. I wonder if I overvalue certain players just because they are one of the good guys. And because I watch and grow to appreciate certain skills and attributes of a particular player. Other talented players on other rosters I don't give the same amount of attention to.
But having said that, there are players throughout this team who are considered elite. And we have a good case for saying players like Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Clady, and Von Miller are among the best at their respective positions. It's not being a homer to suggest that, since they are respected that way league wide.
But the point I briefly wanted to make has to do with the team aspect of things. Thinking the Denver Broncos are the best team in the league is not homerism. Thinking they should beat every team this year, is not homerism. Predicting the Broncos to win it all this year is not homerism.. These are all things that should happen.
I know the last we saw the Broncos they got smashed in front of the whole world. That's the image stuck on our mind.
But we need to remember some other images. Von Miller grimacing in pain. Ryan Clady being helped off the field. Chris Harris on the ground. Rahim Moore in the hospital. Derek Wolfe on a stretcher. Images we don't want to see, but help explain the one we saw in MetLife Stadium.
Those are not just any players, those are key players to their team. . Last year we did a countdown of the most valuable Broncos. I believe number 2 was Von Miller, and 3 was Ryan Clady. Take away 2 of the best 3 players from your team and there will be repercussions.
This is nothing new being said here. But it can be restated. Injuries were a part of the story. Just adding one of the leagues best lineman would have helpled the entire offensive line. Just adding Von Miller may have sparked a momentum changing turnover.
Yet, despite all of that, Denver got to the biggest game of the year. Yes, they got hit in the mouth. But even with all of the injuries, was Seattle really that much better? Am I a homer for suggesting that if another game were played a week later, that Denver would have given them a much better game? Doesn't that happen in baseball and basketball series? One team wins game one by 25. The whole world thinks they are going to get it handed to them. Then, they make adjustments, and come back to not only compete better, but often times, they come out and win, sometimes big.
It was one individual game that changed once Seattle got a lead.
The NFC West is not untouchable. Just ask the Colts, who beat both the 49ers and the Seahawks last year. Then got spanked later in the playoffs by the same team that got handled by the Denver Broncos in the playoffs.
Sorry for the ramble, but for anyone still reading, here's the point that is worth making again. The NFL runners up from a year ago not only get two of their best players back. But they swapped DRC for Talib. Added an explosive pass rusher off the edge. And added a pro bowl safety who can roam around and make plays.
That's five pro bowl talents being added to a team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl last year without them. Are you kidding me? Five.
Suggesting that such a team is the best team in the league, is not homerism. It's logical. It's what one should expect. This is one of the best put together rosters I've seen in a long time. Definitely the best roster Peyton Manning has ever been on.
We never know what is going to happen in a season. Injuries and underperformance certainly can happen. But going into the season, there is not another team with so many good players surrounding one of the greatest QBs this league has ever seen.
If you are one who has typically been a homer in the past. Or one that takes too much kool aid. Don't worry, I think your optimism this year is appropriate. Your judgement is not blind, and you are not without evidence.
That's not to say that one should not need to see some proof first. Or that cautious optimism is wrong. It's very much right. But for those who say Denver is the best team in the league this year, I for one want to say, you are not a homer. You are a realist. Hopefully we all find that out in time. . Go Broncos!