First things first: I've been a Broncos Fans since I first saw them play the Detroit Lions in an Exhibition Game and beat the big bad NFL for the first time on August 11, 1967. I was eleven years old, I sat in the north end zone seats with my Dada and I cheered like crazy when the ganme was over and my team had won. Ever since that day I've been a fan through good times and bad.
I was there when Floyd Little was returning punts, making 3 yard runs out of 6 yard losses, and keeping the flame of hope alive that someday we'd be a team to reckon with,
I was there when Rich "Tombstone" Jackson head slapped his offensive lineman into submission and struck fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks like Joe Willie Namath.
I remember Steve Tensi, Marlin Brisco, Charley Johnson, Steve Ramsey, Craig Morton, Norris Weese, Steve Deberg and god knows how many other quarterbacks who led the Broncos until we hit the lottery with John Elway.
I remember 1977, the Orange Crush (we bought cases of that stuff--I may still have an unopened can or two lying around someplace). Randy Gradishar crushing running backs on 4th and 1/2 yard, Tom Jackson mocking John Madden while running around like a madman, Lyle Alzado who was a mad man, Bob Swenson, the silent assassin, Joe Rizzo, Rubin Carter, Billy Thompson, and Joe Collier, the man who looked like a professor and practically invented the 3-4 defense (or at least the modern day version of it) the year that history was made and the Broncos beat the hated Raiders on the strength of Morton's arm, his battered hip and a receiver I still love to death, Haven Moses (not to mention Rob Lytle's miraculous non-fumble) and all the rest of the members of that year's team who took us with them to the Denver Broncos' first Super Bowl.
I remember the Drive, thinking we were screwed on the 1 and a half yard line on Cleveland's green painted dirt field, and then watching the beginning of the legend of The Duke emerge as somehow, someway, he willed us to win the first of five AFC Championships. I also remember all those stunning Super Bowl Losses that cut that heart out of me, yet I kept coming back each year hoping and praying that someday my team would reach the Promised land of Supoer Bowl victory.
I remember Reeves' and Elway's power struggle that ended in Reeves' dismissal and the ultimate return of Mike Shanahan as head coach.
I remember the glory years of TD (doesn;t he deserve to be in the Hall of fame already?), the Mile High Salute, the Revenge Tour, and the best Super Bowl ever, with migraines, helicopters, Reggie White gasping for breath and "This one's for John!"
i lived through the (short lived) Bubby Brister era, the slightly longer Brian Griese era (how he ever beat out Tom Brady at Michigan I'll never understand), the Jake the Snake and his left handed pass era, and the Jay Cutler gunslinger era.
I loved Al Wilson and despaired when he was forced to leave the team and the NFL too soon due his neck injury. I will always honor the memory of the passion and intensity he brought to our defense.
I loved Champ Bailey when he almost single-handedly turned the 2006 Divisional playoff game against the Patriots from a loss to a win with his interception of Brady in our endzone running it back for the longest interception return that wasn't a touchdown in NFL hisotry.
I cried the night they shot Darrent Williams down. I bet a lot of you did as well.
I was confused by Josh McDaniels' personnel decisions, then loved his passion after he led the Broncos to a 6-0 start, and finally grew to wish he'd never been allowed to come with 2000 miles of Denver, much less be named its head coach, effective GM and chief bottle washer (for all we know).
I watched and hoped that Orton, with no running game and no defense to speak of could somehow convert his great stats into wins, which sadly never happened.
I was stunned when Tim Tebow was drafted in the first round, but despite my doubts about picking him that high, I pledged to support him if he won the QB job.
I was and remain disappointed by so many so-called fans who would rather argue endlessly over why Tebow wasn't playing or why he should never play for my team.
Well now Tim Tebow is the Quarterback of the DENVER BRONCOS. And I don't want to talk about him anymore, at least not in the manner so many fans have been doing for the past year and a half. At times I thought that people cared more about Tebow than my team. Whether they hated him or idolized him, that conversation was not one I wanted to engage in, nor was it one that benefited my team (and Tebow's team too, by the way)
Because I want to talk about my team, the Denver Broncos, not one player, no matter how famous, controversial, exciting or not ready for "prime time" he may or may not be.
Even when John Elway was our quarterback, and god knows I will always love and respect that man for what he did to make my team a winner and relevant and ultimately a Super Bowl Champion, I was a fan of the Denver Broncos. The team, not the man. I cared about all our players over the years who wore the uniform and I lived and died with them through all the wins and losses and ultimately my team's redemption and the redemption of those of us who are fans.
So, let's stop this endless and pointless discussion, dissection and trivial pursuit of all things Tebow. Because in the end he is one person, one player and one teammate among many who play for our team. Let's get back to what matters. My Team. Your Team. The Denver Broncos.
You want to talk about Tim Tebow's performance as a player over the rest of the season, fine by me, but let's do it in the context of the overall team and the games our team plays. Because the Broncos will win or lose as a team, and every player on our team will play a part in those wins (and we sure need some) or losses (which this team has had enough of already).
I'm a fan of the Denver Broncos. All of them who don the uniform and play the game on Sunday, Monday or whatever day. Period. End of story. Are you?
Ps. Aren't you glad we get our Orange back next year? I sure am.
Thanks for reading.