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Ultimate Fan Guide: Don't stop believin' ... the journey is just about to begin

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Did you see what I did there? Boy do we have a treat for you with this week's Ultimate Fan "New Year's/Bye Week" Edition. By popular demand (and a promise that no question would require research, thought or consideration), Whorfin is here to tell us why we have absolutely nothing to worry about this next month - except losing. But that's not going to happen.

DenverBroncos.com

There are fans who believe, and then there are fans who believe. I don't even have to tell you which one Whorfin is.

Neither.

Because he really believes.

Those of you who have been around MHR longer than I know he's the fan to talk you off the ledge when our beloved Broncos team struggles - or at least say something so funny you wouldn't possibly want to jump ship yet because you'd miss out on his quips, clever nonsense (yes, possible) and downright hilarity.

So while the Broncos begin the postseason 0-0, enjoy this New Year and new season with a new - and perhaps much funnier - attitude about the Best. Team. On. The. Planet.

The BYE Week:

MHR - If you were one of the Broncos, how would you spend your Bye Week that includes three days off this week?

Whorfin: At the hot springs.  After almost a full season without a break, spending three days weightless is the only way to go.  I might build up the gumption to go get a massage.  Or two.  Mostly soak, though.

MHR - Looking over this season's scores, reviewing the opponents (5 playoff teams), factoring in the schedule (early bye, 3 road games in a row) and NOT having any stats to rely on, how would you summarize this 2014 regular season and this 2014 Broncos' team?

Whorfin: Super Bowl Champions-to-be.  Period.  You can trust my prediction because so far this season, I'm 12 - 4, which is pretty darn good. Better than those twerps on ESPN, that's for sure.

MHR - What makes you the most confident about this team moving forward in the playoffs?

Whorfin: Flexibility in strategy.  We can go from precision-passing to down-your-throat rushing.  There have been some hiccups along the way, particularly when we've transitioned from one to the other.  I see these as growing pains:  lessons were learned, and improvements are incorporated.  Also, we have a defense in the top ten percentile, and we all know what defenses win.

We can go from precision passing to down-your-throat rushing. There have been some hiccups along the way but lessons were learned and improvements incorporated.  -Whorfin

MHR - What is your biggest concern for the next few games?

Whorfin: Losing. The upside, though, is that losing obviates the temptation to worry about the subsequent game.

MHR - If the assumption that the Broncos play the Patriots in Foxboro for the AFCCG comes to fruition, why are you confident the Broncos will come out on top this time (and what do you think explains the 43-21 loss there in Week 9?)

Whorfin: Cheaters never prosper (when it counts).

I think that the Broncos team that potentially goes to Foxboro this time is different than the one that went earlier this season. The same with the Patriots. We've added capability, and they're regressing.

I honestly think the Patsies get bounced before we have to do it.

MHR - Terrance Knighton called Broncos fans "high maintenance" and given calls for coaches to be fired, players to be benched, etc. it's hard to argue with him, especially given some of these accomplishments:

  • Broncos have a league-high 9 players selected for the Pro Bowl.
  • Peyton Manning was nominated for his 14th.
  • Manning shattered the all-time Touchdowns record, which is now 530.
  • Demaryius Thomas hit a team record for 1,619 yards this season and tied Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice as the only three players to get at least 1,400 yards and 10 TDs in three consecutive seasons.
  • C.J. Anderson led all NFL running backs in December with 7 TDs.
  • Chris Harris Jr. is rated the No. 1 cornerback by Pro Football Focus. John Fox has won the division title four years in a row.

So are we spoiled or ungrateful or as my favorite game at Cracker Barrel suggests, "just plain dumb?" All of the above? (or something else?)

Whorfin: You can add sweeping the division to that list. There's not another team in the post season that can make that boast.  Arguably, the two losses the Broncos handed to each the Griefs and Dolts kept those teams out of the playoffs. (bwahahahahaha, chumps!)

I think it stems from last year.  The 2013 Broncos offense was other-worldly.  We (and I use the "we" because I have a strong emotional proprietary interest in my Beloved Broncos) racked up touchdowns like never before. We crushed opponents on the way to the Super Bowl.  Expectations were (somewhat) justifiably sky-high.  Then comes Eight. Whole. Points.

Now, the 2014 Broncos' offense seems to "struggle."  PFM actually goes through an entire game without throwing a touch down pass. OMfreakinG!  We lose to teams deemed inferior; we have trouble in the red zone.

The almost-subliminal question becomes, "If that historic team scored Eight. Whole. Points. how does one have any confidence in a 'struggling' team?"

MHR - How did you become a Broncos fan and what is one of your favorite stories about being a fan (at a game? Watching a game? Defending your fanhood, etc)?

Whorfin: It was conversion by the sword. My family moved to Aspen in the early 60s (that was before John Denver ruined it).  I remember coming home from kindergarten one day, spouting off about the Cowboys (because my best friend Frankie Melville liked them).  My brother, six years my senior and staunch Broncomaniac, took exception, and beat me to a pulp.  I've been a Broncos fan ever since.

I've been blessed with being able to attend, among others, an AFCCG in Denver (against the Browns) and three Broncos Super Bowls, culminating in the Nightmare on Bourbon Street. The most fun I had, though, was when I was living in Chicagoland. One season, the Broncos were playing the Bears. I put the stereo speakers against the open windows.  Every time the Broncos scored, I blasted 1,000 watts of "The History of Rock and Roll, Part 2" throughout the neighborhood. One never stops being a "little brother."

MHR - What movie/song/book title (hymn?) best describes the Broncos team this season?

Whorfin: "Battle Hymn of the Republic."  We've trampled the vintages where the grapes of wrath are stored, and the NFL is about to experience our terrible swift sword.

We've trampled the vintages where the grapes of wrath are stored, and the NFL is about to experience our terrible swift sword.   -Whorfin with a Battle Hymn of the Republic adaptation

MHR - If you were on the team, which would you most likely be - quarterback, o-lineman, wide receiver, running back, defensive lineman, linebacker, cornerback, safety, punter, kicker, waterboy, coach, cheerleader?

Whorfin: Owner.  No-brainer.  I'm not the least bit athletic or coordinated, and all that exercising and running around seems so much like work.  eeeeeeewwwwww, raaaaaaaaiderrrrrrrrrs.

I'd hire a great GM and get out of his way. I'd make time to show up for the draft and collect trophies. It wouldn't be all milk and honey, though. There are the owners' meetings, and I'd run the risk of actually speaking to Marc Davis. It's not that talking to him would be so bad, it would be trying to keep a straight face while doing it. Your barber hates you. So does your dentist.

MHR- Which one would KRONK-00 be?

Whorfin: Kronk is a highly accomplished soccer player of international fame, so the temptation is to say "kicker."  Then I remembered he played goalie,  which is where they put the big guys who can't run or kick. I'd make him the GM. He's got a good handle on the "inside" of the game and would have good instincts about the players. Plus, I could count on him to make good jokes about Jerrah behind his back. Or to his face. Those would be better.

Predictions:

How fast Terrance Knighton can run the 4.40 [sic]?

I'm pretty sure Terrence Knighton can run a 4.40. How far he got in that time is another matter.

/oops. docllv quickly realizes mistake...Ok, smart alec, how fast he can run the 40? ;)

I did notice that on one of his roll-outs, Derek Carr was a bit disconcerted to see that the mountain will, in fact, come to Mohammed.  And at a pretty good clip to boot.

How many times the Broncos will say "at the end of the day" in their post-game interviews?

Exactly two fewer than the number of questions asked.

How many times it will be debated whether Manning is too old/weak/washed up to win a SB?

Who wins if the 2014 Broncos play the '97 Broncos? I'll settle that right now. 2014 Broncos hands down. The '97 Broncos are all in their 40s and 50s. They'd get killed out there.   -Whorfin

My initial reaction was "Until he wins a Super Bowl," but that is incorrect.  The debate would only shift to whether he's "too old/weak/washed up to three-peat."

The other debate that happens is "Who would win if the 2014 Broncos played the 1997 Broncos?"  I'll settle that one right now. The 2014 Broncos. Hands down. The '97 Broncos are all in their late 40s to early 50s. They'd get killed out there.

The year the zombie apocalypse happens?

The sooner the better. Getting ready was really expensive and bills are piling up; societal collapse will come in handy.

The Favorites

Favorite team to watch the Broncos play?
Raiders.  Especially over the past decade.   God, I hate the faders.

Team you most hate for the Broncos to lose to?
In this order:

Cowboys

Giants

Redskins

Forty-Niners

Seahawks

Is there a pattern there?

Favorite Broncos player on the current roster?
Emmanuel Sanders.  I love that guy's attitude. His is the one pre-game interview on KOA I make darn sure I listen to.  There are a lot of close seconds, though.  Pot Roast, CJ, Ben Garland, a few others.  The guys that really seem to appreciate being Broncos.

Favorite Broncos player of all time?
I'd like to say TYJE, but he was at Stanford while I was at Cal, and he ruined almost every Big Game for me. Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenberg, and Ray May are all high on my list.   Rod Smith, I think, would top the list.  Champ would, but he was a Redskin before.

Favorite thing to eat during a game?
Bacon cheeseburger with extra mayo, because there just isn't enough cholesterol without it.

Favorite Game-Day ritual and attire? (*for the record, I already know this one - Hawaiian shirt, cheeseburger and ice tea...a pitcher waiting for you!)

For the record, I am not superstitious. I merely have the capability of discerning causal relationships that others do not.'The Shirt' does not get laundered after a victory and does after a loss. -Whorfin

The Shirt is a seriously obnoxious and garish Bronco-themed aloha shirt. I've never seen another anywhere. Mrs. W got it off the clearance rack at a T.J. Maxx in Louisville, Ky., of all places. God is good. My game-day attire has been augmented by new Broncos socks acquired on Christmas.

Most embarrassing-to-admit superstitious behavior regarding Broncos during a game?
For the record, I am NOT superstitious. I merely have the capability of discerning causal relationships that others do not.

The Shirt does not get laundered after a victory and does after a loss. The more redolent it gets, the better. A long win streak affords me plenty of elbow room at the sports bar.

Best Broncos game ever played?
Our first Super Bowl victory.  It's trite, but true. I shot off over $1,000 worth of fireworks that night. Fiiiiiiinally!

Who makes your Hall of Fame Broncos team?
They all do.  Each and every one of them has enhanced the last five decades or so for me.  I wish I could thank them all for their hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.

Even Dan Reeves. Ouch.