Watching the Broncos game yesterday was painful. Extremely painful.
A Chiefs team that was all but pronounced dead a few weeks ago came back to life in October and proved yesterday they were no joke with a 29-13 trouncing of the Broncos at Mile High.
It was such a sound beating that fans left in droves midway through the fourth quarter - something that rarely happens in Denver.
I could go on a rant about that, but I won't. To each, his own (but give me your season tickets please because I always stay to the bitter or glorious end, just like the players on that field).
Did that many people leave their $900 seats? What's going on Broncos fans?— The Orange Page (@theorangepage) November 15, 2015
I could highlight the messy situation we may have found ourselves in at quarterback with our legendary QB getting benched after four interceptions and zero effectiveness while the heir-apparent showed incredible maturity and skill both on and off the field.
I could pull out the quotes of our coach saying the dismal offense and Peyton Manning's ineffectiveness was "on him" and that he should have protected his team leader better.
I could add the quotes from Manning saying he would not blame injuries for his poor performance because that would be an easy way out for the worst game of his career (despite news this morning that Manning has plantar fasciitis).
Manning refused to blame poor play on injuries. "That's an easy way out to say after the fact."— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) November 16, 2015
Then I could add Brock Osweiler quotes saying he knows Manning is the No. 1 QB and that he's just trying to help out when called upon (something he did quite well, I'm happy to say).
And I could finally highlight the quotes of the team members saying it was a tough loss, they'll bounce back, Osweiller did a great job but the entire team needs to play better overall.
All of it would be true. But none of it would be cared about.
The "Peytonistas" would defend Manning the best they could, acknowledging he did not play anything close to legendary despite passing a legendary NFL mark. The "Ostifarians" would hail the fourth quarter as clear evidence the Broncos need to move on from Manning - regardless of injuries to the future Hall-of-Famer.
The debate would be ugly, circular and a rehash of every other thread.
So I'm not going to do it. Instead I'm going to tell you "a very short story." (That gem is for those of you who watched PBS in the 70s with me!)
I went to the game with my sister and two boys. I had the extreme pleasure of getting to sit in T.J. Ward's suite and meet his awesome family. I got to interview another really cool family who has a child with a severe disease that means his life will likely be cut way short (that story coming soon).
Most importantly, I also got to watch this game with my sons, the oldest of whom will bring out the best fan in anyone.
He loves Broncos football, understands how special it is to go to a game at Mile High, believes in all his heart the Broncos can always pull out a win and was not happy at all about the way the game was going yesterday.
But even when the Broncos were down, and the rest of us football-savvy fans knew a touchdown - or two - in the fourth quarter was pointless for winning this game, he was jumping and screaming and high-fiving everyone around him - including the drunk guy yelling profanities at the Broncos all day. It was contagious (just ask that guy who shut up for 10 seconds to high-five the kid who was happy.)
I won't tell you not to be mad about yesterday. I won't tell you to read my story and consider yesterday's loss "just a game." I know better than that.
But I will tell you that a little perspective about it never hurt anyone.