It's a word we don't hear much in the parlance of the NFL or professional sports these days. We don't often hear it in any form of life. We're never satisfied with what he have and are always on the hunt for what we don't. We're just not grateful.
In terms of the NFL, the loyalty lies with the bottom line. There are a few exceptions to the rule, and what hat we wear will show our allegiance and what we believe.
When it comes to the Denver Broncos, it starts at the top. Since 1984, Pat Bowlen has remained loyal to the fans. No doubt he doesn't make money without Broncos Country buying season tickets, merchandise and funding a new stadium (no doubt still a bitter pill for some). Mr. B has instilled a "nothing but Super Bowl titles will do" mantra. That resonates in the organization but also with the fans. Every year there is an expectation to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Perhaps more important to Bowlen, and now Joe Ellis, is the Broncos and fans remain one. You can't have one without the other. That's why it's still so important to both Bowlen and Ellis that the franchise is a beacon for the community of Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West and country.
That brings us back to "loyalty."
John Elway showed that through his entire playing career and still does. But it doesn't stop there.
Those are just a few examples, but all have remained true to themselves.
Osweiler: 4 yrs, $72m.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 29, 2016
Lynch (projected): 4 yrs, $9.1m.
Kaepernick: $11.9m in 2016.
The lack of loyalty shown by one Brock Osweiler is why Broncos fans were so upset when he took the money and ran. Whether his feelings were hurt over the benching in Week 17 or any perceived slight in negotiations with Elway, it's not about one person. It's not about you. It's about the Broncos.
You want to know why fans feel that tinge of betrayal from Osweiler? There's your first clue. He made it about him. No one can or should hold that against him. It's his right. Cash in. Get your payday, as if he wouldn't have gotten that in Denver. But that's not what this franchise is about.
Chris Harris, Jr.
In walks Paxton Lynch with a word he holds up that frequently gets dragged through the mud and muck and is the punchline in a bad joke.
Throughout his football life, Lynch has been loyal to his small high school and college. Despite the temptation to take the better offer, and better opportunity, loyalty to his commitment was too strong.
As he told The Denver Post about his Trinity Christian Academy football coach Allen "BJ" Johnson for it's story on Sunday:
I'm real big on trusting in people and people trusting in me, and I had that loyalty with my coaches and my teammates. I couldn't leave Coach BJ no matter what, and I trusted in God's plan that it was going to work out for the best. It did.
He showed that loyalty again at the University of Memphis when major programs tried to lure him after he committed to the Tigers and coach Justin Fuente.
That didn't go unnoticed by Fuente, who is now at Virginia Tech.
"I was obviously appreciative of it, I'll tell you that much," Fuente told The Post. "I think it says something about the way he was raised and his core values. They did a fantastic job, his mom and dad, of raising him, a humble, hardworking young man who tries to do everything he says he's going to do."
Since the Broncos drafted Lynch with the No. 26 pick in the NFL Draft, one of the common themes we've heard is "he's cool under pressure." When Lynch faces the blitz, he had a 67.9 completion percentage with 11 touchdowns to just one interception. That's pretty darn good at any level of football.
When you look at his character and how he's handled himself since his dream came true, he's cool under pressure off the gridiron as well. In these early stages of his NFL career, he's conducted himself with class and remained humble. The moment isn't too big for him.
As Lynch told The Post.
I know some people are not very humble and aren't true to their roots, and then they get humbled. It always shocks them, and some people can't bounce back from it. Growing up where I grew up, real small town, nobody ever had anything unless you worked for it, so that's how I was always raised. All that hard work I put into this game of football has paid off, but it's only just begun.
Anything can happen in the wide world of the NFL.
What you hope is the young players remain grounded and humble. They don't allow the pomp, circumstance, fame, fortune and money to change who they are. After a couple of years, they and the people they love don't know who they are anymore. They let the fruit of temptation become poisonous to their character.
What you hope is that they remain loyal to who they are and where they come from.
When they're in the midst of living their dream, it's always special when they don't lose that sense of loyalty.