If you’re a Broncos fan and you watched Sunday’s game against the Bengals, you’re probably waking up this morning more than a little disappointed in your football team.
My longtime friend seems to have figured out the relationship that the team has with fans these days. Everyone has had that friend that, no matter what they do, don’t seem to be able to mesh well with other groups of friends, your spouse, or whatever. They’re the kind of friend that embarrasses you in front of other people at every turn.
He calls them the “tough hang”.
The tough hang is just that guy who makes group situations that ordinarily would be fun, not that way. They could be the loud and obnoxious guy who always seems to steer the conversation to his poisonous snake collection, regardless of topic. They could be the guy who inexplicably erupts into tears at after watching a pet food commercial and locks himself in the only bathroom when there’s a bunch of people who need to use it. The guy who loudly talks on his cell phone to his girlfriend through the whole game about nothing at all.
We all know that guy who makes hanging out with other people that much harder. The tough hang.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Denver Broncos of 2021 are the toughest hang of all. As devoted fans, we know how cool the Broncos can be. We have seen it! Our trophy case is loaded to the gills with evidence of how cool a hang the Broncos have been in the past.
Now, out in public, the Broncos are the friend who seemingly doesn’t care that half the guacamole dip has spilled all over his shirt and, yet, is insisting on bro-hugs from everyone.
The offensive play-calling was no surprise, but like the tough hang that insists on continuing to loudly hum TLC’s Waterfalls after being asked repeatedly to stop (and threatened with their life), we just have to endure it.
Quarterback play was abysmal. As the years go by, fellows at this position are the toughest hang of all. They’re like the drunk friend who embarrasses you at a bar by behaving poorly after having too much to drink. The kind of tough hang you put in a taxi to take him home, only to look up twenty minutes later and see him back. So you put them in another taxi. This time they show back up wearing a cowboy hat and no shoes. The tough hang that simply won’t go away.
This loss to the Bengals was a big one. It again demonstrated that the Broncos aren’t resilient, adaptive, or capable of taking control of a game when they absolutely have to have it - even when it’s so maddeningly in reach for most of the final quarter. So when the playoffs start, it’s becoming statistically more likely that they’ll be watching at home... with friends. We can only hope the guacamole shirt guy, snake guy, TLC Waterfalls guy, the drunk guy in the cowboy hat, all show up ready to have that serious heart-to-heart conversation with their girlfriends on their cell phones. It’s only right.
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